Billy Donovan says Urban Meyer's decision will be based on more than just coaching
As neighbors, good friends and former colleagues, Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan and former football coach Urban Meyer have formed a close bond over the past six years.
Donovan is well-aware of the speculation and reports about Meyer taking the head coaching job at Ohio State. He's talked with him recently, and while he could not confirm anything about Ohio State, Donovan did give some insight on what Meyer's decision will be based on. And it's not just coaching, he said.
"I've talked to him a few times,'' Donovan said. "I think he loves football, I think he's really evaluating what he wants to do as a coach. I think that sometimes people look at things maybe a little bit differently than what reality is sometimes. I understand (speculation) is he taking the job, is he not taking the job, has Ohio State offered? But I think the biggest thing for him right now that he's trying to get his arms around is whenyou've had a chance to win a couple of national championships, every coach wants to experience that. But there is a perception created that it brings a level of worth and value to your life - and it really doesn't. And what you find out, and I've said this before Tom Brady made the comment after winning three Super Bowls, he said 'Is this all there is in life? There's got to be more.' You've got to really enjoy the process of dealing with these guys each and every day. And sometimes there's victories that nobody sees that you've got to really look at in terms of helping these guys get better. And I think what happened for Urban, and it happened to me too, is you look at Okay, it's happened twice, why am I coaching? What is my purpose for coaching, besides just winning? And I don't think your drive and desire diminishes in terms of wanting that to happen, but it doesn't necessarily make your life complete when it does happen. And I think there's so many coaches out there chasing that thinking that something's going to change, and when they get it, I'm not so sure it does.''
Donvoan said Meyer may be trying to determine if he can balance the things that drove him away from the game - and Florida.
"I think for Urban, it's that balance right now for him of chasing championships, his family, his health, those things,'' Donovan said. "Can I balance all of that and can I make all of that work, and can I do it in a way that I can feel good about myself, feel good about my family, feel good about myself as a coach. And I ithink he's evaluating those kind of things. And then he's got to figure out how he can go about enjoying the process.''
The Columbus Dispatch, citing sources, reported today that Meyer is expected to be named the new head coach next week. So what does Donovan think his friend will do?
"My guess would be, and this is not about Ohio State, do I think he'll go back and coach? Yeah, I think he will,'' Donovan said. "But I think that for himself, he's got to get himself to a place where he really feels good about the other aspects of his life that maybe he felt he was missing out on or wasn't as attentive to as he wanted to be, or felt comfortable with himself internally that he was handling it the right way. And that's what I think it's all about for him.''