Meyer's Mentor to UF?

Throughout Urban Meyer's Florida tenure he's exposed his players to people who've made an impression on him during his climb through the coaching ranks. Former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce, Meyer's onetime Notre Dame boss Lou Holtz and his Buckeye wide receiver pupil Cris Carter are just some of the familiar names who've made their way to Gator practices.

Now, as Meyer looks to add some new faces to the program, he may be bringing in one of his mentors on a fulltime basis.

Meyer has frequently cited Colorado State's longtime head coach Sonny Lubick as a key figure in his coaching development. After Lubick took over from Bruce as head coach of the Rams and Meyer's new boss, he showed the Gator head man that browbeating his players constantly wasn't the only way to get the job done.

Meyer spoke about it again during the 2007 season.

"I constantly think back to what it was like coaching for (Lubick)," Meyer said. "If I'm in a difficult situation here, I think back to those days. He was open to all ideas. He didn't have 37 rules. If a kid wore an earring, that was okay as long as he was going to class and playing as hard as he could. Sonny never ran a dictatorship."

Lubick was forced out as Colorado State head coach with the end of the 2007 season. Despite his name being on the field, a 3-9 mark wasn't enough to keep the school happy and Lubick employed. He'd only gotten the Rams to one bowl in the last four seasons.

Still, a career mark of 108-74 with nine bowl appearances at a school with limited resources like Colorado State is very impressive. Now, while the 70-year-old Lubick's head coaching career is likely through, the February 1 edition of the Rocky Mountain News reports he's a contender to become part of Urban Meyer's office staff (story link).

While Lubick's potential title is not specified, it appears to be closest to the director of football operations job currently open on the staff. Meyer has previously expressed his desire to have a coach in that role, but it's not certain that it would be Lubick's job title should he opt to come to UF. As highly as Meyer thinks of Lubick, he might well create a special position for him instead of plugging him in to an existing spot.

Should Lubick being a part of Florida's program come to fruition, it would be a clear coup. Lubick has recruiting connections and credibility in South Florida from his four years as defensive coordinator with Dennis Erickson's Miami staff. Even now, with Lubick's CSU retirement having been expected soon, there are five Floridians who signed up to play their college football for him in Fort Collins, Colorado on the 2008 roster. To have someone with Lubick's knowledge and experience available as a source of ideas for the young group of coaches that comprise the bulk of Florida's staff would be a tremendous asset.

Besides possible off-field moves like bringing in Lubick, Meyer still has two spots to fill on his gameday coaching staff. Nothing is expected to happen with any of the positions until after National Signing Day is completed.

The Heath Cline Show airs daily from 11-1 on Gainesville's Star 99.5 FM


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