Meyer Named Big Ten Coach of the Decade
You might call it 'saving the best for last.'
Throughout the week, the Big Ten Network has been revealing its Big Ten All-Decade team, and on Friday, it dubbed Urban Meyer the Big Ten Coach of the Decade.
Meyer is a native of Toledo, Ohio, who earned his master's degree from Ohio State. His head coaching career began in 2001 at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he spent two seasons. He then spent two seasons as the head coach at Utah and six seasons as the head coach at Florida before landing at Ohio State in 2012.
And over the course of his seven seasons at OSU, Meyer became a Big Ten legend.
Meyer led the Buckeyes to an overall record of 83-9, including an undefeated 12-0 record in his first season. OSU never lost more than two games in a season during Meyer's tenure and the Buckeyes won 54 of 58 Big Ten games under Meyer, putting together three consecutive undefeated conference campaigns in his first three seasons.
Meyer guided the Buckeyes to three Big Ten titles – 2014, 2017 and 2018 – and in 2014, he led Ohio State to the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game, where they defeated Oregon, 42-20, to become the first-ever CFP National Champions.
However, arguably Meyer's most important and impressive feat is that he never lost to Michigan while serving as head coach of the Buckeyes.
Meyer, now a college football analyst for FOX Sports, spoke with our Rob Stone on Friday regarding what it means to be named Big Ten Coach of the Decade, and also reflected on his time at Ohio State, a program that in the midst of being punished for NCAA violations under previous head coach Jim Tressel when Meyer took over.
"I'm very honored. When I found out, I started having reflective moments of December, 2011, when [Ohio State Athletic Director] Gene Smith called me up and offered me the job ... I took over a program that had just lost their beloved coach [Jim Tressel] ... Those seniors could have left ... It was not a pleasant time [at Ohio State]. They stuck it out and boy, we worked them hard. They accepted every challenge. I'll remember that the rest of my life. I'm indebted to those players."
Meyer also discussed the 2014 CFP National Championship team, a squad that lost only one game on the season before defeating Alabama in the CFP Semifinals and Oregon in the title game.
"The great Bill Parcells, I would show his videos to our team every year on something I call 'Champion's Day.' And he would hold his ring up and he would say that it's like a blood transfer. 'From this point forward, we are brothers.' And I would share that with our team ... Once you won a championship, that separates you from all other teams. That 2014 team will forever go into the history books."
Of course, Stone asked Meyer if he ever feels the itch to coach again and what he misses most about being on the sidelines, and Meyer pointed to two things: the teamwork and the winning.
"It's the fight for the greater good. For something bigger than self. That's something that I'll cherish the rest of my life. It's the reason I got into coaching. And to see people do selfless things to help your teammate, to me, it's almost impossible to replace. And to be honest with you, winning."
In addition to Meyer being named the top coach of the past ten years, Ohio State had the most players named to the Big Ten Network All-Decade Team as well.
Check out the entire team below!