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Urban Meyer addresses retirement, health speculation: 'I plan on coaching'

Sam Cooper
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Urban Meyer has no plans to retire, according to Urban Meyer.

There has been plenty of speculation about the Ohio State coach this year, including rumors of “friction” between Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith in the aftermath of the scandal involving their handling of former assistant Zach Smith. Last week, Meyer said there was no tension between he and his athletic director, but some have still been wondering if he plans on sticking around in Columbus.

Asked directly about the prospect of retiring, the 54-year-old Meyer told reporters Monday that he plans on coaching at Ohio State in 2019.

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Much has been made about Meyer’s health and sideline demeanor this season. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit described Meyer as looking “anguished” at times. There was even a scary moment where Meyer dropped to a knee and had to be tended to by OSU medical personnel, something Meyer attributed to a headache that arose because of a cyst he’s been dealing with for years.

A reporter asked Meyer about all of this and told him fans are wondering how the coach is doing.

“I appreciate it and I’m fine. I want Ohio State to be successful in the worst way. (I’m) working extremely hard to make sure that’s happening,” Meyer said. “I love Ohio State. I love our players. I don’t want people worried about me. I want to make sure we’re getting some things right around here. That’s what 100 percent of our focus is on.”

Here’s the full exchange between Meyer and a reporter:

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“The games have gotten me for 30 years,” Meyer said. “We’re not playing well, and I’m one of those guys that I want to help fix the issue like all coaches do. I’m not sure what anguished means — pissed, upset. When you see some of the things we’re doing, it’s really uncharacteristic of our teams.”

Meyer has a history of medical problems and infamously retired after the 2010 season when he was the head coach at Florida.

Meyer returned to coaching in 2012 when he was hired by OSU. Meyer has a 77-9 record as the Buckeyes’ head coach, including the 2014 national title.

The 2018 Buckeyes, ranked No. 8 in the country, are coming off their first loss of the season, a 49-20 defeat at Purdue. Following last week’s bye, OSU hosts Nebraska on Saturday.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches from he sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches from he sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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