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Urban Meyer generating significant interest to become NFL head coach in 2021?

Urban Meyer: NFL: head coach
Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines during the game against the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer spent the past two decades leading the Ohio State Buckeyes and Florida Gators to the top of the college football world. Now, with the offseason approaching, NFL teams could be making a push to convince him to do the same at the highest level.

Just two years after Meyer retired from coaching, the second time he stepped away from a powerhouse program due to personal health reasons, he now finds himself a prime coaching candidate in 2021.

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NFL teams showing interest in Urban Meyer for head coach

Following his retirement in 2018, Urban Meyer joined Fox and became the network’s top college football analyst. He has thrived in the role and enjoyed the stress-free environment, but it hasn’t stopped teams from reaching out to the accomplished head coach.

Meyer already turned down the Texas Longhorns, who decided to stick with Tom Herman in 2021. While a return to college next season is now ruled out, it seems NFL teams are preparing to take a shot at luring the 56-year-old coach into the highest level.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, at least two NFL teams reached out to Urban Meyer to gauge his interest in interviewing for head coach. After turning down Texas, Meyer is reportedly at least open to taking a head-coaching job at the next level.

Over the next week, Meyer is expected to talk to his family regarding a potential decision. Around the league, there is an expectation that he could choose whether or not to head for the NFL before Week 17 comes to a close.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are already heavily connected to Meyer. The organization fired general manager Dave Caldwell and it’s expected that head coach Doug Marrone will be let go once the 2020 season concludes.

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Urban Meyer coaching record and history

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Urban Meyer’s coaching career began in 1985 as the defensive backs coach for St. Xavier High School in Ohio. A year later, he joined the Ohio State Buckeyes as a graduate assistant and climbed his way up the coaching ranks in the years to follow.

Meyer landed his first head coaching job in 2001, taking over at Bowling Green State University. The Falcons went 17-6 in his two seasons at the helm, before he bolted for the Utah Utes in 2003.

It didn’t take long before the Utes quickly became a top program in college football. Utah went 10-2 in his first season leading the way, finishing as the No. 21 team in AP’s top-25 poll. Utah went undefeated the following season, riding a 12-0 record to a Fiesta Bowl victory and the No. 4 spot in the college football rankings.

After receiving significant interest from the University of Florida and the University of Notre Dame, Meyer chose the Gators. In six seasons with the program, Florida posted a 65-15 record, won two SEC titles and two BCS national championships.

He retired from coaching in December 2009, citing his health and a desire to spend time with his family. Notably, around the time of his exit, Florida’s football program was under investigation for a myriad of off-field issues.

Meyer returned to the sidelines in 2012, taking over at Ohio State. During seven seasons with the Buckeyes, the team went 83-9 with one college football championship and a 5-2 record in bowl games.

Related: Urban Meyer said he wouldn’t coach again in 2018

While he has never coached in the NFL, Meyer has seen countless players reach the highest level and achieve stardom. With a 187-32 career coaching record and a background in creating winning programs, an NFL team hiring Urban Meyer would likely allow him to oversee football operations with control over the 53-man roster.