Ohio State one of eight football programs visited by ESPN this spring.
Miller accounts for three TDs in the win
Scarlet 31, Gray 14
Trip will feature overload of game action plus Cincinnati sights, sounds and tastes. And bling!
Practice No. 11 for the Buckeyes this spring was witnessed by about 2,500...mostly students
Ohio State vs. Michigan State
USATSPI: Ohio State vs. Michigan - 11/30/13
Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate senior day at the Shoe vs. B1G foe Indiana
Ohio State @ Illinois
USATSPI: Ohio State vs. Purdue - 11/02/13
Urban Meyer made history in his first season as Ohio State coach, guiding the Scarlet and Gray to only the sixth undefeated and untied season in school history with a 12-0 record and also to a Big Ten Conference Leaders Division championship. He was awarded the Woody Hayes Trophy as national Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. He was also a finalist for four additional national Coach of the Year Awards - the FWAA's Eddie Robinson Award, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, the Paul "Bear" Bryant and the Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year awards - for his (and his staff's) efforts to turn a team that had no chance at a post-season into an Associated Press Top 3 team.
Meyer and staff built this unbeaten team that led the Big Ten in scoring and ranked second in rushing by convincing the players the most important thing they could do was win the next game; practice hard, prepare well and simply find ways to win, and by winning the team would realize its 2012 rewards. And by winning it would honor a senior class that included 13 scholarship players who could have left and played for any bowl-eligible team in the country. And by winning it would reinforce Meyer's abilities to build a championship-caliber team, of which he has done multiple times before, even after taking a year off from coaching.
Win is what Meyer's Ohio State team did. It won dominantly: 63-38 over Legends Division champion Nebraska; 52-22 over Illinois and 56-10 over Miami. It won close: 17-16 at No. 20 Michigan State. It won by effort and will and desire: 29-22 in overtime over Purdue behind backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. It won: 52-49 at Indiana after leading 52-34 with less than seven minutes to play. And it won the big one...three of them, in fact: 35-23 at Penn State; 21-14 in overtime at Wisconsin; and 26-21 over Michigan.
Winning games and winning championships is what Meyer came home to do as coach of the Buckeyes. Born in Toledo, raised in Ashtabula and with degrees from Cincinnati and Ohio State, Meyer made it clear from the day he took the Ohio State position - Nov. 28, 2011 - what his intentions are: "We're going to make the great state of Ohio proud with everything we do."
Ohio is proud today and Meyer, named the Ohio College Coach of the Year by his coaching peers in the state, has the proven deeds to keep the state beaming for years to come. Consider:
Meyer, who is 48, will work his 27th season as a collegiate coach in 2013.
24th Coach in Ohio State History
Meyer returned to collegiate coaching after sitting out the 2011 season to devote time to his family - wife Shelley, college-age daughters Nicole (who will graduate in 2013 from Georgia Tech) and Gigi (a junior in Fall 2013at Florida Gulf Coast) and 13-year-old son Nathan (eighth-grader) - and to work as an analyst for ESPN.
"In Urban Meyer we have found an exemplary person and remarkable coach to lead the University's football program into the future," Gee said. "As an alumnus, he understands and believes in the core academic mission of the University. As an Ohioan, he shares our common values and sense of purpose."
Smith said that Meyer is "known not only as one of the nation's most successful coaches, but also as a leader and mentor who cares deeply about the young men who are his student-athletes. He brings with him an understanding of the University - both the important traditions of its football program and the excellence of the institution."
It's easy to see why he was the No. 1 choice of the search committee.
Meyer has already won two national championships - in 2006 and 2008 with the University of Florida - and no less than three national coach of the year honors, including The Sporting News honor in 2003 and the Eddie Robinson and Home Depot Coach of the Year awards, respectively, in 2004.
Meyer has not only won big at each of his three previous head coaching positions, but he has won immediately. He led Bowling Green to the best turnaround season in the nation in 2001 with an 8-3 record and he went 9-3 in Year 2. He was 22-2 in two seasons at Utah, including a 16-game winning streak and a 12-0 campaign in 2004 when he led the first-ever non-Bowl Championship Season program into a BCS game.
He was 65-15 in his six seasons at Florida with the two national titles, two Southeastern Conference championships and three 13-win seasons, including consecutive 13-win seasons in 2008 and 2009 to become the first coach ever to accomplish that feat.
And now he has led his home state school - he has lived in Ohio for 26 years and it is where he met his wife, the former Shelley Mather, who grew up in Frankfort, Ohio.
"I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to return to Ohio State," said Meyer upon being hired. "This University and the state of Ohio have enormous meaning to me. My duty is to ensure that Ohio State's football program reflects and enhances the academic mission of the institution. I am part of it, I believe in it, and I will live it."
It all Started In Ohio
Meyer's first football coaching experience was as an intern at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1986. The following year, he joined Coach Earle Bruce's staff at Ohio State and spent two years as a graduate assistant - coaching tight ends in 1986 and receivers in 1987 - while pursuing his master's degree in sports administration.
