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Jaguars appoint Meyer as new head coach

Urban Meyer replaces Doug Marrone as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach; 56-year-old won three national championships and went 187-32 during nearly two decades in college football; Shad Khan: “His passion for the opportunity in front of him here is powerful and unmistakeable”

By Joe Shread

Last Updated: 15/01/21 7:42am

Urban Meyer has nearly two decades' coaching experience in college football but none in the NFL Urban Meyer has nearly two decades' coaching experience in college football but none in the NFL
Urban Meyer has nearly two decades’ coaching experience in college football but none in the NFL

Urban Meyer has agreed to make the move to the NFL and become the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 56-year-old – who has a hugely successful history in college football – replaces Doug Marrone, who was fired earlier this month after the Jaguars finished 1-15 in the 2020 season.

Meyer signed the deal after meeting with Jaguars owner Shad Khan for the third time in a week on Thursday, after which Khan said: “This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere.

“Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results.

“While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakeable.”

Meyer brings a 187-32 record – with an 85.3 win percentage – to the NFL from his time in college football, spanning spells at Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State (2012-18).

He is seventh all time in collegiate winning percentage, trailing only Notre Dame legends Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy among coaches at major programs, and never lost more than five times in a season.

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Meyer won two national championships during his time with Florida, and added another at Ohio State, where he went 83-9 overall.

However, he has not coached for two years following health issues and has spent the time working as an analyst covering college football.

After finalising his move to Jacksonville, Meyer said: “I’ve analysed this decision from every angle – the time is right in Jacksonville. And the time is right for me to return to coaching.

“I’m excited about the future of this organisation and our long-term prospect for success.”

Meyer’s new role in Jacksonville was one of the most attractive head coach openings during this offseason. The Jaguars have 11 picks in the 2021 Draft, including five in the top 65 and the No 1 overall selection, which they are expected to use on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The franchise is also nearly $100m under the projected salary cap and Khan – who also owns Premier League side Fulham – has a reputation for patience and backing his staff.

Despite Meyer being the Jaguars’ first-choice throughout the hiring process, they also interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh – who is taking over at the New York Jets – and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

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