One of the most successful and respected coaches in college football history is heading to the NFL.
"This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "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."
Meyer owns a 187-32 career record as a head coach in college football across stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State. The 56-year-old helped the Gators win two national titles during his six-season tenure from 2005-2010. He then coached the Buckeyes from 2012-2018, winning another national championship.
Meyer retired after the 2018 season due to health issues. His name has been tied to many major college openings in the time since. The Ohio native has served as a college football analyst on Fox Sports.
"I'm ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars," Meyer said. "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."
The Los Angeles Chargers apparently eyed Meyer for their opening, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday morning that the Jaguars became the "one and only" for the head coach as the parties worked toward a deal.
Jacksonville's head coaching job became vacant after Doug Marrone was fired two weeks ago. Marrone posted a 25-44 record through four-plus seasons, including the playoffs. He went 1-15 in 2020.
The Jaguars own the first overall pick in the 2021 draft and are projected to have over $71 million in cap space next season, the most in the NFL, according to Spotrac.
Jacksonville has yet to name a new general manager to replace David Caldwell, who was dismissed in November.