Transcript of Gator Country Chat w/ Shelley Meyer

Shelley Meyer was welcomed to Gator Country Tuesday night by more than 200 of our regulars for a one-hour chat. The First Lady of Gator Football graciously answered one question after another, giving us insight to the entire Meyer family and what they think of the move to Gainesville and much more.

Thanks to the fine folks (who are fellow Gators) at Digi-Net Technologies, Inc., we were able to host our first ever moderated chat using specially designed software that could handle tons of folks and help us handle the queue of questions flying in easily.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:13:07 PM)
Hi Guys! I'm here!

(Mrs. Meyer had trouble entering our chat room and ended up downloading FireFox and installing Java to get it to work... Pretty impressive!)

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:13:16 PM)
GREAAT! She's a technical wizard, too folks. ;)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:13:30 PM)
I wouldn't go that far!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:13:35 PM)
Shelley, thank you so much for joining us tonight and preservering. ;)

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:13:45 PM)
Do you have anything to say to us before we release the questions?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:14:01 PM)
I'm honored to be here. Sorry about all the tech probs.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:14:19 PM)
No problem, we're just thrilled you made it on here. We'll get started, folks. Go ahead and submit your questions.

G8torchick1 (Apr 19, 2005 9:14:26 PM)
Welcome to Florida -- I read that your son thought you were going to move to Disney World -- have you been yet?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:15:08 PM)
We did actually go to Disney about a month ago and he was very excited, but the drive was longer than he expected.

RAGranade (Apr 19, 2005 9:15:18 PM)
Shelley, welcome to the Gator Nation! How has the transition to Gainesville gone for yourself and your children?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:15:54 PM)
The transition has been better than I expected! Love the weather, love Gainesville; the kids are doing well, but my 14 yr. old daughter is missing her friends in Utah a bit.

ConanOBrien (Apr 19, 2005 9:16:04 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, will you be standing among the 21,500 students in the Swamp this fall?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:16:41 PM)
Actually, as a matter of fact, my sorority sisters have invited me to sit with them for the first game and I will be in their block screaming my head off, as usual!!!

Gator9385 (Apr 19, 2005 9:16:53 PM)
Shelley, did you realize that when Urban accepted the job at UF that the fans here in the SEC consider Football as a form of religion and a way of life?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:18:22 PM)
I had a feeling. We were at Notre Dame for 5 years, and I definitely got a huge taste of football being a "religion". I didn't think anything different of the Gator fans, since I know the entire SEC is full of fans. I actually dreamed of being a Gator for years, but never thought we'd have even a chance to be here.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:18:27 PM)
(Folks, hold off on your questions for now - our queue is full. Thanks)

G8RGrowl (Apr 19, 2005 9:18:30 PM)
We know Coach Meyer has contacted old coaches of the Gators to draw on their experiences, have you talked to any of the former First Ladies of Gator Football?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:19:17 PM)
I have spoken with Geri Spurrier a couple of times and she was just great. She tried to tell me what to expect here. I have spoken to Denise Zook also, and she is just really nice.

thumper (Apr 19, 2005 9:19:25 PM)
Shelley, What are your expectations for this coming year?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:20:35 PM)'s hard to know what to say about that when your team just went 12-0 and busted the BCS. We haven't lost a game in a season and a half and that is just unbelievable!!!! I have to say that going undefeated will be very, very, very tough in this league.

GatorPR (Apr 19, 2005 9:20:55 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, when did you first hear about this site and what made you decide to participate in such an activity? By they way I appreciate your time and hope you can drop by again some other time.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:21:40 PM)
Hey thanks!!! I was approached by Franz after the Spring Game and I thought it sounded like a fun time and a way to get to know the Gator Nation a little.

ldgator (Apr 19, 2005 9:22:05 PM)
Shelly, welcome to Florida. Your thoughts on the O&B game and your first taste of Gator football.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:23:19 PM)
WOW!!! That's what I want to say first, about that spring game. WOW!!!!! What awesome fans we have here, to come out for that and treat it like a REAL game. I totally enjoyed tailgating, without the stress of worrying about winning!!!!!!! I am VERY passionate about this game (for a girl, I guess) and love that our fans share that.

chaz431 (Apr 19, 2005 9:23:34 PM)
Have you gotten to know any of the players yet, and if so who stood out the most?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:23:53 PM)
(Folks, please hold off on the questions for now, we have a huge queue! Thanks)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:25:25 PM)
I have been spending more time the last month meeting more of the players and trying to get around them before they go on summer break. There are so many! It's hard to get to know them all very quickly. Brandon Siler definitely stands out (I may have spelled that last name wrong) after his performance at the pep rally before the spring game. He's a crack up and the students love him. He's a leader on this team and I can tell that already. Of course, Chris Leak has made a wonderful impression and I know Josh Portis very well, from recruiting him!

jpgator57 (Apr 19, 2005 9:25:36 PM)
Greetings Shelly, how did you feel about the possibility of coming to UF when you first heard the rumors?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:25:41 PM)

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:25:56 PM)
Are you doing okay, Shelley?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:26:25 PM)
!Sorry, hit the wrong button. I was unsure how to feel about the rumors because we were in the midst of making history at Utah. I love Florida and always have, but was unsure if I was ready to move again so soon.

