Odds out on Urban Meyer becoming Cleveland Browns head coach

05 December, 2018, 04:01 | Author: George Williams
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Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer will retire from coaching following the Buckeyes' appearance in the Rose Bowl on January 1.

Meyer, among the elite coaches in college football and one of its highest paid, has coached at Ohio State for seven seasons. The university plans to announce offensive coordinator Ryan Day will be Meyer's permanent replacement.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Meyer, who has generally received positive press, particularly from ESPN, for whom he worked for a year as an analyst, found himself the subject of a series of ugly headlines earlier this season over his handling of assistant coach Zach Smith, the grandson of Earle Bruce, a former Ohio State coach and a mentor of Meyer.

Of course, we won't be surprised if Meyer tells the world he wants to spend more time with his family. He also says he is not sure he is able to coach at the intense, demanding level he has used for more than 30 years. He fired assistant coach Zack Smith in the summer of 2018 when Smith's ex-wife filed a protective order after years of domestic abuse. First, other programs began to lap at his heels, then the defense fell apart, allowing 49 or more in three of the final six road games of Meyer's tenure - 54 to Iowa past year, 49 to Purdue, and 51 to Maryland - at the same time that off field issues surrounding Zach Smith surged to the forefront.

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Ohio State could have spent much of the season watching other coaches, but in each of those instances, the university would have had to imagine those coaches at OSU.

Meyer repeatedly said he planned on coaching in 2019, but uncertainty remained, even after Meyer seemed to improve in recent weeks and Ohio State won the Big Ten championship in beating Northwestern on Saturday.

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Smith said Meyer will be staying with the university in a new capacity, working coaches and athletes, but he was not specific about the role.

Believe it or not, you can bet on whether Meyer will be the next Browns coach. Because Day coached with former Meyer assistant Steve Addazio at Boston College, he already had familiarity with Meyer's offensive scheme and terminology, which helped him hit the ground running in Columbus last season. Asked if he would definitely return to Ohio State next year, he answered, "Yes".

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With those issues came sudden health concerns, just as has happened at Florida, for Meyer. The Buckeyes went 3-0 under Day, including a win over TCU in Arlington, Texas, before Meyer returned to the sideline September 22 against Tulane. The Buckeyes will play in the Rose Bowl against Washington on New Year's Day - Meyer's coaching finale. He will be walking away with $38 million left on his contract. He coached for two years at Bowling Green and two years at Utah before joining Florida in 2005.

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