Urban Meyer is the new biggest name in Jacksonville.
Meyer, the longtime elite collegiate head coach, is now the Jaguars' sixth-ever full-time head coach after the team announced the massive hire on Thursday night. After decades of success and multiple championships at the college ranks, Meyer is taking his first plunge into the NFL with the Jaguars.
“This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere,” Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said on Thursday.
“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.”
“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.”
With Meyer officially joining the Jaguars after weeks of speculation, some of his former players and coaches at Ohio State and Florida have taken to social media to voice their support.
At the same time, a number of Meyer's newest players in the Jaguars' locker room expressed their excitement as well.
"Congratulations @CoachUrbanMeyer , READY TO START A NEW CHAPTER! #DUUUVALL," Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen tweeted.
Other Jaguars players such as DJ Chark, Jawaan Taylor, and Laviska Shenault also showed their support for the hire on social media.
Joining them in voicing enthusiasm about their newest head coach was Adam Gotsis and Will Richardson, along with Rodney Gunter and former Florida defensive end Lerentee McCray. McCray actually has extensive ties to Meyer, playing for him for several seasons at Florida. Meanwhile, 2020 first-round pick K'Lavon Chaisson pondered if the hire means a switch to a 3-4 defense.
Along with Meyer's newest players, some of his past allies from Ohio State, Florida and even Fox Sports also shared their excitement.
Among the most notable of these names is current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, who served as Meyer's offensive coordinator at the end of his tenure with the Buckeyes. Day went on to replace Meyer as Ohio State's head coach following Meyer's retirement.
"Congratulations @CoachUrbanMeyer !! Thank you for everything! Go Bucks! Go Jags! You are going to crush it!" Day said.