Most of us were surprised by Urban Meyer’s “sudden” decision to retire as Ohio State’s head coach on Tuesday morning. During his press conference though, it doesn’t sound like it was such a spur-of-the-moment move.
While addressing the media, Meyer was asked when he first thought about retiring, and the former Ohio State head coach stated that the idea hit him as early as last season.
Late last year, during Ohio State’s matchup with Penn State in Columbus, Meyer said his headaches flared up again. After the game, he spoke with doctors about “longevity” and whether it was healthy to continue in the profession.
Those headaches have continued to give Meyer problems this season. The pain and discomfort he’s experienced has been more evident than ever on the sidelines.
“There was conversation before this year,” Meyer said when asked when he first started thinking about retirement.
Since the start of the season there’s been speculation about whether Meyer would return as the head coach in 2019. The three-game suspension and public scrutiny he faced after the mishandling of Zach Smith’s alleged domestic violence charges were a smear on a relatively clean legacy at Ohio State.
Meyer acknowledged that the suspension and criticism he endured this summer played a factor in his decision. But he made it clear that health was the primary reason behind his decision to step down.
Meyer will coach in the Rose Bowl Game against Washington on Jan. 1.