Doug Gottlieb: “The perception was always that Notre Dame was your ‘Dream Job.’ Why turn down such a prestigious job to take the Florida job?”
Urban Meyer: “My wife had always wanted to live in the South. Florida I always kind of watched from afar. I was always a huge fan of Steve Spurrier but I’m Irish-Catholic and grew up a Notre Dame fan. I spent six years there, my son was baptized there and we loved it there. But the bottom line in the coaching profession is you don’t have time to build programs anymore and you better get it going RIGHT NOW. Ron Zook was the previous head coach and I evaluated the rosters the best I could and felt Florida had a better roster. Zook was a tremendous recruiter and they had Chris Leak coming back, Chad Jackson, and Bubba Caldwell… I did my homework and thought my best chance to win was going to be at the University of Florida.” (Full audio at bottom of page)
Listen to three-time National Championship-winning head coach Urban Meyer join The Herd (Doug Gottlieb filling in for Colin Cowherd) and explain why he famously chose Florida over Notre Dame back in 2004 when he became the hottest coaching candidate in the country because of his time with a Utah team who had just come off an undefeated season with Alex Smith as their quarterback.
Meyer seemingly ‘shocked the world’ when he spurned Notre Dame, a school he had been an assistant coach at from 1996-2000, and a school he had grown up pulling for.
Meyer would go on to construct a dynasty at Florida, going 65-15 in six seasons, and winning two National Championships in 2006 and 2008, with the ’08 team highly regarded as one of the most talented and dominant teams in college football history.
Check out the full response below: