Bowling Green Coach Takes Ute Football Job

Bowling Green Coach Takes Ute Football Job

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Urban Meyer will be introduced on Thursday as the new head football coach at Utah, the school confirmed on Wednesday.

Utah sports information director Liz Abel said the school will hold an afternoon news conference on Thursday to announce Meyer would replace the fired Ron McBride.

Meyer had a 17-6 record in two seasons as the head coach at Bowling Green.

Bowling Green Coach Takes Ute Football Job


Meyer informed his players and staff at Bowling Green on Wednesday morning that he was leaving, athletic director Paul Krebs said.

He leaves just a week after insisting he wasn't pursuing any other jobs.

Utah fired McBride last month after the Utes' second losing record in three seasons.

Meyer, 38, was 9-3 this year, when the Falcons won their first eight games and climbed to No. 20 in The Associated Press poll before losing three of the last four games.

He inherited a program that had endured six straight losing seasons and finished 2-9 in 2000, but turned in an 8-3 record in his first year -- the biggest turnaround in all of Division I-A.

This season the Falcons set a Mid-American Conference record for points scored, averaging 41 points per game.

"Urban is one of the brightest stars in the coaching fraternity and he has left our program in tremendous shape," Krebs said.

Bowling Green Coach Takes Ute Football Job


Meyer likes an up-tempo offense and he likes to take chances with fake punts and trick plays. This season the Falcons beat Missouri and Kansas.

His success brought his name to the surface for other coaching jobs, including Michigan State and Wyoming.

A week ago, Meyer said talk of him leaving was silly.

"If we would have won the MAC championship and we would have taken this to the absolute level where it can go, then I think I would say what else can I do, but we are nowhere near what we can do here," Meyer said.

Bowling Green had offered him a five-year contract extension.

Meyer stressed that "nothing was going on" with other job offers.

"Once people get to know me and know my family and know how important it is to me to have continuity, then they'll know," he said.

Meyer, a native of Ashtabula in northeast Ohio, served as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, Colorado State, Illinois State and Ohio State and as a student assistant coach at Cincinnati.

Meyer met twice with Utah athletic director Chris Hill in the last week and was in Utah on Monday. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed.

Other candidates contacted by Utah were Utes defensive coordinator Kyle Wittingham, Southern California offensive coordinator and former Brigham Young assistant Norm Chow, Colorado assistant Shawn Watson, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Kent Baer and Kansas State defensive coordinator Bob Elliott.

McBride coached Utah for 13 seasons and took the Utes to six of their nine bowl appearances.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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