Here's the radio interview with Urban Meyer from the other day where he is talking about his dream job still being up in South Bend at Notre Dame. WOW. Color me excited about this possibility. I'm assuming that Urban Meyer would not be interested in leaving Florida until Tim Tebow graduates, but perhaps something could be in line after next year?? Why would Urban Meyer say something like this and possibly jeopardize his recruiting at Florida unless he is actually serious about coming to ND?? Maybe he really does think of the ND job as a "down the road" thing ten years from now, but part of me thinks he is hinting at ND to come after him now.
I'll say this. If Urban Meyer is interested in coming to ND, the people running ND better be ready to move heaven and earth to get him. Offer him whatever he wants, give him whatever concessions he wants to build a championship football program at ND, and then get out of his way. No meddling, no games, no nonsense. Just win baby.
Maybe it is an arrogant thing to say, but the ND job offers something that the Florida job never will: Attention. If you coach at ND, everyone in America knows who you are and what you are all about whether you win or lose. ND is still the most prominent job out there. Florida is a great job in the college football stratosphere with their talent base, fan support, and resources, but it's still very much a regional job. Urban Meyer is a major figure in the Southeast and in the college football world, but the ND job would put him into another level as a sports figure. Urban Meyer can win 10 titles at Florida, but he'd more remembered for winning 1 title at ND. I think Urban Meyer understands that. Florida is a great situation for him to become a championship coach, but I can't see how Florida is his dream job. Meyer is a Catholic who grew up in Ohio and coached as an assistant at ND. I still think there is a lot of pull to the ND job for him, but maybe he wasn't ready to take it in 2004 (partially because ND was caught with its pants down yet again and didn't have any preliminary discussions with him until Ty was fired in December--two months after Florida started talking to him--and partially because Urban knew that the Kevin Whites of the world were clueless about how to give him what he needed to run a major college football program). Now that he's had success at Florida, maybe he's more confident about taking on a high-profile job like the ND job.
And for you clowns who don't want Urban Meyer because he jilted ND in 2004, get over yourselves. Roy Williams turned down North Carolina at one time too because he wasn't ready, but he seems to be doing just fine at North Carolina these days. Meyer wasn't ready for ND in 2004, and ND sure as heck didn't have a clue what they were doing when they half-heartedly pursued him. He was a young guy with a young family, and he probably wanted to make sure he did the right thing for his career and family at the time. If anything, the fact that Urban Meyer didn't take the ND job last time is proof that he's an intelligent guy. If he wants the ND job, ND would be absolutely nuts to not pursue him because of what happened the last time.
Here's a summary of the critical excerpt from the Rakes of Mallow blog.
Host: I think a lot of people were fascinated that you were looking at Notre Dame and the University of Florida and you turned down, what at one time was your dream job. Take us through that again and what was behind your thinking.
Urban: Well, Florida was already in the 11th hour. We met twice with Jeremy Foley and my wife, we were very drawn to Florida. Notre Dame is still my dream job and that hasn't changed. It's just that the time in my life that, to be the head football coach at Notre Dame,
you're on the plane recruiting because you recruit San Diego as hard as you recruit New York as hard as you recruit California, Florida, Texas, Ohio...it's a national recruiting base. I recruited there for 6 years and I spent every night in a hotel, in an airport and I'm
going to be a good father first.
Once my kids are done, maybe some day I'll go coach. I don't know that, that's way down the road. Being a father and being able to recruit the best athletes in America within a five-hour radius of my home, that's why I came to Florida and I thought we could have a great
chance at success.