A three-time National Champion at the collegiate level, is former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer finally ready to make the NFL leap? It would appear so with Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBC Sports reporting Meyer is close to becoming the next coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This comes days after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Meyer was assembling a “staff” in anticipation of landing an NFL head-coaching job.
Per Florio, the Jaguars have “essentially shut down their search” while zeroing in on Meyer, who interviewed with the team on Friday. Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith was also interviewed over the weekend, though that meeting had been scheduled before their sit-down with Meyer.
As of last week, Meyer was seeking an annual salary of at least $12 million, a figure that would make him the league’s highest-paid coach. If Meyer accepts the Jaguars’ job as expected, the belief is that he will retain Trent Baalke as general manager. Baalke had been Jacksonville’s Director of Player Personnel but was promoted to interim GM after the team fired Dave Caldwell in November.
The 56-year-old last coached in 2018, taking Ohio State to the Rose Bowl before resigning due to health concerns. Meyer left the University of Florida under similar circumstances in 2011, again leaving due to health issues, only to resurface with the Buckeyes later that year. Since stepping down as Ohio State’s head coach, Meyer has stayed busy, working in OSU’s athletics department while also serving as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.
The Jaguars hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, which the team will presumably use on Heisman runner-up Trevor Lawrence. In Jacksonville, Meyer will be tasked with replacing Doug Marrone, who submitted a dismal 23-43 record (.348 winning percentage) during his four-year stint as head coach. Meyer’s 187 career victories, accomplished during his tenures with Ohio State, Florida, Utah and Bowling Green, are the 27th-most in FBS history.
Meyer's successor at Ohio State, Ryan Day, is reportedly garnering interest from the Eagles, who parted ways with Doug Peterson earlier this week. Day is familiar with the organization, having served as Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach under Chip Kelly in 2015.