Urban Meyer and his wife, Shelley, are the proud parents of three children: Nicki, Nate and Gigi. As his son begins his college baseball career at Cincinnati, all three of the couple’s children have played college athletics. Both of Urban’s daughters played volleyball. Nicki played at Georgia Tech, while Gigi both played and coached at FGCU.
Urban has been open about his re-dedication to his family after stepping away from coaching prior to taking the Ohio State position. Urban spoke with ESPN in 2012 about his struggles.
“I was always fearful I would become That Guy,” Urban noted to ESPN. “The guy who had regret. ‘Yeah, we won a couple of championships, but I never saw my kids grow up. Yeah, we beat Georgia a couple of times, but I ruined my marriage.'”
Learn more about Urban’s two daughters and son.
1. Urban’s Youngest Daughter, Gigi, Recently Became Engaged
On July 18, Gigi announced she was engaged to Brian Pruett. Gigi took to Instagram to post a proposal photo with the following caption.
“So this just happened… ? I love you @brian_pruett. Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!” Gigi noted.
Brian describes himself as a “washed up ballplayer” on his Instagram profile. Brian played baseball at FGCU where Gigi played volleyball and later coached. Meyer is no longer listed on the FGCU athletics staff, but spoke with Naple News in 2015 about following her father into coaching.
“To be honest, no. It wasn’t until my senior year,” Gigi told Naple News. “It was kind of a shock to me? Wow, my career is almost over. What’s the next step? Maybe I can stay in the competition and see it from a different point of view from the sidelines instead of on the court…A big reason is to see if coaching is the direction I want to go in, following in the footsteps of my father. I want to see if that’s something I would like to do.”
As a player, Gigi played in 126 volleyball matches at FGCU, and holds the record for all-time assists with 4,408. In addition to her volleyball experience, Gigi is also a stellar wakeboarder.
2. Urban’s Oldest Daughter, Nicki, Is Married to Corey Davis Who Is Part of the Ohio State Coaching Staff
Like Gigi, Nicki also played college volleyball, but graduated from Georgia Tech where she met her husband Corey Davis. Corey played college football for the Yellow Jackets, and later joined his father-in-law on the Ohio State coaching staff. According to Ohio State athletics, Corey and Nicki live with their son, Troy, in Dublin, Ohio.
Corey was promoted in July 2018 to quality control coach with the Buckeyes. Here’s an overview of Corey’s experience and new coaching role per Ohio State athletics.
Corey Dennis was elevated by coach Urban Meyer to a senior quality control coach position in July 2018. In this new position, Dennis will have increased off-field coaching responsibilities with the Buckeyes’ offensive program in the areas of game planning, practice planning and daily organization with both the wide receiver and quarterback units. He’ll work alongside offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and receivers coach Brian Hartline.
Dennis is in his fourth season on the Ohio State coaching staff. He was a graduate assistant coach on offense for the 2016 and 2017 seasons working primarily with the Buckeye receivers, and he worked as an intern in 2015…
He played receiver, he played in the defensive secondary and he was a key special team’s performer between 2011 and 2014. He finished his career by playing in all 54 games for Tech teams that won two ACC Coastal Division titles and played in four bowl games.
3. Urban’s Son, Nate, Plays College Baseball at the University of Cincinnati
Urban’s son, Nate, will complete the trifecta of college athletes in the family. Nate committed to Cincinnati in 2017, and is expected to make his college debut during the 2019 season.
“His dad and I both are so excited,” Shelley told Eleven Warriors. “It’s tough growing up in our house with expectations so high for all of our kids. We’re proud of them for the success they’ve had – all D1 athletes. We couldn’t be more proud of them – how they’ve grasped our values, that you get what you work hard for. We’re extremely proud of Nate because he’s worked hard and trained hard.”
Nate played shortstop in high school, but may move to a different position in college. According to Eleven Warriors, Urban had a brief stint with the Atlanta Braves before beginning his coaching career.
4. Urban Became a Grandfather in 2016
Prior to Ohio State’s 2017 matchup with UNLV, Urban took time for a few photo ops with his grandson, Troy. Urban spoke with Cleveland.com about the special moment.
“I already said I think I know my Christmas present … it’s going to be a nice canvas of me and my grandson in the Horseshoe,” Urban told Cleveland.com. “That was awesome.”
Urban may be a grandfather, but his wife does not want him to look like a grandpa. Urban experimented with a beard prior to the 2017 season, but Shelley was not a fan.
“It is hysterical to me that it is getting as much attention as it is,” Shelley told Land of 10. “But as bad as it looks right now, I can see why it is. I do not like it. And I told him that I think it makes him look older. He’s like, ‘Really?’ Well, yes! There’s gray in it. He looks like a grandpa now. And I’m just not a facial-hair girl.”
Nicki and Corey announced in July 2018 that they are expecting their second child. Urban and Shelley are going to be grandparents for the second time.
5. Urban Stepped Down as Florida Head Coach in 2009 to Focus on His Health & Family
As Florida head coach, Urban brought a lot of success to Gainesville, but stepped down in 2009 citing his health and family as reasons for his break from football.
“I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family,” Meyer told Cleveland.com in 2009. “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.”
In a 2012 feature, ESPN’s Wright Thompson detailed how Urban struggled to find balance at Florida, and how he hoped to be different at Ohio State.
Eighty or so people filed into the school cafeteria. Urban and his wife, Shelley, joined their daughter at the front table, watching as Gigi stood and spoke. She’d been nervous all day, and with a room of eyes on her, she thanked her mother for being there season after season, year after year.
Then she turned to her father.
He’d missed almost everything. You weren’t there, she told him.
Shelley Meyer winced. Her heart broke for Urban, who sat with a thin smile, crushed. Moments later, Gigi high-fived her dad without making eye contact, then hugged her coach. Urban dragged himself back to the car. Then — and this arrives at the guts of his conflict — Urban Meyer went back to work, pulled by some biological imperative. His daughter’s words ran through his mind, troubling him, and yet he returned to the shifting pixels on his television, studying for a game he’d either win or lose. The conflict slipped away. Nothing mattered but winning. Both of these people are in him — are him: the guilty father who feels regret, the obsessed coach who ignores it. He doesn’t like either one. He doesn’t like himself, which is why he wants to change.
Urban is currently on administrative leave at Ohio State as the school investigates what he knew about alleged domestic violence incidents involving former assistant coach Zach Smith.