Urban Meyer Update

Written November 17th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

Several sources have informed Buckeye Nation this evening that Urban Meyer is almost a certainty to be the next head coach at Ohio State University.

Headed Home?

Again, this is just a rumor at this point. But the timeline for this news seems to be pretty solid, not including the emails and phone calls we’ve been a part of over the past few hours. Take a gander:

So this is where we currently stand. There are still a number of questions to be answered, primarily “Is this accurate?” If it is, though, we will still need to discover the following pieces of information:

  • What will be the NCAA’s final ruling on the ongoing investigation, and how might this effect any coaching search?
  • What are the final numbers regarding salary, tenure, etc.?
  • What will the future coaching staff look like? Will any current Buckeyes be retained?

On this last point- there have been whispers for a while now that Coach Fickell would be glad to stay on board at Ohio State, should he not be retained as head coach and should the new administration extend that offer. There is even speculation that Coach Fickell might be kept on as a “Assistant Head Coach” or “Head Coach In Waiting”- obviously having Urban Meyer as the new head man might strengthen those ideas (given his health concerns and the desire to find better balance between his personal and professional life).

So for now, we wait.  Don’t be surprised to have a number of sources refute this for the next several days, or even if the agreement changes and/or dissipates. We’ve seen that before in major coaching searches, with even solid sources being off base.

But for now, this is where we are: Sources are pointing to Urban Meyer returning to Columbus as the next head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Coaching Search: Jon Gruden

Written July 22nd, 2011 by Eric

After a brief hiatus, we’re back with a look at the next name on the list for head coach.  You may recall some of the names we’ve already featured in this series.

Jon Gruden

Many fans have expressed many ideas regarding the Ohio State coaching search.  Urban Meyer and Bo Pelini are two of the biggest that we’ve already taken a look at.  Mentioned in the same breath with those two illustrious names is another young bright star of the coaching profession – Jon Gruden.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time Gruden’s name has come up in a coaching search in the last six months.  He was first suggested as a replacement for Randy Shannon at Miami, followed by Rich Rodriguez at Michigan.  He was also offered, and turned down, a position as offensive coordinator at Oregon.  The Ohio State job is simply the most recent addition to the list.

Gruden has spent 11 years on the highest stage of football with varying success.  There is plenty of debate regarding his success – specifically that his greatest have come due to the hard work of others.  There is no debate, however, that he is very good in his own right.  That makes him worth a look for this position.

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The Coaching Search: Tom O’Brien

Written July 8th, 2011 by Eric

We’ve gone through a few names in our coaching search here at the BBC.  Now it’s time for another name that’s flying under the radar a bit.  Of course, by under the radar, I mean that he’s not being mentioned at all.  That doesn’t mean he can’t still be a legitimate name for the job.

Special thanks to a friend of the BBC who recommended this feature on O’Brien.

Tom O'Brien has a bright future at NC State

Most of you are probably looking at the title of this post and saying to yourself “who?”.  Well, that’s probably your own fault because a few year’s ago O’Brien was one of the top names in college football.  You may most clearly remember him as the guy who jumped ship from successful ACC member Boston College to full-meltdown-mode ACC member NC State.

Oh…That guy!

Tom O’Brien was born in the great state of Ohio, in the city generally forgotten by the rest of the state – Cincinnati.  He attended High School at St. Xavier, playing at Defensive End.

He matriculated from the Naval Academy in 1970 after 5 years.  While there he played ball for the Middies for all 5 seasons (I believe he took a redshirt, though I can’t prove it), including his final 3 as a defensive starter.  Unfortunately, Navy was terrible at that time, going overall 5-26 while O’Brien was a starter.  The defense also gave up more than 300 points per season while their offense struggled to break 100.

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The Coaching Search: Urban Meyer

Written July 1st, 2011 by Eric

This series took an interesting turn during the last week with the announcement that Gene Smith was removing the “Interim” tag from Luke Fickell.  It’s possible that the University has decided that Fickell is their guy and that any future search will be unnecessary.

At this point, though, a future coaching search is still in the plan.  Until that explicitly changes, we’re going to keep running these articles because, honestly, you really want to know.

Urban Meyer

We’ve looked at a number of different possibilities for the future of the Ohio State head coaching position so far.  We hit the obvious answer of Fickell first, and followed it with the nearly unheard-of possbility of Lovie Smith.  Just last week we took a look at one of the big possible names for the job, Nebraska’s own Bo Pelini.

