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Question of the Day
GAINESVILLE, FLA. (AP) - After the worst season of his career Urban Meyer is stepping down at Florida, giving up one of the premier jobs in college football for the second time. The 46-year-old led Florida to two national titles but began to show the strain of his high-profile job when he briefly resigned last December, citing health concerns, but returned the next day.
He had been hospitalized with chest pains after the Gators lost to Alabama in last season’s Southeastern Conference championship game.
This time he did not mention his health being an issue.
“At this time in my life, however, I fully grasp the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one,” he said in a statement released by the school Wednesday. “But, after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports.”
AOL FanHouse first reported the resignation.
“The world of college football will miss Urban,” said former USC coach Pete Carroll, who like Meyer was one of the decade’s best college coaches but opted to leave his job _ in Carroll’s case for the NFL’s Seahawks. “He did a great job coaching at Florida. He had major personal issues and health issues a year ago, and I’m sure that he did everything he could to fight it off. Now he’s making decisions that are probably exactly what he needs to be doing. … He brought a lot of excitement to Florida football, the SEC and all that. Everybody’s going to miss him.”
Meyer was hired by away from Utah by Florida after he led the Utes to an undefeated season. In his second season in Gainesville, he led the Gators’ to a national championship. Two seasons later he won another, the third time overall the school topped the final AP Top 25.
A bid for another national championship fell short in 2009, and the day after Christmas Meyer surprisingly announced that he was giving up the job. Just like now, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family, though he also said that he had health concerns.
Less than 24 hours later, he changed his mind and decided to instead take a leave of absence.
He was diagnosed with esophageal spasms and was taking prescription medication to treat it.
The leave of absence eventually turned into some extended vacation time.
Meyer scaled back in January _ he didn’t go on the road recruiting _ but still worked steadily through national signing day. He returned for spring practice in March, but managed to take significant time off before and after.
He went to Hawaii with his wife, traveled to Rome and saw the ope, took a trip to Israel, visited the Masters golf tournament with his daughter and took in a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game.
He said it was the first offseason in which he stepped away for days at a time.
But this season he had to replace Tim Tebow and several other stars who had gone on to the NFL, and the Gators struggled mightily.
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