Ex-Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer Named Worst Coaching Hire in NFL History

The Urban Meyer for the Jacksonville Jaguars truly was that bad.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) walks off the field after Sunday's loss to the 49ers. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the San Francisco 49ers Friday, November 21, 2021, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars went into the half trailing 20 to 3 and lost with a final score of 30 to 10.

Jki 112121 Bsjagsvs49ers 10
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) walks off the field after Sunday's loss to the 49ers. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the San Francisco 49ers Friday, November 21, 2021, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars went into the half trailing 20 to 3 and lost with a final score of 30 to 10. Jki 112121 Bsjagsvs49ers 10 / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY
In this story:

While the Jacksonville Jaguars have been rejuvenated over the last two seasons by the hiring of head coach Doug Pederson, it is important to remember the context of the Jaguars team he took over.

2021 saw the Jaguars led by Urban Meyer in his first and only tenure as an NFL head coach. After being sought after by the franchise quickly following the firing of Doug Marrone, Meyer took over the Jaguars' entire football operation and attempted to mold it in his image.

It, uh, didn't go as planned. Meyer lasted less than a year with the Jaguars and is remembered most for several off-field incidents and controversies.

Naturally, in a ranking of the 10 worst head coach hires in NFL history, Meyer and his debacle leading the Jaguars landed squarely at No. 1 for Pro Football Network. Meyer beat out other failed hires such as Adam Gase, Freddie Kitchens, Rich Kotite, Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, David Shula, Hue Jackson, Bobby Petrino and Nathaniel Hackett.

"Urban Meyer had been out of coaching for three years and had zero NFL experience when the Jacksonville Jaguars hired him as their head coach in 2021. While Meyer was a three-time NCAA champion, his collegiate accomplishments couldn’t prevent him from posting the worst coaching tenure in NFL history.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Meyer, who was fired before the end of his first season, having won just two of 13 games.

Soon after being hired, Meyer added strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle to Jacksonville’s staff. Doyle had been fired from the University of Iowa after allegations of racial discrimination and was soon forced to resign from the Jaguars.

Meyer signed Tim Tebow to play tight end. After a September loss to the Bengals, Meyer infamously stayed behind in Ohio and was spotted dancing with a woman who was not his wife. He reportedly held a staff meeting where he referred to his assistants as “losers.”

But the breaking point came in December, when Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo revealed that Meyer kicked him in the leg while he was preparing for a preseason game. Lambo said Meyer told him, “Hey dips—, make your f—— kicks!” before kicking him with some force.

Meyer was fired hours after Lambo reported the incident, mercifully ending the worst head coaching tenure in NFL history."

Dallas Robinson, Pro Football Network

Meyer compiled a 2-11 record in his lone season as Jaguars' head coach, finishing with the shortest tenure in Jaguars' history and tied for the fourth shortest tenure of any NFL coach in the league's history. While the hiring of Meyer was a swing for the fences that reenergized the organization before the season began, things quickly began to spiral downhill as the Jaguars stacked losses and controversies.

From the James Robinson benching to reports of run-ins with Marvin Jones and assistant coaches to Meyer's viral bar video from Columbus following the team's Week 4 loss, the Meyer tenure was controversy after controversy.

"After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement after firing Meyer.

"Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season."



Published
John Shipley

JOHN SHIPLEY

John Shipley has been covering the Jacksonville Jaguars as a beat reporter and publisher of Jaguar Report since 2019. Previously, he covered UCF's undefeated season as a beat reporter for NSM.Today, covered high school prep sports in Central Florida, and covered local sports and news for the Palatka Daily News. Follow John Shipley on Twitter at @_john_shipley.