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Sometime during the morning of November 28, 2011, Ohio native Urban Meyer returned home. It was at that time when the 47-year-old Meyer, born in Toledo, raised in Ashtabula and with degrees from the University of Cincinnati and The Ohio State University, signed a six-year agreement to become the 24th head coach in the storied history of Ohio State football.
The only candidate interviewed by a five-member search committee of senior Ohio State leaders, headed by President E. Gordon Gee and Director of Athletics Gene Smith, Meyer returns to collegiate coaching after sitting out the past year to devote time to his family - wife Shelley, college-age daughters Nicole and Gisele and 13-year-old son Nathan - and to work as an analyst for ESPN.
In the past, he served as the University of Florida Gators head football coach for six seasons. Meyer guided the Gators to the aforementioned pair of national championships, two Southeastern Conference Championships, three SEC Eastern Division crowns and six-straight January bowl games, including three BCS bowl games. His .813 winning percentage (65-15) is the second-best in school history and his .750 winning percentage (36-12) in SEC play is within the top five in league history among head coaches who spent five or more years in the conference.
Meyer, who was named Sporting News and Sports Illustrated Coach of the Decade in December of 2009, was the first coach ever to win two BCS National Championships and he is one of only two coaches in the history of the SEC to win two outright National Titles.
Prior to his tenure at Florida, Meyer coached two seasons for the Utah Utes where he earned multiple National Coach of the Year honors in 2004 after leading Utah to a perfect 12-0 season, the schools first in 75 years. With its post-season bid to the Fiesta Bowl, Utah made history by becoming the first school from a non-Bowl Championship Series conference to earn a berth in a BCS Bowl.
Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he led the Falcons to their 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.
Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Meyer has also championed efforts in community service. He spearheaded an effort to feed needy families during Thanksgiving, and initiated a mentor program for young at-risk males in the Gainesville community.
A 13th-round pick in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft in 1982, 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. He went on to earn a masters degree in sports administration from Ohio State in 1988.
Great call on securing coach Urban Meyer to speak at Walgreens Leadership conference today. Coach Meyer did an excellent job and was well received by the 150 leaders in attendance.