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Where is Urban Meyer now? A retreat to Fox Sports followed controversial NFL stint, firing by Jaguars

Sporting News 2023-01-14 Zac Al-Khateeb
© Provided by Sporting News

What a difference a year has made for the Jaguars.

This time last season, Jacksonville was more worried about who it would take first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft as the franchise ended up with the No. 1 pick for the second time in as many years. Now, the Jaguars are AFC South champs and the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Doug Pederson-led Jags will play the 5-seed Chargers at home on Saturday night. Fans are hoping the game spurs a deep playoff run for a franchise that has been much maligned in recent years.

Never was that more true than in 2021 under the leadership of Urban Meyer.

MORE: Details of Urban Meyer's disastrous Jags tenure

Meyer, who won national championships at Florida and Ohio State, didn't last a single season with the Jaguars; his NFL coaching career ended abruptly after going 2-11 in 13 games. The team went 1-3 after he was fired, which was still a better winning percentage (.250) than when he was employed (.154).

Meyer hasn't left the sport completely, however.

What is Urban Meyer doing now?

Meyer returned to his previous job as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.

The network quietly announced his return on Friday, Aug. 19 — otherwise known as a Friday news dump. Meyer was mentioned only briefly in the announcement:

"Big Noon Kickoff returns with its original cast, Rob Stone, Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Urban Meyer, together again on the road this fall." Fox Sports said in the announcement.

MORE: Urban Meyer explains 'worst experience I’ve had in my professional lifetime'

Meyer's return to television seems to have been welcomed by his former players, whose recollection of their time under him has been less than flattering. Indeed, Jacksonville's poor record under Meyer was only one facet of his disastrous foray into the NFL.

He produced controversy after controversy in Jacksonville, among them: the hiring and consequent firing of disgraced strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle; not knowing who Aaron Donald was; dancing with a woman who was not his wife (after the Jaguars had left Ohio following a "Thursday Night Football" loss at Cincinnati while Meyer stayed behind); and reportedly kicking kicker Josh Lambo.

Among other things.

MORE: Why do the Jaguars say 'Duval'? How Jacksonville fans' chant started and what it means

The dysfunction in Jacksonville has resulted in numerous former players — and team owner Shahid Khan — sniping at the former coach. That includes receiver Marvin Jones, who after helping the Jaguars secure the AFC South title was asked whether Meyer left the team broken in his wake.

Linebacker Josh Allen was slightly less pointed in his criticism of Meyer, while not mentioning him by name. His rebuke of the former coach was included in his description of what it was like getting to know Pederson:

It feels good to be part of a professional locker room. Not only in the locker room, but when you talk to the coaches, it's a professional setting. You've got to hone in onto the details. If you're not listening to the details, it's not getting on you, it's telling you what's right and what's wrong.

As guys, as grown men, we need to understand that and he puts it in a way we can understand and grow. He's not getting on us, he's letting us know what's real. He's talking to us like grown men. And with that, nothing but respect, we wanna grow, we wanna be great. And he has that respect in his resume.

Whether Meyer decides to attempt another coaching comeback remains to be seen, though it almost certainly will be at the college level, where he received more than a little interest from schools.

For now, Meyer can only look on as Jacksonville makes the playoffs a year after giving him the boot — if he watches at all.

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