Now we hit the next big name for the job, and the one that most Buckeye fans clamor for after Luke Fickell – Urban Meyer.

As an aside, I find it amazing that Buckeye fans would be interested in hiring a coach that handed us our butts on a silver platter on the national stage.  Maybe it’s because they want the best (and, lets be honest, Meyer is one of the best).  Maybe it’s because he once stated that Ohio State was one of his dream jobs.  Maybe it’s because he was a former OSU Assistant, and grew up in Ohio.

Whatever the reason, it netted Meyer a spot near the top of everyone’s wish lists.

Urban Meyer grew up in Toledo, Ohio, eventually receiving a scholarship to the University of Cincinati.  Urban spent four years playing defensive back for the Bearcats on a number of teams that simply weren’t very good.

From 1983-1986, while Meyer was on the team, the Bearcats went a combined 16-27-1 with no winning seasons.  They did show improvement, though, going 5-6 during in each of Meyer’s Junior and Senior seasons.

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The Coaching Search: Bo Pelini

Written June 23rd, 2011 by Eric

The next stop on our tour of potential Ohio State coaches leads us to Nebraska to consider one of the big names for the job.

Welcome back to the Big Ten!

Ever since his meteoric rise in the college coaching ranks six years ago, Mark “Bo” Pelini has been a well known name for the top spot in Ohio State football.  Though he hasn’t ever explicitly said so, having been raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and having graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School, Pelini has likely been a Buckeye fan for life.

Of course, it also helps that he played ball there.

Recruited by Earle Bruce, Pelini spent most of his days on the field as a free safety under John Cooper.  He was a starter in his last two seasons (1989, 1990) and Co-Captain his senior year.  Clearly the Scarlet and Gray runs deep in his blood.

After his playing career, Pelini jumped straight into the coaching circuit.  He spent a year as a Graduate Assistant at Iowa, followed by another year as the Quarterbacks coach of his old High School.

He then jumped into the professional leagues, coaching DB’s at San Francisco (94-96) for three years before coaching Linebackers for the Patriots (97-99) and Packers (00-02).

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The Coaching Search: Lovie Smith

Written June 17th, 2011 by Eric

In our continuing look at the Ohio State coaching search, we go far afield and look at a guy who isn’t getting a lot of love for the spot.

Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith

Many, many names have been mentioned in the context of the Ohio State head coaching search.  Some have made some sense (Fickell, Hazell, Dantonio, Pelini) and some not so much (Meyer, Saban, etc.)  We will get to them all shortly.

One guy that may not have entered your radar yet is Lovie Smith, current Head Coach of the Chicago Bears.  I’ll wait while you stop laughing.



Any minute now…

Smith started his collegiate football experience playing Linebacker and Safety for the University of Tulsa in the late 70’s.  You might recall that the head coach of the Golden Hurricanes at that time was one John Cooper.  Yes, that John Cooper.

Rather than playing in the pros, Lovie went straight into coaching and took over the Defensive Coordinator position of his former High School – Big Sandy.  After a few years at the High School level, Lovie secured a job with his former coach at Tulsa, staying there once Cooper left to take the top spot at Arizona State.
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The Coaching Search: Luke Fickell

Written June 15th, 2011 by Eric

Following the excellent work by guest poster Ty Kelly, we here at the BBC wanted to kick off a new feature looking at the coaching candidates that may be getting a look-see by the University in the coming year.  Of course, we’re not going to limit ourselves just to the reasonable candidates, we’ll be taking a look at every name that comes down the pipe.  This will give us an opportunity to explore all the different angles that OSU might be looking at with the candidates.

It’s important, though, that we start this feature with our personal favorite for the position.  I think you already have a pretty good guess who that is.

Luke Fickell, the guy with the inside track.

Luke Fickell was named Interim Head Coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes on May 30th, 2011.  This was the brightest silver lining to the darkest cloud imaginable.  That happened to be the same day that Jim Tressel formally resigned from the same position.

Years before this situation arose, many Buckeye fans had speculated about how the program would move forward from the Tressel era.  Clearly continuing the on and off field success would be important.  The name that continually came up in regards to a replacement (then believed to be stepping in once Tressel retired) was Fickell himself.

Much of the discussion regarding Fickell was firmly in the realm of wild speculation, though there were a number of factors that supported the belief.  One of the biggest had to do with the success of the players who played for him.  Names like AJ Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, James Larenitis, Marcus Freeman, and Anthony Schlegel roll across Buckeye fans’ tongues with ease.  All of them were possible due to Fickell’s skill.
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