Jewish Journal


December 27, 2009

Faith and family in Meyer’s resignation


Florida head coach Urban Meyer

I know he coaches the Florida Gators, but Urban Meyer unleashed a hurricane yesterday when he announced he would resign after Tim Tebow and the Gators play in the Sugar Bowl next month. Meyer said it is for health reasons, and, for once in sports (or politics), it sounds like it actually is:

Urban Meyer is in the fight of his life.

It is hard to imagine that that’s overstating it when the immensely popular and successful coach of an envied major-college power steps down abruptly and unequivocally cites his health as the reason.

``I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family,’’ Meyer said in the statement explaining his decision.

Ominous words, those. When football coaches talk about priorities in their lives, they generally have in mind whether to run or pass. Little beyond football outweighs the game to so many driven coaches—and Meyer admitted that in 24 years in the profession, he became one of those men.

Meyer later explained to ESPN football analysts and others that he has irregularities in his heart muscle and, though it is not life threatening, the pain is with him all the time and aggravated by stress. (In case you didn’t know, college football coaches eat and sleep football.) Still waiting for more details to emerge regarding the “faith and family” line. But I think we can assume that Meyer was just admitting what many at his level can’t: there is more to life than coaching.

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