Urban Meyer’s coaching career with the Ohio State Buckeyes will end Jan. 1 when his team plays Washington in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State announced that news Tuesday and will introduce Ryan Day as the next head coach at a press conference at 2 p.m.
If this is also the end of Meyer’s coaching career, he goes into the record books as one of the all-time greats. Here’s a look back at the five biggest highlights of Meyer’s career.
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1. Bowling Green turnaround (2001): The Falcons were 2-9 in 2000, and that was their sixth straight losing season. Meyer took over the program in 2001 — at 37, he was then the second-youngest coach in the country — and guided to an 8-3 mark that season and a 9-3 record the following year. Bowling Green ranked 20th in the country after an 8-0 start in 2002 but lost three of its last four games.
2. First perfect season (2004): In his second season at Utah, Meyer coached the program to a 12-0 season and a 35-7 victory against Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. He shared coaching duties in the bowl game with Kyle Whittingham because it had already been announced Meyer would leave after the season to coach the Florida Gators.
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3. First national title (2006): In Meyer’s second season at Florida, his team finishes 13-1, losing only to No. 11 Auburn, 27-17, and beating No. 1 Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS final in Glendale, Ariz.
4. Second national title (2008): The Gators rebound from a 9-4 season with a 13-1 record. They beat No. 1 Alabama 31-20 in the Southeastern Conference Championship and beat No. 2 Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS title game.
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5. Third national title (2014): Meyer’s fourth Ohio State overcomes an early-season 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech in Columbus to win the first College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes rout Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten Championship to claim the final playoff spot, then beat No. 1 Alabama 42-35 in the Sugar Bowl and No. 2 Oregon 42-10 in the national title game.