Urban Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl after a season in which the Ohio State coach has publicly discussed his health challenges. Despite saying on several occasions he planned to coach in 2019, Meyer’s last game will be against Washington in the Rose Bowl.
Why is Meyer retiring after the season? Meyer admitted to having a cyst on his brain, an issue he has dealt with since 1998. Meyer’s personal physician Dr. Andrew Thomas released a statement to ESPN noting Meyer’s health issues have gotten progressively worse in the last two years.
The past four years, we’ve been working closely with Coach Meyer to monitor and manage the symptoms that have risen from his enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst. This includes aggressive headaches, which have particularly flared up the past two years.
Urban Meyer Will Retire for the Second Time in His Career
Heading into the Big Ten title game, Football Scoop reported there were serious rumblings about Meyer’s future, despite the coach saying publicly he planned to coach next season.
With that said, sources tell FootballScoop Ohio State is taking Ryan Day off the job market, with a significant raise coming and with the (most likely) unwritten understanding that he is in line to become head coach once Urban steps down. What’s that you say? Urban stepping down? So about that…
While Urban has stated repeatedly publicly that he plans to coach next year, sources tell FootballScoop that the Ohio State head coach continues to contemplate his future on an ongoing basis, and we hear he has told Gene Smith that he doesn’t expect to continue to coach past the 2019 season. One source told us we should expect Urban to address this in the days following Saturday’s Big Ten Championship.
There is sure to skepticism over Meyer’s retirement reason given this is not the first time the coach has called it quits. Meyer stepped away from Florida in 2009 citing family and health reasons. Meyer later took the Ohio State position after a brief hiatus from coaching.
However, Meyer looked to be in pain at several points during Ohio State games. The highlights below show Meyer’s reactions during the Ohio State-Maryland game.
Doctors Cautioned Meyer About the Long-Term Risk in Continuing to Coach
According to Yahoo Sports, part of the reason Meyer is stepping away is his perception of where the Ohio State program is under Ryan Day. Yahoo Sports detailed the health challenges that contributed to his decision, including doctors telling Meyer about the long-term risks associated with continuing to coach.
Part of the reasoning for Meyer stepping down stemmed from his health. He’s endured painful and aggressive headaches as a result of a congenital arachnoid cyst in his brain. He had brain surgery in 2014 to help relieve the pain, but it had returned in spurts the past two seasons and, at times, limited him from performing the job with the required intensity.
The image of Meyer dropped to a knee and hunched over in pain has resonated as one of the dominant images in college football this season. Doctors had begun to caution Meyer about long-term risks.
Meyer was also suspended for all of summer training camp and the season’s first three weeks in the wake of an investigation into allegations of illegal and illicit behavior by former assistant coach Zach Smith.
Though Meyer may not admit it publicly, the saga with former assistant Zach Smith did anything but help alleviate Meyer’s stress level, and the coach has looked much different on the sideline since serving his suspension.