Citing health reasons, the University of Florida announced that head coach Urban Meyer will resign due to health reasons. This is a complete shock. Details as to his condition or ailment are unknown at this time, but a source close to UF indicated that Meyer has a heart condition. More to come as information is known.
This release from the University of Florida:
Urban Meyer is stepping down as coach of the Florida football team, athletics director Jeremy Foley announced Saturday afternoon in a release.
"I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program," Meyer said in statement. "I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family.
"After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family.
"I'm proud to be a part of the Gainesville community and the Gator Nation and I plan to remain in Gainesville and involved with the University of Florida.
"I'm very appreciative for the opportunity I've had to be a part of a tremendous institution - from Dr. Machen to Jeremy Foley and the entire administrative staff at UF. I'm also very thankful for the chance to work with some of the best assistants in college football and coach some of the best college football players and watch them grow both on and off the field as people. I will cherish the relationships with them the most."
Meyer will coach his last game in the Sugar Bowl January 1st.
Meyer checked into a hospital the night after the SEC Championship game for what sources termed "dehydration". This is from Bruce Feldman's twitter page:
Stunned to hear #Urban Meyer resigning, although a coach I know ran into him 2 weeks ago & said he looked so gaunt he barely recognized him.
For the first time ever, both Florida and Florida State will have new head coaches in the same season. Florida also lost its longtime defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong, who is now Louisville's head coach, and its best offensive assistant, Billy Gonzalez, who left to take the offensive coordinator position at LSU. With National Signing Day coming February 5th, UF must quickly find successors to Meyer, or risk what was shaping up as the top recruiting class in the nation. That recruiting class is especially important as the Gators will likely lose up to 12 players to the NFL, including multiple underclassmen.
This could result in Florida State signing the state's top 8 players, particularly Matt Elam, who liked Florida State better than UF but had an extremely close relationship with Urban Meyer.
More on the brain cyst:
In a story published by Sports Illustrated this week, Meyer revealed that doctors discovered an arachnoid cyst on his brain when he worked as an assistant coach at Notre Dame in 1998.
According to the report, doctors didn't consider the cyst to be life-threatening but told Meyer he could suffer from head pain if the condition flared up because of stress.
Best wishes to Meyer and his family.