The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t take long to identify the man who would lead their team into the next era of Duval Football. Shad Khan has hired Urban Meyer to be the next head coach of the Jaguars.
Meyer and Jacksonville have been connected by rumors for weeks, months even. Prior to the last game of the regular season, Ian Rapoport reported that Urban “expected” to land the Jaguars’ head coaching gig.
While Shad Khan admitted on Black Monday that he and Meyer have a relationship through the Big Ten, he denied allegations that the team had spoken to Meyer or any other potential candidates prior to parting ways with former head coach Doug Marrone on Monday.
Still, based on some of Khan’s prerequisites — the ability to connect with the 21st-century athlete, grasp of the modern game, and established leadership — Meyer was the obvious choice.
“This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere,” said Jaguars Owner Shad Khan. “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 has helped to define the modern game by instituting a pro-style spread at Florida from ‘05-‘10 and then Ohio State from ‘12-‘18. And as for understanding the contemporary athlete, Meyer has always gotten the most out of his players, especially at the quarterback position. As for being a leader, what does 187-32 record with three national titles says about Meyer’s leadership and program building ability?
Meyer didn’t come without questions, though. His health has been a concern for years, as he cited health issues as his reason for leaving both Florida and Ohio State. And many question Urban’s integrity after how he’s handled some situations within his programs.
Ultimately, his proven track record of winning at the highest level, understanding of the modern game, and ability to squeeze the most out of his quarterbacks made Meyer the clear choice based on what Shad Khan was searching for in his next head coach. It doesn’t hurt that the respect he demands will likely make Jacksonville a more attractive destination for free agents and assistant coaches. Speaking of assistant coaches, Meyer has always surrounded himself with quality football people, and his coaching tree has enjoyed plenty of success. His former defensive assistant Charlie Strong has already been identified as a potential coordinator.
Urban Meyer had been approached about NFL jobs in the past, but Jacksonville’s salary cap space, draft capital, and the opportunity to coach Trevor Lawrence made this a situation Meyer couldn’t pass on. A supportive owner with deep pockets didn’t hurt either.
The Jaguars will now look to hire a general manager in the coming hours and days. Khan told the media last week that ideally, the next head coach and general manager would be hired around the same time, so the GM could be named shortly.
With Urban Meyer locked in as the head coach, the Jaguars can move forward with their new vision.
We are now in the Meyer-Lawrence era of Jaguars football. Buckle up!
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