Urban Meyer Steps Down As Florida Football Coach

The Univ. of Florida released a statement today in which Urban Meyer confirmed that he is stepping down as head football coach at the school.

Urban Meyer quits

Florida-based college football reporter Brett McMurphy of AOL FANHOUSE  was first to report the news on Twitter Wednesday

From the Florida official release:

Urban Meyer arrived at the University of Florida six years ago as one of college football’s most highly regarded up-and-coming coaches.

In a feat difficult to accomplish in today’s hype-filled sports world, Meyer not only lived up to the advance billing, he surpassed it. Meyer will leave UF as the nation’s winningest active coach with 10 seasons or more following a six-year stretch like no other in the 105-year history of Florida football.

Meyer, 46, informed Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley over the weekend that he was contemplating resigning and the two finalized the plan Tuesday. Meyer told the Gators of his decision during a team meeting earlier this afternoon. UF has scheduled a press conference for 6 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium where Meyer and Foley will address the media.

Meyer will remain Florida’s head coach through the Outback Bowl in Tampa on New Year’s Day.

“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles,” Meyer said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.

“But after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been.”

Last year Meyer made a similar statement in announcing he was taking a leave of absence from the program. He later returned to full-time duty to coach out what was a disappointing 2010 season for the Gators.

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