Urban Meyer has fond memories of his time at Notre Dame

Urban Meyer spent some of his formative years at Notre Dame.
Andrew Weber/Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State football's matchup with Notre Dame has a lot of subplots, and they start at the top with the head coach of the Buckeyes. 

Urban Meyer grew up in northeast Ohio and has talked many times about how much he loved the Ohio State-Michigan game, but he said Sunday his heritage also meant Notre Dame was on his radar. 

“I'm Irish Catholic and I’ve always been a strong fan of the Fighting Irish,” said Meyer, who attended St. John High School in Ashtabula.  

His first college coaching experience came as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 1986 and '87, and after working on the staff at Illinois State and Colorado State, he landed in South Bend in 1996. 

“That was my first exposure as a full-time coach to that level of football,” Meyer said of joining Lou Holtz's staff. 

Meyer called the job a dream come true and recalled getting a tour of the campus on a chilly day in South Bend. 

Meyer stayed on when Holtz left and was replaced by Bob Davie, and ended up spending five years in South Bend. 

His son, Nate, was born during that time, and Meyer said he was baptized there. 

He said he also stopped by the famous Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes every day to pray when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. 

“So it’s a very spiritual place and a place that has a very special place in my heart,” Meyer said. 

MORE NEWS: Want stories delivered to you? Sign up for our College Football newsletters.