This is an article from the Dec. 26, 2011 issue
SEEKER OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE
The two-time national champion coach at Florida spent the last 10 months as an ESPN analyst. The 47-year-old Ohio native took over the Buckeyes on Nov. 28.
DAN PATRICK:How did the conversation go with your wife when you took the Ohio State job?
URBAN MEYER: Last February, I said I didn't know if I could [be out of coaching], and she looked at me like I had seven heads. She said, "Give it time." I was planning on giving it more time than one year. But when things started to move [at Ohio State], it all changed.
DP:Did you find that after you stepped down at Florida, everyone in your family was busy living their own lives?
UM: It was horrible. My two girls are in college, so that was awful. I only worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday [for ESPN]. For me that was unreal, the amount of free time. I was doing sets of 225 pounds on the bench press, which I hadn't done in 25 years.
DP:Were you mowing the grass?
UM: I refuse to mow the grass—especially down there in that heat.
DP:How much pressure will you feel at Ohio State compared to Florida?
UM: The pressure for me is to keep focused and do what I like to do. I love coaching players, I love teaching, and I love building teams. I'm not a big fan of dealing with all the nonsense in college sports. If I get involved with someone [in recruiting] who's not doing it the right way, I'm going to walk away. If that means we're not going to get a great player, [O.K.]. I'm going to do what I love to do and what I'm pretty decent at, and then I'm going home at the end of the day.
DP:Is this your last job?
UM: I think so. I've made some comments before that have come back to haunt me, because you just don't know. I hope it is.
DP:Were you surprised by the reaction from Florida fans when you left?
UM: I was. I tried to say I didn't listen, but I heard some. There were fans who were upset—I mean really upset—when we beat Tennessee by only 10 points [in 2009]. So I tried not to let that bother me. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't. I heard things like "dishonest," and that couldn't be further from the truth.
DP:How surprised are you by the success of your former quarterback, Tim Tebow?
UM: I'm not surprised at all. Tim's a magical player. But I tell Tim to chill out now because he has to realize he's just a cog in the machine.
DP:How concerned were you about Tebow's throwing motion when you recruited him?
UM: Big time. There were a lot of people who said he couldn't play quarterback, and I was one of them. He wasn't my top-ranked quarterback. Then I went and watched him play a baseball game, and I walked away saying that was the most competitive human being I've ever seen. He moved to the top of the list real fast.
DP:Were you concerned by Tebow's openness about his religion?
UM: My first reaction was the typical human reaction: [It has to be] hypocrisy. Once I got to know Tim, I thought it was fantastic. I think there are so many people doing better things—and I'm one of them—because of Tebow.
DP:Can you bring an SEC style to the Big Ten?
UM: The SEC style is extremely fast defenses. I'd like to have that kind of team at Ohio State.
DP:You're benching 225. Can you take Michigan coach Brady Hoke in a fight?
UM: I'd give him everything I got. I know that.
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