November 26, 2020

Meyer promises change as Ohio State coach

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Urban Meyer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Before Urban Meyer could agree to a contract as Ohio State’s new football coach, he had to sign something provided by his two college-age daughters and his young son.

It was a piece of pink paper on which he promised that he won’t overdo it, that he won’t work too hard, that he’ll take care of himself this time.

“This is a contract that my kids made me sign before I was allowed to sign a real contract,” he said. “It’s tougher than any other contract I’ve signed in my life.”

With that out of the way, Meyer was free to sign a six-year deal that pays him around $4.4 million a year, not counting bonuses and incentives. A winner of two national championships during his glittering six-year tenure at Florida, he’ll be expected to bring some luster back to a football program that has been tainted by 12 months of NCAA violations, suspensions and a 6-6 record.

Meyer resigned as Gators coach after last season, citing health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family.

“A year ago in my mind I was convinced I was done coaching,” the 47-year-old Meyer said.

Now he’s convinced he can balance a healthy life and a high-pressure job.

“I had a health scare a couple of years ago that made me sit back, reflect,” Meyer said of heart and stress problems. “I didn’t feel right. But I feel fantastic now.”

He also yearned to be back on the sideline at the Horseshoe.

“If not for the coaching position at Ohio State, I would not have coached this year,” said Meyer, who grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, about 200 miles from campus.

Interim coach Luke Fickell, who took over when Jim Tressel was forced out for breaking NCAA rules, will coach the Buckeyes in their bowl game. Meyer will keep him on as an assistant but declined to say in what capacity.

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