Urban Meyer plans to remain part of athletic program
Urban Meyer is leaving his job as head coach of the Florida football team immediately following the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, but he plans to remain a part of the program.
Meyer said Thursday he plans to work as an advisor in some capacity, and will remain living in Gainesville at least for the time being.
Exactly what his new role will be remains undetermined.
"I want to be part of college football,’’ Meyer said. “I don't know (how), I'm still working on that. . . We've got to wait until the new coach gets here. I still want to help the University of Florida.''
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said he wants Meyer to be around “for as long as he wants to be around’’ and that the new coach will have an office in the athletic facilities.
Foley said he’s not concerned about Meyer’s presence being a distraction to the new head coach, adding it’s something he’ll address with potential candidates.
"Urban Meyer just had this job,’’ Foley said. “He decided to give it up. I think having him around and having him be able to speak to the team and embracing the past, whoever the new coach is, I think that's really important. And I think the fact that this separation came - it's disappointing and sad - but nobody got fired
here. This is no ugliness here. It's all as good as can be and I think that helps us going forward. I'll bring that up (to candidates). He will not do anything around the program where he's not welcome. He's smarter than that.’’
Florida will play Penn State in the Outback Bowl, and Meyer and Penn State coach Joe Paterno were in Tampa Thursday for a media event for the bowl game. Check out some video here.
[Video by Carrie Pratt of the St. Petersburg Times]