Urban Meyer will be the next coach of Ohio State University’s football team according to multiple reports Monday.
Ohio State will hold a news conference at 5:15 p.m. ET this afternoon to announce the new coach of the football program. Though Meyer has not been explicitly named, sources say the coach will receive a seven-year, $40 million contract.
Meyer won two national championships with the University of Florida before stepping down last year citing health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family. He spent this past season as a college football analyst with ESPN.
Despite health concerns, many were expecting the 47-year-old to return to coaching, and Ohio State is an obvious choice – Meyer was born in Ohio and worked on Ohio State’s staff as a graduate assistant before coaching at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.
Earle Bruce, the head coach of Ohio State during Meyer’s stay as a graduate assistant, has stayed in touch with the coach and said he is in good shape to resume the demanding position of coaching a national football powerhouse.
“Well, if he’d had a heart attack and his heart was bad, I’d be worried about that,” Bruce said to the AP. “I’m not worried that he was stressed out over the game of football because he was thinking too much and not doing some things (exercising) that would have kept him straight. I think he got everything back under control by sitting out a year. I think he missed football. And he’s good at it.”
The Ohio State position is left vacated by interim head coach Luke Fickell who led the team to a 6-6 record amidst NCAA violations and numerous suspensions to key players.
Fickell took over for long-time coach Jim Tressel who resigned after he was found guilty of remaining silent about accounts of his players taking cash and tattoos from a suspect in a drug-trafficking case.
Meyer was immediately pegged for the job following Tressel’s resignation, but he issued a statement saying “I am committed to ESPN and will not pursue any coaching opportunities this fall.”
Ohio State may still face sanctions but the team has a core of young talent including the exceptionally gifted freshman quarterback Braxton Miller.
Among the sanctions the school may still face are loss of scholarships, forfeiture of bowl games and other penalties.