Florida fans got a brief flashback to 2010 during the ESPN broadcast of the Gators’ opener against Miami on Saturday night.
In the first quarter, the broadcast showed a shot of former Florida head coach Urban Meyer chatting with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. Surprisingly, Meyer was wearing a Florida shirt.
Meyer, of course, coached Florida to national championships in 2006 and 2008 before retiring due to health issues after the 2010 season. Meyer, who spent six seasons in Gainesville, initially took a leave of absence a few weeks after suffering chest pains following the 2009 SEC title game. At first, Meyer said he would resign from his position but then changed it to a leave of absence. A few months later, however, he returned to his position full-time ahead of the 2010 campaign.
Florida had some uncharacteristic struggles that year, and Meyer announced his retirement in December 2010, citing his health and the desire to be more present in the lives of his family members.
Meyer’s tenure at Florida had a ton of success on the field, but was full of issues off the field. The Gators have been plagued by mediocrity in the years since Meyer’s departure. It had to be a strange sight for UF fans to see him donning the Gators polo.
After his time at Florida ended, Meyer spent most of the 2011 season working as an analyst for ESPN. But that was short-lived. He ended up returning to coaching, this time at Ohio State, by November of that year.
Meyer coached the Buckeyes for seven seasons, notching three Big Ten titles, a national title and an 83-9 overall record, before again announcing his retirement after the 2018 season.
Meyer, who again pointed to his health as his reason for stepping away from coaching, is now working as an analyst for Fox, but many are skeptical he will stay away from coaching for long.
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