URBAN MEYER Inspirational Sports Speaker, Head Football Coach
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Urban Frank Meyer, III (born July 10, 1964) is an American football coach. Since November 2011, Meyer has been the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Meyer served as the head coach of the Bowling Green Falcons from 2001 to 2002, the Utah Utes from 2003 to 2004, and the Florida Gators from 2005 to 2010.
Under his direction, the Utah Utes ranked in the top-five nationally in six statistical categories. Utah ranked third nationally in scoring (45.3), total offense (499.7), net punting (40.8), turnover margin (+1.25) and passing efficiency (173.4), and was ranked fifth nationally in kick returns (26.2). The Utes were the only school in the nation to have their rushing offense (236.1, 13th) and passing offense (263.7, 19th) rank in the top 20 nationally.
Utah led the MWC in 11 categories, including scoring offense, total offense, pass efficiency offense, pass efficiency defense, turnover margin, kick returns and third-down conversions (52.3). The Utes were the MWC runner-up in rushing offense, passing defense (203.3), scoring defense (19.5), total defense (343.2), punt returns (10.9) and sacks against (18).
Urban Meyer completed his Utah coaching career riding a 16-game winning streak, the second-longest in the nation behind only Southern California (21). The Utes did not trail at halftime of any 2004 game and their closest margin of victory was 14, a 49-35 win over Air Force on Sept. 25.
Meyer’s mark has been made on the NFL Draft as well, tutoring the No. 1 pick in the 2005 Draft. Quarterback Alex Smith, the first-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers that April, is one of 62 former Meyer players who have signed contracts with NFL teams.
Urban Meyer was named the 2003 National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News after leading the Utes to a 10-2 record, their first outright conference championship since 1957, a bowl victory and a final national ranking of No. 21. He became the first coach from the MWC and just the second coach from a non-BCS program to receive the coveted TSN award. Meyer was also voted the MWC Coach of the Year, becoming Utah’s first conference coach of the year selection since 1978. He became the only coach in the school’s 111-year football history to win a conference title in his first year.
Ironically, Utah’s 2003 wins came against one of the toughest schedules in school history. Two were against Pac-10 foes Oregon and California,
and the Ducks were ranked No. 19 when Utah scored a 17-13 upset. The Utes also knocked off perennial league powers Colorado State, Air Force and Brigham Young. It was the first Ute sweep of that trio in 10 years and the first-ever road sweep against them. Meyer’s Utes capped the season with a 17-0 victory over Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi at the AXA Liberty Bowl.
In 2003, Utah won five more games than the previous year, when it was 5-6, and matched BCS national champion LSU as the fifth-most improved team in the nation. Meyer’s explosive spread offense and one of the nation’s best defenses brought Utah local and national attention. The 2003 Utes shattered their previous home attendance record by averaging 41,478 fans. The largest crowd ever to attend a Utah athletic event (46,768) and a national ESPN television audience watched the Utes beat California, 31-24, in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Known as a defensive power, Utah’s reputation on that side of the ball held true while the offense simply took off using Meyer’s system. Utah shut out its last two opponents, Brigham Young and Southern Miss, and finished No. 19 in the nation in scoring defense (19.1 points per game). On the other side of the line, Utah went from last in scoring offense in 2002 to third in the league by averaging 28.7 points per game in ’03. A similar improvement (seventh to fourth) was made in total offense. Red zone scoring, a Meyer point of emphasis, rose 11 percentage points (68 percent -79 percent, with 61 percent of those scores coming on touchdowns (versus 49 percent in 2002).
Utah’s special teams, under Meyer’s direct supervision, also improved dramatically from past years. The Utes led the nation in kick return average (28.2 yards per return) and ranked second in the league in kickoff coverage (16.4 yards per opponent return) in 2003.
Urban Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-9 record to post their first winning season since 1994 with an 8-3 finish. For his efforts, he was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. A year later, he guided BGSU to a 9-3 record and its highest national ranking in school history (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today and No. 20 Associated Press). Bowling Green spent five weeks in the national polls and finished third in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 40.8 points per game.
The Falcons, who became the highest scoring team in MAC history, also finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (219.1 ypg) in 2002. They were the only team in the nation to average at least 215 yards rushing and 215 yards passing per game. BGSU also led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61-of-63 trips (.968) inside the 20-yard line, including 52 touchdowns.
His teams fared well defensively, too. In 2001, BGSU ranked first in the MAC in scoring defense (19.5 ppg), rushing defense (86.3 ypg) and total defense (319.5 ypg). Bowling Green led the MAC in turnover margin both years under Meyer.
Meyer’s 17-6 record at Bowling Green included a 5-0 mark against BCS teams and two wins over ranked opponents. After his first of two wins over Missouri, Meyer was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Week in 2001.
Urban Meyer apprenticed at Ohio State (1986-87), Illinois State (1988-89), Colorado State (1990-95) and Notre Dame (1996-2000) before getting the head job at Bowling Green. The Ashtabula, Ohio, native learned the coaching trade from the likes of Sonny Lubick, Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce and Bob Davie.
The 1999 season saw Meyer’s receiving corps break the Irish single-season record for pass receptions with 192 and total receiving yards with 2,858. During 1998, Meyer coached split end Malcolm Johnson, who ended his career with 110 receptions, the seventh-most in school history.
In 1997, Meyer coached Johnson and fellow receiver Bobby Brown as they became the first Irish pair of players to record 40 or more receptions individually in a season as Brown had 45 receptions and Johnson had 42. In addition, the Notre Dame receivers helped set a then single-season school record with 190 receptions.
Urban Meyer coached a youthful Irish receiving corps in 1996 and helped integrate those players with veteran quarterback Ron Powlus to contribute to a Notre Dame offense that produced the third-highest figures for total offense and scoring in Irish history.
Prior to going to Notre Dame, Meyer had served as wide receiver coach for six years at Colorado State. He helped the Rams to the 1994 Western Athletic Conference title and to Holiday Bowl appearances following both the 1994 (10-2) and 1995 seasons (8-4).
In 1992, he coached wide receiver Greg Primus, an All-WAC pick who finished as Colorado State’s all-time leading receiver and ended up with 192 career catches for 3,200 yards (then 10th on the NCAA’s all-time yardage list). He also helped the Rams to the Freedom Bowl title following the 1990 season.
Meyer spent the previous two seasons at Illinois State, coaching quarterbacks and receivers in 1989 and outside linebackers in 1988. He worked as receivers coach at Ohio State in 1987 and helped the Buckeyes to a Cotton Bowl win following the 1986 campaign, when he coached tight ends.
A 13th-round pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in 1982, Urban Meyer played two years in the Atlanta Braves’ organization. He played as a defensive back at the University of Cincinnati before earning his degree in psychology in 1986. Meyer went on to earn a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio State in 1988.
In 2013, Urban Meyer is a perfect 18-0 since becoming head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. As the winning streak continues to grow, Meyer thinks the team will face more and more pressure.
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