Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer confirmed on Monday that he doesn’t intend to retire after the 2018 season and doesn’t want people to worry about him, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports:
Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB
Urban Meyer on rumors he might reire after this season: “I plan on coaching.” Says yes, he for sure will be back next year when pressed on it.
Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB
Urban Meyer on people reading his body language and his health and issues: “I’m fine. I want Ohio State to be successful in the worst way. I don’t want people to worry about me.”
His remarks followed comments from ESPN’s Paul Finebaum on Outside the Lines last week, where he opined that Meyer would call it quits after this season:
Outside The Lines @OTLonESPN
Urban Meyer is 77-9 in 7 years at Ohio State, yet @Finebaum thinks this year will be his last in Columbus. https://t.co/XMLkNciZ0f
“I’m hearing a lot of whispers that this will be Urban Meyer’s final season in Columbus. You go back to August with the controversy over Zach Smith, you talk about Gene Smith, the tension between them—you saw it at that press conference. You also know by now that a member of the Board of Trustees wanted more severe punishment and ended up resigning.
“That was before the season started, and of course Urban missed the first couple games, and since he’s been back Ohio State had won until Saturday night—coming from behind to beat Penn State—but they have not looked good. Urban Meyer’s demeanor on the sidelines has been curious. He’s complained several times of headaches. And having covered Urban Meyer at the University of Florida, Kate, this looks like a rerun, this looks like deja vu. Urban Meyer walked away down there when the pressure got too much, and I believe he’ll do the same thing at the end of the season here.”
While the Buckeyes are 7-1 on the year, last week’s stunning 49-20 loss against Purdue put their Big Ten title and College Football Playoff hopes in a precarious position, with games remaining against Nebraska, Michigan State, Maryland and Michigan.
While the Buckeyes still control their own destiny in the Big Ten, the blowout loss to Purdue has left them looking vulnerable. But more importantly, it’s called into question the future of Meyer.
After the loss to Purdue, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said on The Dan Patrick Show that Meyer looked “anguished,” “frustrated” and “very emotional and erratic.”
Dan Patrick Show @dpshow
.@KirkHerbstreit says @OhioStateFB coach Urban Meyeer looks anguished, emotional and erratic on the sidelines and the Buckeyes have “big problems.” https://t.co/z88l7ruj5y
Meyer responded to those comments Monday.
“The games have gotten to me for 30 years,” he said simply, per Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com.
That may be the case, but there’s no question that 2018 has had a different feel given his suspension and the controversy that surrounded his handling of the Zach Smith situation after learning the former receivers coach domestically assaulted his ex-wife, Courtney Smith.
Many people felt Meyer should have lost his job for insufficiently addressing the issue once learning about Smith’s abuse and then publicly lying by saying he didn’t know of past events involving Smith. And Finebaum has suggested since that Meyer appears ready for retirement.
But for now, at least, Meyer is maintaining that he plans to continue coaching Ohio State past this season.