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Jaguars Hire Urban Meyer as 6th Head Coach in Franchise History

Urban Meyer is Jacksonville's new head coach, the team has formally announced. He will replace Doug Marrone and lead the team on the field in 2021.

Urban Meyer is the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the biggest splash hire in team history. Meyer is the sixth head coach in franchise history, not counting interim coaches. 

The Jaguars announced the hiring on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation and rumors about their pursuit of Meyer and whether he would take the job. 

“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.”

This will be Meyer's first leap into the NFL ranks after decades of coaching and analyzing college football. The jump to the NFL is an unprecedented move for both sides, and a case could be made it is more significant than when Jimmy Johnson or Steve Spurrier made the same moves from college to the pros. 

Meyer has had head coach stops with Bowling Green (2001-2002), Utah (2003-2004), Florida (2005-2010), and Ohio State (2012-2018). During that time, Meyer compiled a 187-32 record, including a 12-3 record in bowl games. Meyer's teams won three national championships and seven conference titles.

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“I’m ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars,” said Meyer. “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.”

Meyer will replace former Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, who was fired on January 4 following a 1-15 record in 2020. The season ended with a 15-game losing streak, the longest losing streak in franchise history. The 1-15 record is the worst single-season record in team history as well. 

As a result of the record, the Jaguars landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the first time the team has ever held the top pick. The Jaguars will presumptively be using that pick on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. 

General manager Dave Caldwell was fired on November 29 as well, meaning the Jaguars entered this offseason ready for a complete reset. 

The Jaguars have been unable to find much success on the field for over a decade, but particularly under Khan. Since buying the team, Khan has a 41-106 record as owner. The Jaguars have just one winning season in that span, a 10-6 year in 2017 in which they won the AFC South and advanced to the AFC Championship. 

Meyer has won at every single stop of his career, however, making him a stark contrast from Jacksonville's past failures and ultimately making him the coach that Khan and the Jaguars wanted to badly hire.