|MEYER'S COACHING CHRONOLOGY|
|1986||Ohio State||Tight ends (Grad. Asst.)||Cotton Bowl|
|1987||Ohio State||Receivers (Grad. Asst.)|
|1988||Illinois State||Outside Linebackers|
|1989||Illinois State||Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers|
|1990||Colorado State||Wide Receivers||Freedom Bowl|
|1991||Colorado State||Wide Receivers|
|1992||Colorado State||Wide Receivers|
|1993||Colorado State||Wide Receivers|
|1994||Colorado State||Wide Receivers||Holiday Bowl|
|1995||Colorado State||Wide Receivers||Holiday Bowl|
|1996||Notre Dame||Wide Receivers|
|1997||Notre Dame||Wide Receivers||Independence Bowl|
|1998||Notre Dame||Wide Receivers/Special Teams||Gator Bowl|
|1999||Notre Dame||Wide Receivers|
|2000||Notre Dame||Wide Receivers||Fiesta Bowl|
|2001||Bowling Green||Head Coach|
|2002||Bowling Green||Head Coach|
|2003||Utah||Head Coach||Liberty Bowl|
MEYER'S MILESTONES IN 2003
National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News
First Utah football coach ever named National Coach of the Year
Best debut season ever for a Utah football coach (10-2)
Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year
10-2 season is tied for the best record in school history
First outright conference championship since 1957
Final national ranking of No. 21 in both major polls (A.P. and Coaches)
Utah ranked No. 1 in the nation in kickoff returns
Mountain West Success
6-1 record was the best by a Utah team since the MWC began in 1999
1 conference loss was Utah's fewest since 1981 (4-1-1 WAC)
86% conference win percentage was the best since 1953
Road sweep of BYU, CSU and Air Force was a Utah first
Utah beat Southern Mississippi 17-0 in the AXA Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31
Utah played in its first New Year's Eve bowl ever
Utah set a new home attendance season average (41,478)
Utah set a new single-game home attendance record (46,768 vs. Cal)
Utah played on national television four times (2 on ESPN, 2 on ESPN2)
Utah was 4-0 on national television
For the Record
Utah was 2-0 against the Pac-10 (California and Oregon)
Utah was 1-0 against ranked teams (No. 19 Oregon)
Utah ended BYU's NCAA record 361-game, 28-year scoring streak
PREVIOUS HEAD COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
2001-02 : Bowling Green
2001 MAC Coach of the Year
Biggest turnaround in the NCAA in 2001
First winning season at BGSU since 1994
17-6 overall record and 5-0 vs. BCS teams
Five weeks in the national rankings in 2002
Ranked as high as No. 16 (Coaches) and No. 20 (Associated Press)
Finished third in the nation in scoring offense in 2002 (40.8 ypg)
40.8 ppg set new MAC mark
Finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg)
2001 defense led MAC in total defense, scoring defense and rush defense
Urban Meyer was hired in December 2002 with the expectation that he would bring conference championships and Top 25 rankings to the Utah football program. However, no one envisioned instant results, especially since the Utes were coming off a 5-6 season in 2002. No one, that is, except the high-energy Meyer, whose fast-paced approach is already becoming legendary in college football circles.
In just his first year at Utah and third year as a head coach, Meyer was named National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News after leading the Utes to a 10-2 record, their first outright conference championship since 1957, a bowl victory and a final national ranking of No. 21. Meyer became the first coach from Utah's conference-and just the second coach from a non-BCS program-ever to receive the coveted TSN award. Meyer was also voted the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year-becoming Utah's first conference coach of the year selection since 1978. It marked his second such award in three years as a head coach, adding to his 2001 Mid-American Conference honor. The conference's media poll, commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, also elected Meyer its MWC Coach of the Year, and with 93-percent of the vote.
By tying the school win record of 10-2 and winning an outright conference championship, the 2003 Ute team has been anointed as the best in Utah football history. Much of the credit goes to Meyer, who wasn't even born the last time Utah won an outright title and is the only coach in Utah's 110-year football history to win a conference championship in his first year.
Ironically, Utah's wins came against one of the tougher schedules in school history. Two were against Pac-10 foes Oregon and California, and the Ducks were ranked No. 19 when Utah scored a 17-13 upset. The Utes also knocked off perennial Mountain West Conference powers Colorado State, Air Force and Brigham Young. It was the first Ute sweep of that trio in 10 years and the first-ever road sweep against them. Meyer's Utes capped the season with a 17-0 victory over Conference USA champion Southern Mississippi.
The turnaround under Meyer was nothing short of remarkable. Utah won five more games than the previous year and tied national champion LSU as the fifth-most improved team in the nation. Meyer's explosive spread offense and one of the nation's best defenses brought Utah local and national attention. The 2003 Utes shattered their previous home attendance record by averaging 41,478 fans. The largest crowd ever to attend a Utah athletic event (46,768) and a national ESPN television audience watched the Utes beat Cal, 31-24, in Rice-Eccles Stadium.
In addition to infusing energy into the program, Meyer's attention to discipline and execution paid dividends for a team faced with injuries to pivotal players. Utah played all or part of the season without two all-conference players, as well as a one-time NCAA rushing leader and the starting quarterback, among others.
Known as a defensive power, Utah's reputation on that side of the ball held true while the offense simply took off using Meyer's system. Utah shut out its last two opponents-BYU and Southern Miss-and finished No. 19 in the nation in scoring defense (19.1 points per game). On the other side of the line, Utah went from dead last in scoring offense in 2002 to third in the league last fall by averaging 28.7 points per game. A similar improvement (seventh to fourth) was made in total offense. Red zone scoring, a Meyer point of emphasis, shot 11 percentage points (68%-79%), with 61% of those scores coming on touchdowns (vs. 49% in 2002).
