By JACK SLEMENDA ‘21
Legends start and end their careers just like everyone else, but the end of an era shocked Northeast Ohio. On Tuesday, December 4, Urban Meyer stepped down as Ohio State’s head coach after 7 seasons with the Buckeyes.
The national champ made his choice based on past health scares. In 2014, he had surgery to remove an arachnoid cyst (a sac like object filled with fluid pushing on the brain) that caused severe headaches. Fast forward to 2018. During the Indiana game, Meyer was seen taking a knee on the sideline, his hand grasping his head. Meyer was treated by his medical team.
With all this talk about the end of OSU’s powerhouse coach, people have looked back into his career to reflect on his history in coaching football as a whole. Meyer’s first head coaching job was at Bowling Green University. When he went to turn in his application, he used our own Coach Kyle as a reference. Their friendship didn’t really take off until the yet-to-be Ohio State head coach went on to Notre Dame to become an outstanding recruiter.
“The way recruitment works is recruiters are put in different sections,” Kyle said. “And funny enough, Urban was stationed in the general area of Ignatius.”
Meyer would come to Ignatius and run plays by Coach Kyle on the whiteboard in the athletic office and talk football and obviously recruitment. Meyer recently came to Saint Ignatius to recruit line-backer Tommy Eichenberg, who committed to play for the Bucks soon after.
Back to that application reference mentioned earlier. The BGSU athletic director at the time ended up calling Coach Kyle about Urban’s qualities in recruitment and what type of coach he was. Kyle told the athletic director, “Urban is an offensive coach for sure and is a very solid recruiter to have.” Kyle also told the athletic director that Urban is going to be picked up by someone somewhere. The AD replied that they had already decided they wanted him for the position – they just wanted to hear some reassurance.
“BG wanted Urban for his offensive coaching not only to win, but to also bring attendance at games. The previous coach was more defensive, leading to low score games and low attendance,” Kyle said.
Coach Kyle told me about how you’re only given one life and the quality of that life is to be cared for. Coach Kyle thinks this is the safe move for Meyer. “Coaching a team like Ohio State is a year round job, it really is, and health issues can take away from a team and the person himself.”