COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith announced today that he has named alumnus Urban Meyer head coach of the University’s football program. Meyer, who has the all-time tenth-highest winning percentage among head coaches, returns to the institution from which he earned his master’s degree and where he began his collegiate coaching career.
“In Urban Meyer we have found an exemplary person and remarkable coach to lead the University’s football program into the future,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “As an alumnus, he understands and believes in the core academic mission of the University. As an Ohioan, he shares our common values and sense of purpose.”
Gene Smith, Ohio State’s director of athletics and associate vice president, said that Meyer is “known not only as one of the nation’s most successful coaches, but also as a leader and mentor who cares deeply about the young men who are his student-athletes. He brings with him an understanding of the University – both the important traditions of its football program and the excellence of the institution.”
Meyer has 20 years of football coaching experience, most recently serving as head coach at the University of Florida, from 2005 to 2010. Under his leadership, the Florida Gators won two BCS National Championships (2006, 2008). He has received numerous awards, including Coach of the Decade from both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News (2009). While at the University of Florida, Meyer helped lead an effort to raise $50 million for scholarships for first-generation college students.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to return to Ohio State,” said Meyer. “This University and the State of Ohio have enormous meaning to me. My duty is to ensure that Ohio State’s football program reflects and enhances the academic mission of the institution. I am part of it, I believe in it, and I will live it.”
Prior to becoming head coach at the University of Florida, Meyer was head coach at both the University of Utah and Bowling Green State University. During his decade as a head coach, he amassed a record of 104 wins and 23 losses, and his teams won four conference titles. Meyer was named national coach of the year three times.
Meyer’s first collegiate coaching position was as a graduate assistant at Ohio State, from which he earned his master’s degree in sports administration in 1988. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati, where he played defensive back.
Meyer assumes his position effective immediately.