What began as hope soon turned into speculation last week before evolving into full blown rumor of confirmation yesterday, unnamed sources cited: Urban Meyer will be the next head coach of The Ohio State University football program.
We’re all but sure this can now be looked at as fact, all circumstances considered, which has even more speculation swirling about Meyer’s future coaching staff. Rumor (still) has it that if Meyer were to sign on to join the Buckeyes, he’d be handed a large budget to put together the coaching staff of his choice. Many names have been thrown out there, some of which our fan base isn’t familiar with. We’re going to try to change that.
It’s important to keep in mind that the only staff Meyer has today is the one who applies his make-up in the ESPN studios. He isn’t the head coach of any university and we’re simply profiling a few people to add some familiarity and faces to a few names that are out there.
First and foremost the resounding thought out there is that Luke Fickell will remain on-staff under Urban Meyer, likely as Assistant Head Coach with some added responsibilities.
Now on with a few unfamiliar faces and a few we've seen before...no comments
The 2011 college football season has played out like a low budget film - upsets are reigning over the Big XII and Pac-12, the Big East and ACC are acting like the Big East and ACC, the SEC is currently holding a firm grasp on the top three spots in the BCS, and the Big Ten is supplying exactly zero contenders in the national race.
The funny thing about it is that now, while
We’ll help them out. The quotes are just too easy…
WHO IS HE AND WHERE DOES HE COME FROM?
Urban Frank Meyer was born in Ashtabula, Ohio on July 10th, 1964.
As a kid, growing up in Ohio, Meyer did as most kids in Ohio did – he loved Ohio State. He wore #45 as a defensive back at St. John’s High School in Ashtabula, homage to Archie Griffin. He was a talented athlete whose football career nearly was washed away as his proficiencies on the baseball diamond would lead to Urban becoming a 12th round pick in the 1982 MLB draft. A shortstop, Meyer struggled to adjust to professional pitching, hitting .146 for his three-year minor league career in the Atlanta Braves farm system.
This article was originally published on November 16th, 2011 at Buckeye Grove
The Ohio State football team is reeling. It's four days removed from another conference loss, this time at the hands of the unranked Purdue Boilermakers, and have basically seen the door closed on any realistic hopes they had of a 7th straight Big Ten title. They're goal right now is simple: get better.
I have no doubt the ongoing turmoil has contributed, as has the development of first year head coach Luke Fickell, but the structure is there and the talent is there, yet the struggle has been well documented.
Ohio State basketball is another story. The Buckeyes are as hyped as any team in recent Ohio State hoops history, currently sit No. 3 in the nation behind only North Carolina and Kentucky, and are coming off a big early-season win in the Schott against 7th ranked Florida.
But the reality of the situation is - the two teams are not that dissimilar, just headed for different results.
WHO IS HE AND WHERE DOES HE COME FROM?
The pride of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Tony Dungy has Midwestern and Big Ten conference roots. Born in Jackson Michigan, his career at Minnesota saw him at quarterback, a position that didn’t transfer as he moved to the NFL and got his first opportunities as a safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His NFL career wasn’t extensive; his tenure with Pittsburgh was only for two seasons, he played one for San Francisco, and was a practice squad member of the New York Giants.
Following his career as a player, Dungy returned to Minnesota for one season as their defensive backs coach, before going back to Pittsburgh for a DB coaching position with the Steelers; a role he held for two years until he was elevated to the Defensive Coordinator for the vaunted Steel Curtain. I hope we didn’t just lose all of the Buckeye fans who also follow the Bengals or the Browns. He took a two year move back to the defensive backs coaching realm, with the Kansas City Chiefs, before returning to Minnesota to lead the defensive staff with the Vikings. It was after three seasons in Minneapolis that he was given his first head coaching position, being named the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Under Dungy’s leadership, the traditionally woebegone franchise turned their reputation and outlook around, becoming regular playoff contenders behind a tenacious defense. Ah, the Tampa Defense… Tony Dungy’s legacy. Commonly called the “Tampa Two”, (God, I love that edition of Sports Illustrated) the defense has been adopted by a number of programs across the NFL, and has an aggressive reputation and schematic foundation that has been successful at the highest level. The distinctive aspect of this defense is a middle linebacker who can not only aggressively play the run, but also can get to a deep middle drop in coverage- the ideal candidate is the Bears Brian Urlacher, a converted safety in college. This allows for corners to play closer to the line of scrimmage and attack the run knowing they have coverage behind them. For more information on this, check out Brian Billick; I think he knows what he’s doing.
