Second Meyer Resignation Final

I can't say that I expected Wednesday to be the kind of day it turned out to be, nor can I say that anything about it surprised me. Florida football coach Urban Meyer stepped away from his post for the second time in less than a year and this time he won't be changing his mind.

With Urban Meyer moving on, Gator Nation is in quite a tizzy. Florida must deal with multiple issues in a very short period of time.

First, the Gators must execute a huge recruiting weekend that begins in a day. This weekend was to be the exclamation point to the early recruiting period and ease the transition for the early enrollees entering school next month. It was also an opportunity to sway other players whose early enrollment decisions are just days away.

Second, the Gators must prepare for a Bowl game with Penn State with a completely different mind set. For many, the Outback Bowl was the start of the 2011 season, not the end of a disappointing 2010 campaign. Now that mindset is completely reversed since the odds are that few if any of the coaches in this game will be part of the program going forward. The last time Florida was in this position was in 2004 and the result was a disgraceful performance against Miami in Atlanta.

Last and certainly not least, Gator Nation is focused on who will be leading this program into the future. We'll look at all the possibilities and share our thoughts on that at some future date. But it will be harder than ever to get Florida fans excited about this Bowl game when you consider how little connection there is likely to be between this game and the 2011 season.

But putting all of that aside today is a day to appreciate what Urban Meyer accomplished and where the Florida program is right now. Meyer won 64 games in his 6 season in Gainesville. Those years will be most noted for the BCS National Championships in 2006 and 2008, but Florida was a more than respectable 38-13 in Meyer's other 4 seasons. Meyer's tenure in Gainesville included Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy and he sent three assistant on to become head coaches elsewhere.

I think it's fair to say that Meyer's his ability to develop coaches for bigger roles ended up doing him more harm than good. When you coach for 10 years and lose 8 assistants to head coaching opportunities you are doing something right. But the fact of the matter is that success in helping your assistants move on weakens your program. It's the main reason Bobby Bowden went years without having any assistants move on. He knew the assistant coaching instability could lead to other problems. FSU was a power until Bowden began losing trusted aides like Brad Scott, Mark Richt and Chuck Amato to head coaching opportunities.

Urban Meyer has chosen his family and long term health above his coaching career and you would have to be childless not to understand that. My belief is that we will be hearing about his return to coaching sometime in the future, but that should be several years away.

If and when Meyer returns to coaching it should be in a less demanding environment where he can recapture the thrill and joy of coaching young man without compromising his health and family in the process.

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