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Meyer to retire at OSU

By MATT BONESTEEL • Updated Dec 4, 2018 at 9:27 PM

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer will retire after the Buckeyes face Washington in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, with Buckeyes offensive coordinator Ryan Day taking his place.

Yahoo’s Pete Thamel and Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises were the first to report the news Tuesday morning. Ohio State then confirmed the move and will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Eastern. According to ESPN’s Marty Smith, Meyer informed the Buckeyes’ players of his decision on this morning.

“I’m told (the) room was quiet and collectively shocked,” Smith wrote on Twitter.

Meyer’s final season at Ohio State will go down as his most tumultuous. The school suspended him for the first three games of the season over his handling of domestic abuse allegations lodged against former Buckeyes assistant Zach Smith. He then revealed later in the season that he has been dealing with an arachnoid cyst in his brain for 20 years, causing severe headaches and necessitating brain surgery in 2014 (television images from Buckeyes games this season often showed Meyer doubled over, seemingly in pain). Both Thamel and Lesmerises say Meyer’s health was a factor in his decision to step down.

“I am fully committed to Ohio State, the football program, as long as I can," Meyer said in October when he opened up about his health to reporters.

“Over the last few years, I’ve felt better and, with the help of my doctors, learned to manage it and monitor it with medication,” Meyer said of his cyst-related pain to Yahoo Sports. “I’m optimistic that this time won’t be any different.”

Meyer, a 54-year-old Ohio native, came to Ohio State in 2012 after winning two BCS titles at Florida, which he also left in part because of health reasons (he spent one season working for ESPN). He led the Buckeyes to the first College Football Playoff title in January 2015 along with three Big Ten championships, including the last two, and never lost once in seven games against rival Michigan.

In 17 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, he has compiled a 186-32 record.

According to the various reports, Meyer and Ohio State hoped to make the transition to a new coach as seamless as possible, much like Bob Stoops when he surprisingly announced his retirement in June 2017, handing control of the Sooners to young assistant Lincoln Riley. Day, 39, has been Meyer’s offensive coordinator for two seasons and was the Buckeyes’ interim head coach while Meyer served his suspension earlier this year. He is expected to retain many staff members hired under Meyer’s watch.

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