EricEsteban (Apr 19, 2005 9:26:40 PM)
Shelley welcome to Gator Nation and Gator Country, Coach Meyer has stressed to the student body and fans the importance of knowing the fight song and building tradition. Have you learned the fight song and the words to 'We are the Boys'?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:27:04 PM)
Hope Eric didn't put you on the spot, Shelley. ;)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:27:36 PM)
Ok, have to confess that the first time I heard the fight song was at the pep rally. I will be spending the summer learning the words, as will our children, and I am very happy that it is shorter than the Utah fight song.

jamaicagator (Apr 19, 2005 9:27:44 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, what has been the hardest part about leaving Utah and coming to Gainesville? Do you plan on being as involved with the community as you were at Utah?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:29:41 PM)
Well, I LOVE the mountains and begged Urban for 7 years to get me back out there after he dragged me to ND and then to Bowling Green. I completely fell in love with the West in the early 90's, so leaving that beautiful place was very hard. I will be really involved in this community and have already started! I definitely love students and want to be around them as much as possible. There are a couple of charity orgaqnizations I have become very interested in and will volunteer some time to them, not to mention to my children's school.

gator_mark (Apr 19, 2005 9:29:53 PM)
Shelley...How do you keep your relationship with your husband strong when he is so busy with a new program in establishing himself and the team for next year? Glad you and your family are here at Florida.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:31:12 PM)
Thanks so much. Well, there's one thing about your hubby being gone so much...not much to fight about!!!!!!! We are very tight; we make all these decisions together and take on this whole thing together. I am so involved in his job and we are a team and that's how we have approached our whole marriage. Plus, I really like him!!!!! He's very funny and he's cute,too.

gatorbogey (Apr 19, 2005 9:31:19 PM)
Shelly, what new gameday or football related 'traditions' would you like to see the gator fans adopt for the Urban Meyer Era?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:32:18 PM)
(Folks, to be fair we're limiting questions to one per Gator for now since there's no way we can possibly get to them all. Thanks for your patience.)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:32:32 PM)
Well, we are hoping to see the student section take on a name and have the students totally take ownership of the team and have the players and students feel like a family. After each victory (and here's to lots of them) we will all sing that fight song together and just feel so great that we have rallied around each other.

rer3 (Apr 19, 2005 9:32:41 PM)
Shelly, Welcome to Gator Country! As a die hard gator fan I love to see the gators win 10+ games and compete for the SEC championship. Should Urban meet or surpass these expectations and the NFL comes calling what is the chances that you and your family would leave for the NFL?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:34:09 PM)
THERE IS NO WAY WE ARE GOING TO THE NFL. I am going on record with that. We love the college atmosphere too much; we love working with these young men too much; we love being role models to them and teaching them how to be wonderful young men so they can leave college and love their experience here and go out into the world and have a great life. The NFL is not even appealing and if they see me say that; so what.!!!!! We are Gators!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:34:18 PM)
That's great to hear, Shelley. ;)

kramer (Apr 19, 2005 9:34:20 PM)
Shelly, I recall reading how you are a psychiatric nurse. If i recall correctly you were taking master classes and teaching a bit at Utah. My fiancee attended UF and worked as a psych RN at Shands at vista. Will you be trying to do the same at UF?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:35:40 PM)
I've already had several job offers! I do have a Masters Degree in Psych nursing and plan to work a little; just enough for me, once I get everything settled here and see how busy I am with my kids. Right now I am SO busy with them, I can't think of working yet. I did teach at the College of Nursing at Utah and I worked in a Psych hospital, too. I love my profession.

teddy57 (Apr 19, 2005 9:35:52 PM)
Mrs.Meyer, Thanks for being here. My baby is, Eddie Haupt( an early enrollee OL freshmen) Coach talked to the parents about trust being a long process.Now I'm a new Gator mom, I don't have the coach transitions like you... How long does it take, do you feel, for the trust that is needed between the coach and his family's wellbeing and the players to develop into an interconnected squad? As a parent, what elements of trust do you think take the longest to instill with your children?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:37:38 PM)
Trust is the hugest issue when we start a job with a new team. It takes time, work, patience. We try to do a lot of team-building things with the whole team and staff. It depends on the willingness of the kids to accept us. WE treat them like family and try to do everything we can do to let them know we are here for THEM and we will do anything for them and we just want them to succeed; in every way! So far, the reception by these kids is awesome!!!!

