In his last pregame press conference as a college football coach, Urban Meyer explained again the feeling of returning to Ohio State in November 2011.
“This was never a job,” said Meyer, who was born in Toledo, grew up in Ashtabula and has family ties to Cincinnati. “This was very personal, growing up a few hours from Ohio State, being a Buckeye as far back as I remember.
“I operated every day with a little bit of sense of fear because I never want to let people down, including any former great players that I idolized growing up, the state that I love and will always love, and a university I've been passionate about since the day I — as far back as I can remember.”
Meyer, who is retiring after Tuesday’s Rose Bowl game against Washington, has won 82 of 91 games at Ohio State, three Big Ten championships and one national championship. He took particular pride in his 7-0 mark against Michigan.
“So it has not been perfect, but to say that we worked — you can't tap us on the shoulder say, ‘Boy, you just need to work a little bit harder.’ And there's been some great success, but I’m very pleased.”
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Asked if the experience has been everything he expected, Meyer first put off the question before offering an emphatic answer instead.
“Once again, there will be a time to reflect,” Meyer said. “My initial response is absolutely.”