Utah's special teams, under Meyer's direct supervision, also improved dramatically from past years. The Utes led the nation in kick return average (28.2 yards per return) and Utah ranked second in the league in kickoff coverage (16.4 yards per opponent return).
Widely considered one of the up-and-comers in the college coaching ranks, Meyer was named to the American Football Monthly's annual "Hot List" of Division I football coaches in August 2003. His three-year career record includes a 17-6 mark at Bowling Green from 2001-02. The young coach's reputation has certainly been enhanced by a 7-1 record against BCS teams, with his only loss coming to Texas A&M (28-26) in College Station in 2003.
Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season and giving BGSU its first winning season since 1994. He was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. A year later, he guided BGSU to a 9-3 record and the highest national ranking in school history (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today and No. 20 Associated Press). Bowling Green spent five weeks in the national polls and finished third in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 40.8 points per game. The Falcons, who became the highest scoring team in MAC history, also finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (219.1 ypg) in 2002. They were the only team in the nation to average at least 215 yards rushing and 215 yards passing per game. They also led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61 of 63 trips (96.8%) inside the 20-yard line, including 52 touchdowns.
His teams fared well defensively, too. In 2001, BGSU ranked first in the MAC in scoring defense (19.5 ppg), rushing defense (86.3 ypg) and total defense (319.5 ypg). Bowling Green led the MAC in turnover margin both years under Meyer.
Meyer's 17-6 record at BG included a 5-0 mark against BCS teams and two wins over ranked opponents. After his first of two wins over Missouri, Meyer was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Week in 2001.
Meyer apprenticed at Ohio State (1986-87), Illinois State (1988-89), Colorado State (1990-95) and Notre Dame (1996-00) before getting the head job at BGSU. The Ashtabula, Ohio, native learned the coaching trade from the likes of Sonny Lubick, Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce and Bob Davie.
The adjective most frequently ascribed to the 40-year-old Meyer is "intense." His intensity is reflected in all aspects of his coaching style, from his approach to discipline and academics, to his insistence on team unity. "Aggressive and fast," are the two words he uses to describe his style. In terms of 'X's and O's', he employs a spread formation on offense with the quarterback usually working from the shotgun. Meyer's goal is an even split between rushing and passing yards. Utah's base defense is a 4-3.
Meyer's influence has been felt in the classroom as well. The team enjoyed its best-ever academic semester in spring of 2003 in hours passed and combined GPA (2.635). Seventeen Ute football players went on to make the 2003 Mountain West Conference All-Academic team and 14 of 15 seniors graduated. Morgan Scalley, Utah's starting free safety and a 2003 CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, made the all-MWC academic team for the third time. Three Ute starters made the CoSIDA District VIII academic team: Scalley and quarterback Alex Smith made the first team and linebacker Spencer Toone was tabbed for the second team.
Meyer takes an active interest in involving the student body with his program. After every game, the Utah football players, honor their classmates by raising their helmets to the student section and singing the school fight song, accompanied by the band and cheerleaders. Meyer and his team regularly participate in functions at Heritage Commons (on-campus housing), fraternities and sororities and the Student Union. A new tradition will begin in 2004, when a "Utah Man" will be added to the kicking team. The Utah Man will be a representative of the student body.
Before undertaking his head coaching career, Meyer worked for a number of the top coaches in the country, including Sonny Lubick, Earle Bruce, Lou Holtz and Bob Davie.
THEY PLAYED FOR MEYER
Josh Harris: BGSU quarterback finished third in the nation in scoring in 2002.
Brandon Hicks: 2001 first-team all-MAC nose guard and fourth-team All-American by The Sporting News played for Meyer at Bowling Green.
Malcolm Johnson: Coached by Meyer at Notre Dame in 1998, he later made the New York Jets' roster.
Ben Moa: 2003 first-team all-MWC tight end for Utah.
Greg Primus: First-team all-WAC receiver in 1992. Graduated as Colorado State's career leader in receptions and receiving yards.
Robert Redd: 2001-02 first-team all-MAC wide receiver for Bowling Green.
Josh Savage: 2003 first-team all-MWC defensive lineman for Utah.
Paris Warren: 2003 first-team all-MWC receiver for Utah.
FROM MEYER TO THE NFL
|Cris Carter (Ohio State)||Philadelphia, Minnesota, Miami|
|Everett Ross (Ohio State)||Minnesota|
|Greg Primus (Colorado State)||Denver, Chicago|
|Jeremy Burkett (Colorado State)||N.Y. Giants, Denver, Dallas|
|Joey Porter (Colorado State)||Pittsburgh|
|Malcolm Johnson (Notre Dame)||Pittsburgh, N.Y. Jets|
|Bobby Brown (Notre Dame)||Cleveland|
|Khary Campbell (BGSU)||N.Y. Jets|
|Brandon Hicks (BGSU)||Indianapolis|
|Ryan Wingrove (BGSU)||Atlanta|
|Chris Glantzis (BGSU)||Detroit|
MEYER'S PLAYING CAREER
A 13th-round pick in the amateur baseball draft, Meyer played two years in the Atlanta Braves organization. He spent the summer of 1982 with Sarasota of the Rookie League and played for Pulasky (Va.), a Class A team in 1983. He also lettered at the University of Cincinnati as a defensive back. He spent 1985 as a Bearcat student assistant coach.
Hometown: Ashtabula, Ohio
Birthdate: July 10, 1964
Education: 1986, bachelor's degree (psychology), Cincinnati 1988, master's degree (sports administration), Ohio State
Family: Married to the former Shelley Mather. Three children: Nicole (13), Gigi (11), Nathan (5).