Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier and probably the two most known Florida football coaches in program history. Both won a national championship and had legendary quarterbacks. For Spurrier, Tim Tebow would be the most well-known. And for Meyer, it’s without a doubt Tim Tebow.
Spurrier went 122-27-1 in 12 years with the Gators for a winning percentage of 82%. Meyer went 65-15 with a winning percentage of 81% in six years in Gainesville.
While Spurrier is 78 years old and more than likely done coaching after he was fired from the University of South Carolina in 2015, Meyer may not be.
At the age of 59, Meyer is only three years older than Nick Saban was in 2007 when he took the head coaching job at Alabama 15 years ago.
In addition to his time at the University of Florida, Meyer also had stops prior to Gainesville at Bowling Green and Utah as head coach. His success at those two schools catapulted him to the job with the Gators, which he left due to health reasons in 2010, only to resurface as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2012. Meyer would go on to win the Buckeyes a national championship in 2014.
Meyer’s combined winning percentage as a head coach is 90%. That’s a higher career winning percentage than Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart at a career 85%, and Alabama’s Nick Saban at a career 88%.
As pointed out in the Netflix documentary, “Swamp Kings,” Meyer’s players had several disciplinary issues during his time at Florida. One of the most notorious issues during Meyer’s time in Gainesville that wasn’t mentioned in the documentary was Aaron Hernandez.
However, given the recent struggles of the Gators, the question is if the administration at the University of Florida, as well as the fans would be willing to look past all that to return to their winning ways that have gone away since Meyer left in 2010.
Could Urban Meyer return to Florida football?
Since the 2010 season, the Gators have had four head coaches in Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain, Dan Mullen and current head coach, Billy Napier. These coaches have combined for the Gators to have a 59% winning percentage. This is well below the expectations in Gainesville, as well as the 81% winning percentage that Meyer had during his time in the swamp.
Current Gators coach Billy Napier is coming off of his second season in Gainesville going 5-7 after posting a 7-6 record in his first. Needless to say, the seat is scorching hot for Napier to get the job done in 2024. If he doesn’t, an obvious potential outreach would be Urban Meyer as he’s been a proven winner in Gainesville.
While other names will be hot ones for the job such as Lane Kiffin, Brian Kelly and others, the Gators would be hard-pressed to not give Meyer a serious look. After nearly 15 down years, the Gators would like nothing more than a sure thing. And Meyer has proven he can do that more than anyone else mentioned in the Swamp.