The ground beneath the college football world was quaking, the coaching dominoes teetering, athletic directors shaking, fans hyperventilating …

But wait a minute. Florida football coach Urban Meyer, well, now he’s just going to take an indefinite leave of absence. Not retiring just yet. Gator fans not sure how to handle the news, may never entirely forgive him for the uncertainty … unless he returns as a winner, of course.

A lot of people can relax, at least for a while, especially the athletic directors at Arkansas, Mississippi State and Oklahoma, the respective homes of Bobby Petrino, Dan Mullen and Bob Stoops. Their coaches may have been at the top of the list for Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s list if Meyer had stayed retired.

Foley’s first instinct may have been to hire a replacement with head coaching experience for Meyer. However, the pressure to hire Charlie Strong would have been huge. Immensely popular with Florida fans and recruits, he was the logical choice, having been an integral part of the program’s success the past seven seasons.

A huge reprieve for Tom Jurich at the University of Louisville. Twelve hours of uncertainty over Strong’s future. After three-nightmarish seasons during the Steve Kragthorpe era, Jurich had to be dreading still another coaching search. The latest episode, though mercifully brief, underscores the scale of Jurich’s challenges in maintaining a successful football program at Louisville.

Tomorrow’s another day, and Urban Meyer could change his mind again.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

8 thoughts on “Urban Meyer Steadies The Dominoes, For Now”
  1. This is crazy….who does he think he is, Brett Farve? I hope and have prayed that UM will overcome whatever health issues he is facing right now – I can’t believe all the breaking news yesterday to have it all fizzle out now with this news of an extended/indefinite leave of absense. I never really thought Charlie would jump -yeah, I know it’s Florida but I beleve Charlie Strong is a man of character and would not have bailed on TJ. I am glad to hear UM will be back and I hope this will put the rumors and fears to rest and that U of L can move forward come 1/2/10…..go CARDS!

  2. News flash —- Petrino just cancelled his offer for a house in a gated community outside of Gainesville. He has also given up his option on the house in Norman in case Stoops one upped him for the Florida job.

  3. I am a UM//TT fan…was having a hard time with Tebow being a senior as I had just fallen in love with the team this year. Thought I could handle things since Urban would carry on….First he’s out, now back, possibly. While again I am a fan, I think that Urban is really retiring, and all that Florida is trying to do now is stop the bleeding….trying to get the freshman recruits to commit, and get the juniors on the NFL fence to come back for their senior season. I frankly don’t think Urban has any intention of coaching again….ever….and I do think that he is retiring, but Florida realized how really big his leaving is going to be, and are now in damage control mode. Too bad, cuz I as looking forward to seeing Meyer coach another 5 years or so…..but I just don’t think its gonna happen, ever.

  4. He has his proirities straight…family, marriage and team. The time from the end of the bowl games to the kickoff of a new season is a lengthy one. Here’s hoping his health improves and he’ll be around to administer another beating to UK.

    I believe Florida is the only place he’ll ever coach again..when he is able.

  5. Florida is loaded next year. Meyer will not be missed. Tebow…probably missed, but the Gators have the pantry full and the shelves stocked.

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