Dr. Saturday

Utah’s Whittingham says Urban Meyer will coach again

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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In December 2010, after spending six seasons as the head coach of Florida, Urban Meyer called it quits.

And no one has left him alone since.

His motivation for retiring has been questioned, his daughter's Twitter posts have come under scrutiny, he's been linked to jobs that aren't even open (yet). All of this is because no one can come to grips with the fact that at the ripe old age of 46, Meyer retired in the prime of his career and the college football world wants him back on the sidelines.

That includes his coaching friends.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham doesn't think Meyer's coaching days are over. In an interview with CBSSports senior writer Dennis Dodd, Whittingham said his friend could find himself back on a sideline somewhere soon.

"I won't tell you that you won't see him coaching again because I think someday he will," Whittingham said in Dodd's article that discusses Meyer's future. "He's too good a coach not to."

Whittingham has known Meyer for nearly a decade. He was Meyer's defensive coordinator when the Utes went undefeated in 2004 and ultimately beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS bowl for a team outside of the Big Six conferences.

When Meyer left for Florida at the end of that season, Whittingham became the head coach of the Utes and the two have remained close, which is why Whittingham isn't quick to dismiss the notion of a Meyer comeback.
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In fact, Whittingham thinks his friend may have just been beaten down by the strains of coaching in the SEC, long considered the best of the football conferences. In Dodd's article, Meyer talked about the challenges he faced in the SEC and that he knew not all of the conference's schools were working from the same compliance book.

"Things would come to light and the protocol was to turn them in to the compliance office," Meyer told Dodd. "I felt a responsibility to my staff. Violations would occur and our staff would not hear the result or a punishment. The school who committed the violation would be allowed to continue to recruit and sign the player. That did not make sense."

"What happens is there's 10 percent, 20 percent of things that are done the wrong way. The majority are still done the right way. I was outspoken about it. I was very concerned about it. I'm still concerned."

Added Whittingham:

"The SEC is an interesting conference. It will grind you up and spit you out. Urban is brutally honest. He's going to say what he feels."

That candor has made Meyer a good television personality and his tour of various spring practices for ESPN one of the more popular segments during the college football offseason. Still, being out of football for the spring, or even the entire season, might be enough to make Meyer want to jump back in.

"He is too good at what he does to be out of it for very long," Whittingham said.

Graham Watson is a regular contributor to Dr. Saturday. Follow her on Twitter: @Yahoo_Graham

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