Urban Meyer will be the next Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, the team announced on Thursday.
Meyer will be taking over a team that has the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated were among the first to report Meyer and the Jaguars were working on a deal.
He will replace Doug Marrone, who was fired at the end of the 2020 season.
“This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. “Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner, and champion who demands excellence and produces results. While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakable. I am proud to name Urban Meyer the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
Meyer is coming back to coaching after stepping down as head coach at Ohio State before the end of the 2018 season due to health issues. Ryan Day replaced Meyer.
Meyer has no NFL experience. He had been serving as a FOX Sports college football analyst before taking the NFL job.
“I’m ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Meyer said in a statement. “Jacksonville has an enthusiastic fan base, and the fans deserve a winning team. With upcoming opportunities in the NFL Draft, and strong support from ownership, the Jaguars are well-positioned to become competitive. I’ve analyzed this decision from every angle—the time is right in Jacksonville, and the time is right for me to return to coaching. I’m excited about the future of this organization and our long term prospect for success.”
He was the head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State before taking the Jaguars’ job. He also was on the Illinois State, Colorado State, and Notre Dame coaching staffs as an assistant before he got his first head coaching gig anywhere.
Meyer was 187-32 with three national championships, three Big Ten Conference championships, and two SEC championships before he retired.
The 56-year-old will almost get to start from scratch. The Jaguars have the top pick of the draft, which means Meyer will be able to choose his own quarterback – likely Trevor Lawrence – right out of the gate.
Jacksonville was 1-15 last year and hasn’t had a winning season since 2017. They have two seasons in which they’ve finished over .500 since 2007.