With the news yesterday that Urban Meyer officially agreed to become the new head coach at Ohio State, we decided to reach out to someone who is very familiar with Meyer from his time with the Gators.
Brady Ackerman – a former Gators running back, the current President of ESPN radio Gainesville-Ocala and the sideline reporter for the Gator Football Network – was kind enough to answer "Five Burning Questions" on the Buckeyes' new head coach.
1) Urban Meyer has officially been named new head coach of Ohio State University. What kind of person, and what kind of coach, is Meyer?
Urban Meyer is a winner and the kind of coach that addresses every detail inside his program. He is one of the five best recruiters in the country, and with the resources at Ohio State, he will continue to get the best talent in the country.
Urban Meyer is very close to his family and often had all the coaches wives and kids to practice on Thursday's in season. He treats his players like family allowing them to have a voice in his program.
2) How soon can Ohio state fans expect the Buckeyes to be contenders again?
I would say next season because of the talent and the ability to recruit. Ohio State is one of the five or 10 best programs anywhere. Combine that with Meyer’s drive and coaching ability, and you will have a Big Ten contender every season.
3) What kind of staff does Urban like to surround himself with?
Great recruiters. If you cannot recruit, you cannot work for Urban. It's a players game now, and he wants the best at every position.
I would expect his staff will be a good mix of veterans and young guys. Urban relates to the players very well, so he will handle the team from that regard, but it would not surprise me if he doesn't give some ex-Ohio St. player a good job, whether in coaching or administration.
4) Give me a negative. What is something Urban will have to overcome or improve upon that you witnessed while he was at Florida?
His health issues. He is so invested almost to the point of no return that he does not give himself time to relax and enjoy the ride. I think the year away helped him see that and identify a better plan to deal with it. I think he will go like gangbusters at Ohio St., but I do think he will relax more in the off season.
5) Finally, what are your thoughts on the manner in which Urban Meyer left Florida? (Was he being truthful, honest?) What’s the feeling inside the state of Florida?
I think Urban left because of his health and his family. I have dealt with Urban a lot, and I don't ever think he thought Ohio St. would open up, let alone this quickly.
Florida fans appreciate what he did in a short period of time. Some may be upset he is back so quickly, but that is the life of big-time college athletics.The reality of it is that it's hard to retire in your 40s from coaching.
All he is knows is football, coaching and mentoring. This is a great opportunity for him.