It was during his time as a Buckeye - Ohio State won a Big Ten title in 1986 and 1987 was Bruce's final season as coach - that he forged a relationship with Bruce that has only been strengthened through the tests of time and change.
"My relationship with him [Earle] is extremely close, second only to my father," Meyer said during the news conference to announce his hiring at Ohio State...17 days after his father, Bud, passed away.
"Every step of my career, every part of my family life, Coach Bruce has always been there. So close that he was gracious enough to speak at my father's funeral just last Friday."
Meyer, as every young coach who aspires to be a head coach and who thirsts for knowledge, then moved on to a series of assistant coaching positions - Illinois State for two years under Jim Heacock, Colorado State for six years under Sonny Lubick and Bruce, and Notre Dame for one year under Lou Holtz and five years under Bob Davie - before getting his first head coaching assignment at Bowling Green.
First Year: Coach of the Year
He followed that first year with a 9-3 record in his second year with the Falcons, including another win over Missouri. After BG opened the season with eight consecutive wins, the program cracked both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls for the first time in school history, peaking with an all-time school best No. 16 national ranking by ESPN/USA Today.
Meyer's BGSU teams were anything but one-dimensional. His 2002 team led the nation in red zone production with 61 scores in 63 trips inside the 20 (.968) and were ninth in total offense (448.9 yards per game). Defensively, his 2001 team ranked first in the MAC in scoring, rushing and total defense and his teams led the MAC both years in turnover margin.
Josh Harris, who became a starter at quarterback in the ninth game of the 2001 season and reeled off 11 consecutive wins as a starter, told Plain Dealer reporter Elton Alexander that his former coach simply made players believe they were as good as any other team.
"One thing for sure, when coach Meyer believes in a guy, he might even believe in him more than the guy believes in himself," Harris said. "There was a time when I had to get my belief in Josh Harris up to where Urban Meyer believed that Josh Harris was. That really propelled me, and my game, to new levels.
"That's one of the things he did for me that I will always be thankful for."
The Move Out West
In his first season in Salt Lake City, Meyer coached the Utes to their first outright conference championship since 1957, a 17-0 Liberty Bowl win over Southern Mississippi, and a final national ranking of No. 21. In addition to his national coach of the year honor by The Sporting News, Meyer was named Mountain West Conference coach of the year and thus became the first coach in Utah's 111-year football history to earn such an honor in his first year.
Utah then enjoyed the finest season in program history in 2004. The 12-0 record was the first 12-0 season in 75 years and a second-consecutive outright MWC championship was the first in conference history.
The Utah offense was unstoppable, finishing in the Top 5 in six categories, including No. 3 in scoring (45.3), total offense (499.7) and turnover margin (1.25). The team also led the MWC in 11 statistical categories and was No. 2 in passing, scoring and total defense.
Following Utah's 16th consecutive win, a 35-7 pummeling of Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl, Meyer's record was a sterling 39-7 as a head coach and the University of Florida was in need of a coach.
Simply Great in Gainesville
Meyer coached Florida to a 9-3 record in his initial season, a record that included wins over four nationally ranked opponents, making Meyer the first first-year coach in UF history to accomplish the feat.
Meyer's Year 2 success - he was a combined 21-3 in his second season at Bowling Green and Utah - continued in Gainesville as he led the Gators to a school-record 13 wins, and SEC and national championships against the toughest schedule in the nation. Florida played six ranked teams and 11 of its opponents went to bowl games. The BCS Championship game win: 41-14 over No. 1 ranked Ohio State in Glendale, Ariz. Meyer was named national Coach of the Year by the All-American Foundation at the conclusion of the season.
The 2007 Gator team went 9-3 and featured a Heisman Trophy-winning Tim Tebow and ranked third nationally with an average of 42.5 points per game.
Consecutive 13-win seasons followed in 2008 and 2009, a first in major college history. The 2008 team was the most prolific offensive unit in SEC history with 611 points scored against the nation's second-toughest schedule. Meyer won a second national championship this season, with Florida defeating Oklahoma, 24-14, in the BCS Championship game in Miami, Fla.
The only blemish on an otherwise spectacular 13-1 2009 season was to eventual national champion Alabama in the SEC championship game. This team's senior class departed with the best record for a class in SEC history: 48-7.
Meyer, who took a brief leave of absence from coaching following the 2009 season, coached his last Florida team to an 8-5 record. His last game as Florida coach was 37-24 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl, in Tampa, Fla.
Back Home to Ohio
And the rest of this story is future history.
More Notes on Urban Meyer:
Urban Meyer - Game-by-Game
Bowling Green - 2001
Bowling Green - 2002
Utah - 2003
Utah - 2004
Florida - 2005
Florida - 2006
Florida - 2007
Florida - 2008
Florida - 2009
Florida - 2010
Ohio State - 2012
Urban Meyer Quick Facts