In spite of Tampa Bay’s successes on the field, Dungy was terminated after yet another loss in the NFC playoffs- he was the only coach in Tampa Bay history to be terminated with a winning record. The following year, Jon Gruden won a Lombardi Trophy with Dungy’s team and defensive scheme. Dungy finished his pro coaching career in Indianapolis, where he was able to pair an aggressive defense with the Peyton Manning experience and dominate the conference (alongside the New England Patriots). In 2007, Dungy let the Colts to a Super Bowl victory, becoming the first African American head coach to achieve that milestone. After later setting the milestone for most wins by a Colts coach, Dungy stepped down a few seasons later. He’s currently an analyst for NBC’s “Football Night In America”, and I hope he tells Faith Hill I said “hello”.no comments
Amidst the swirling rumors of an Urban Meyer coaching deal, the two injured programs of the Big Ten met on the field of battle. Before the game we saw the sportsmanship between the two teams in an entire team handshake. In essence, that is the true meaning of this weekend between Ohio State and Penn State. Without the presence of two of the Big Ten's most storied coaches, it had come down to a battle of the interims.
This game also marked the return of DeVier Posey. Although his catches for the game was the most this season for a Buckeye receiver, it wasn’t enough to lift the Buckeyes over the surging Lions. The Buckeye defense showed an inability to consistently maintain any type of run defense. Without LB Andrew Sweat to help anchor the defense, it allowed the Nittany Lions to utilize their wildcat offense and ultimately control the field.
This game has pretty much sealed the Buckeyes fate concerning any type of Big Ten championship hopes or any remaining hopes for Luke Fickell to maintain the head coaching position.
As Braxton Miller continues to grow, I expect the coaching rumors to do so also. We can just hope Braxton grows more than the rumors. Next stop, Ann Arbor.
*Editor's Note: Stan Masarik is a Cleveland area Firefighter/EMT by trade, a guest blogger by choice, and an Ohio State Buckeyes fan by birth. This is the forth edition of his weekly Sofa Thoughts here at Buckeye House Call.
WHO IS HE AND WHERE DOES HE COME FROM?
Jon Gruden is a coach’s son, a firey competitor, a Super Bowl champion, and he’s #3 on our Top Ten Most Wanted list of coaching candidates to replace head coach Luke Fickell at the conclusion of the 2011 football season.
Gruden attended Clay High School in South Bend, Indiana while his father, Jim Gruden, served as an assistant on the Notre Dame staff. Assuming he wouldn’t see the field much if he played with the golden domers in college he passed up the opportunity to attend Notre Dame and instead enrolled at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio before later transferring to the University of Dayton where he was the back-up quarterback from 1982 to 1984.
Fresh out of college, Communications degree in hand, Gruden jumped head first into coaching as a graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee in 1986. After one season in Knoxville he accepted the position of quarterbacks coach at Southeast Missouri State where he remained for two years leading up to taking over as offensive assistant and tight ends coach for the University of the Pacific.
Gruden came back east in 1991 to become the wide receivers coach at Pitt, but his stay was short. After just one season in Pittsburgh Gruden’s father Jim set up an interview for Jon with 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren who was so impressed with Gruden’s football knowledge at such a young age that he hired him as one of the original “quality control” coaches the NFL had seen.