Perdido Key Gator (Apr 19, 2005 9:37:47 PM)
Mrs. Meyers: Any thoughts on the Uniforms? I know my wife has to lay out my clothes so I don't hurt myself!

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:38:31 PM)
I'm having a little trouble understanding this one. Are we talking players' unis? or my kids Catholic School ones??hahahaha

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:38:43 PM)
Heh, he's referring to the player's uniforms.

ufla5220 (Apr 19, 2005 9:38:45 PM)
I think he's talking players

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:38:50 PM)
Funny, though.

ufla5220 (Apr 19, 2005 9:38:55 PM)
Perdido is fashionably challenged though!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:39:03 PM)
I can vouch for that.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:39:25 PM)
I have a LITTLE wit about me. I honestly don't have much to say about uniforms; whatever the players want is fine with me.

gatorgilly (Apr 19, 2005 9:39:29 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, When it was time to make a decision to come to Gainesville or not, was their anyone you turned to for advice?? ie: alumni, friends, etc...

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:40:42 PM)
Lots of people! Other people in the profession, people we trust; those who know this profession and those who know the pressures of a job like this one. I also pray about these things to see if this is the direction God wants us to take. No joke. It's hard to make these decisions on your own.

gatorinexile (Apr 19, 2005 9:40:50 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, what would you say are your husband's top two strengths as a football coach? What about his biggest weakness?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:42:35 PM)
His discipline and his motivation. I really think they go together. Once a player establishes some discipline in his life, it transcends him to a whole new level and motivates him to play "lights out!" Weakness......boy that's a hard one. Maybe his ability to relax. He takes things too hard. He can't lose!!!!! He feels it's all his fault.

friendlygator (Apr 19, 2005 9:42:45 PM)
What's the loudest game and stadium you've been to? You are in for a real surprise when the Gators take the field against the Vols in September.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:43:53 PM)
This is a great question because you will hate what I am going to say. Now, remember, I have NEVER been to a game in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, so Tennessee is the loudest place I've been. I mean, I couldn't talk to the person next to me, it was so loud. It was when ND played down there.

gatorcarson (Apr 19, 2005 9:44:06 PM)
Shelly, how have you and your family enjoyed living in the Gainesville community thus far and what is your favorite thing about Gainesville? We are all thrilled to have you and your family as part of the Gator family and look forward to one heck of a ride in the years to come.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:45:30 PM)
Thanks so much. That's part of what has been the best about being here. People have been fabulous and are genuinely so happy we are here. It feels really good to be wanted like that and to be welcomed like that. We love college towns, anyway, and this is one! Great place to raise our kids and it's got great weather, too!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:45:47 PM)
I have to agree, have a 6 year old myself and Gville is perfect!

Judygator (Apr 19, 2005 9:45:50 PM)
Hi Shelley! I was wondering how you and Urban met. Welcome to Gainesville to all of you and GO GATORS!

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:46:21 PM)
Oh, this is cute. We met in 1984 at a Sigma Chi Derby Days party at the University of Cincinnati, where we both went to college.

CribbsStyle (Apr 19, 2005 9:46:34 PM)
Are you going to be at Gator Fan Day with Urban and the players? I'm sure I'm not the only one that would love to meet you and get your autograph.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:47:31 PM)
Ok, when is that? I'm sure I will be. Urban probably has it on my calendar but hasn't told me. I get all excited when someone asks me for my autograph because it rarely happens.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:47:36 PM)
If you don't mind following up on the meeting Urban question - how did he get your attention? In other words, how did he get you to fall in love with him?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:48:12 PM)
Gator Fan Day is about two weeks before football season starts, btw.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:48:58 PM)
He didn't have to work hard. Not as hard as he works at getting teams to win championships!!! He came over to talk to me and we hit it off almost right away. Back to him being funny; he has a great sense of humor, he's cute, he really has a great personality and we had a lot in common. Especially in sports. He hooked me, I guess.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:49:11 PM)
He's got us all hooked, no doubt!

Columbus Gator (Apr 19, 2005 9:49:13 PM)
Growing up in Columbus Ohio I've been to many Ohio State games in the Horseshoe as have you. As a UF student I never missed a game in the Swamp. Are you prepared to enter the most notorious, most obnoxious, loudest stadium in America? It makes the 'shoe seem like a morgue.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:50:14 PM)
I went to games at OSU for 2 years when Urban was a G.A. That is an impressive place, too. I have been hearing a lot about this stadium and I'm ready! Bring it on! I'm pretty loud, too. Not obnoxious, tho.

