Meyer Stakes Claim to Buckeye Job

The worst kept secret is now a reality.  Retirement is in the mirror and so is Florida.  Urban Meyer is returning to college football and he’s going to Ohio State.

This was rumored last week, but Meyer obviously denied every report.  Not wanting to step on the tradition of the Ohio State-Michigan game.  But the rumors grew in credibility as the week wore on and not even the denials were believable any longer.

Expect an announcement sometime Monday or Tuesday, and then he will be introduced Tuesday night at halftime of the Ohio State-Duke men’s basketball game in Columbus.  The same entrance Jim Tressel got when he took the job almost ten years ago.

The trek Meyer took to get the job is interesting in itself.  Former Buckeye coach Earle Bruce’s wife is in the hospital.  Meyer came into town to see his former coach’s wife, then we t to Bruce’s home in a Columbus suburb to meet with 3 Ohio State Chancellors.  OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith was not a part of the negotiations.

This hiring doesn’t come alone though.  There will be several changes in the Buckeyes coaching staff, along with higher salaries.  It is reported Meyer has agreed to a 7 year-$40 million contract.  Plus his coordinators will make $1 mill per year.  These salaries are comparable with the SEC.

A new AD is expected to be hired by the school.  Reports say Smith will stay on board for 3-6 months, and then quietly resign his position.  The new AD is reportedly Paul Krebs of New Mexico.  He has been with the Lobos for 6 seasons and was the AD at Bowling Green and hired Meyer as head football coach.

Luke Fickell, who was the interim coach for the Buckeyes this season and went 6-6 following the loss Saturday to Michigan, is expected to be retained as the defensive coordinator.  Although it is also rumored Akron wants Fickell to be their new coach.  Fickell started his coaching career in Akron under then head coach Lee Owens.

The new offensive coordinator is expected to be Greg Studrawa.  Studrawa is currently working in the same position under Les Miles at LSU.  He also was an assistant at Bowling Green from 2003-2006.  He is from Fostoria, Ohio so he will be coming back to the state also.

Meyer was a graduate assistant under Bruce at Ohio State in 1986 and 1987, coaching the Tight ends and Wide Receivers.  He first became a head coach at BG in 2001.  He then left for Utah in 2003.  Meyer’s career record is 104 wins and 23 losses.  His bowl record is 7-1 with two National championships at Florida.

This is a Home Run for the Ohio State Football program.  After the controversy in the past 12 months, the Buckeyes needed to go out and hire a well known coach with a history of winning.  Preferrably a Buckeye that understands the tradition of the school, the Big Ten and the Michigan game.

That is Meyer in a nutshell.  He is still young and can coach for another 20 years, if his health holds out.

Here’s to a long and healthy life.

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