Urban Meyer was announced on Monday as the 24th football coach in the history of the Ohio State University football program.
Meyer signed a six-year deal at $4 million annually. He will receive supplemental compensation bonuses if he remains head coach in 2014, 2016 and 2018, according to the university.
Meyer will not coach the Buckeyes in the team's bowl game. Luke Fickell, who served as interim coach this past season, will coach the team. Meyer announced he met with Fickell on Sunday night and decided to keep Fickell on his staff although it was not immediately clear as to the role he would play on the staff.
Meyer was rumored to be the candidate for the job for several weeks but Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said that the first formal contact with Meyer was made on Nov. 20.
Smith said he and three Ohio State trustees met with Meyer face-to-face last Wednesday. Then, he presented him a contract and Meyer agreed to terms on Monday morning.
Meyer has 20 years of football coaching experience, most recently serving as head coach at the University of Florida, from 2005 to 2010. Under his leadership, the Florida Gators won two BCS National Championships (2006, 2008). He has received numerous awards, including Coach of the Decade from both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News (2009).
While at the University of Florida, Meyer helped lead an effort to raise $50 million for scholarships for first-generation college students.
Meyer won two national championships at Florida and compiled a 65-15 record in six years with the Gators before stepping down last year to spend more time with his family. He worked as a commentator for ESPN this past season.
Meyer said on Monday that he was in good health and hoped to establish a better work-life balance.
Meyer was born in Toledo and calls Ashtabula his hometown. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and his master's degree in sports administration at Ohio State. He was an Ohio State assistant under Earle Bruce in 1986-87 and then went on as an assistant at Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame.
His first head coaching job was at Bowling Green State University in 2001. He then moved onto Utah where he coached until he took the job at Florida in 2005.
Meyer said that he spoke with Bruce and former Ohio State coaches John Cooper and Jim Tressel about the position. Tressel texted 10TV's Dom Tiberi, saying that Meyer reached out to him and Tressel wished him the best and asked that Meyer take care of his coaches and players.
Tressel stepped down as coach in May after mounting pressure from an NCAA disciplinary hearing and revelations about the culture of the program after six players were suspended by the NCAA for selling or trading uniforms and other memorabilia to a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner.
Meyer met with Ohio State players before his news conference and said meeting quarterback Braxton Miller was the highlight of his day. Meyer indicated that he planned to call plays as head coach and would hire an offensive coordinator.
The Buckeyes ranked near the bottom of the country in passing yards in 2011.
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