HarleyGator (Apr 19, 2005 9:50:25 PM)
Were Coach Meyer and/or you contacted/encouraged by Gator fans to take the UF job prior to the decision to take it?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:51:13 PM)
No. NO contact. Wait, maybe a couple of letters by people we didn't know, telling Urban he was the guy and "please" come to Florida. I just now remembered that.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:52:42 PM)
I love 'em. I've spent some time with them over the past month and I loved what I saw in the O&B game. I can definitely see speed that I haven't ever seen before. Love that! I know they want to win and they didn't quit when Urban first came in. They are sticking around, working hard, trying to live right, going to class!!!!

Meagator (Apr 19, 2005 9:52:50 PM)
Shelley, does your husband ask for your opinion on team realted matters/issues?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:53:02 PM)
(realted = related)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:53:43 PM)
As a matter of fact, a lot. Esp. when a player has a problem or issue that my professional background can help with. I can be a counselor of sorts, if needed and this does come up sometimes. Not to mention, I am the team "Mommy".

Coolgtr (Apr 19, 2005 9:53:51 PM)
Is Urban doing anything differently here than he did at his stops at BGSU and Utah or is he working with the team in a very similar way?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:54:30 PM)
Very similar. HIs approach is the same. Hard work, dedication, investment, live your life right, discipline, family atmosphere. Work them hard, but love them, too.

tngatr (Apr 19, 2005 9:54:35 PM)
What are Urban's hobbies when he has a little time away from football?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:54:47 PM)
(Folks, we'll be wrapping this up shortly)

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:55:10 PM)
If you have any last minute questions, fire them at us and we'll pick a few of the best ones.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:55:17 PM)
Loves to do anything with his kids. Lots of sports. We love getting away to tropical places and doing water sports and beach time. He loves Jimmy Buffett music.

RabidGatorFan (Apr 19, 2005 9:55:25 PM)
Mrs. Meyer, Are you aware of how bad some of us distaste our rivals? Especially the S.O.W. (School Out West). Please relay to Coach that if we are up by 10 TD's this year in the Swamp and are driving with 2 seconds to go, to call timeout to add another TD. We......want..... to..... crush..... them.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:55:36 PM)
LOL, had to pass that one on!

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:56:31 PM)
You read that last like somewhere, didn't you????? Well, Urban respects his opponents, even if he doesn't like them. We are getting to know how much the rivals are "hated" and believe me, we will act appropriately. Whatever that means, right???? I'll tell him what you said tho.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:56:49 PM)
Zeta Tau Alpha

tngatr (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:08 PM)
Does Urban every get on Gator Country and see what we are talking about on here?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:25 PM)
Okay folks, we have three more questions and we'll wrap this up.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:36 PM)
No, but he's been walking by and asking me what I'm telling you all. Or is it "Y'ALL???" hahaha

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:42 PM)

GatorSwaggGreatHips (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:45 PM)
Shelley, did you get a chance to catch any of the basketball games this past season? If so, did you enjoy them?

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:57:53 PM)
(BTW, LOL means Laugh Out Loud)

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:58:22 PM)
Yes and what fun!!!! I loved the Rowdy Reptiles!!!! Those Gators really played hard, too, and that's what I like to see. (And I did know LOL...)

Gatorz03 (Apr 19, 2005 9:58:31 PM)
Mrs Meyer, thanks for being here when you could be somwhre else. With all the problems going on around the league( Tenn. and USC) what would you do if it happened here, and your husband asked you for advise?

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 9:59:45 PM)
Well, we are going to keep educating our guys and use those examples and hope they will make good choices, just like we teach our own children. It's really hard because of all the temptations. We try to be proactive and even pray there aren't any issues like those other schools are having!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 9:59:55 PM)
And the final question is...

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 10:00:52 PM)
No way. I don't want to play the Utes. That would be too hard! I know how those guys play!! It's too risky. We have a hard enough schedule without putting ourselves in that position. By the way, good luck to the Utes. I still love them!

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 10:00:55 PM)
Actually, I have one more question for you, Shelley --- isn't it GREAT to be a FLORIDA GATOR??!

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:02 PM)
It is AWES

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:18 PM)
Thanks so much for joining us, Shelley. We really appreciate it and wish you and your husband the very best of luck!

ufla5220 (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:23 PM)
Thanks Shelley

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:27 PM)
OmE. Woops, hit the wrong button. I am so happy to be a Gator and thanks for having me one. It was great.

Shelley Meyer (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:44 PM)
Thanks you guys. Good night.

Solari (Apr 19, 2005 10:01:50 PM)
Good night! Thanks.

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