The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to a deal with Urban Meyer to make him the franchise's next head coach, the franchise announced Thursday.
"This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "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."
Meyer, a three-time national championship winner in college, has never coached in the NFL prior to joining the Jaguars.
In college, Meyer compiled a 187–32 coaching record at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. Most recently, he coached the Buckeyes to an 83–9 record in seven seasons in Columbus, including winning a national title in 2014.
Meyer joins a Jaguars team that had its worst season in franchise history in 2020, finishing 1–15 overall. As a result of the club's struggles, they hold the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, where star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is expected to be taken picked first.
Meyer replaces head coach Doug Marrone, who was fired earlier this month. Marrone had been Jacksonville's coach for four seasons and went 25–44 in four-plus seasons with the Jaguars. The Jaguars made just a single postseason under Marrone, advancing to the AFC championship game in 2017.
Team owner Shad Khan met with Meyer last Friday on Khan's yacht in Miami and again on Wednesday. Meyer was seen arriving at Jacksonville's Cecil Airport on Thursday after reports surfaced that he and the team were in "advanced talks" over a potential deal.
The Jaguars also interviewed Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith before settling on Meyer.
For the last two years, Meyer has appeared as an analyst for FOX Sports, appearing weekly on the network's college football pregame show.
“I’m ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Meyer said in the release. “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.”