The Jaguars have hired Urban Meyer as their new head coach, turning to one of the most successful college coaches in NCAA history to help spur a turnaround of one of the NFL’s worst franchises.
“This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere,” team owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results. While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakable.”
Meyer’s hiring comes after regular communication between him and the Jaguars. Sources previously told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Meyer had been assembling a coaching staff, including some assistants from the college ranks, ahead of taking the Jaguars job.
“I’m ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Meyer said in a statement. “Jacksonville has an enthusiastic fan base, and the fans deserve a winning team. With upcoming opportunities in the NFL Draft, and strong support from ownership, the Jaguars are well-positioned to become competitive. I’ve analyzed this decision from every angle — the time is right in Jacksonville, and the time is right for me to return to coaching. I’m excited about the future of this organization and our long term prospect for success.”
Former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who was at LSU in 2020, is emerging as a prime candidate to become Meyer’s offensive coordinator in Jacksonville, a source told ESPN’s Todd Archer and Jeremy Fowler.
Meyer won three national championships and compiled a 187-32 college coaching record during stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. He won two of those titles (2006, 2008) with the Gators, whom he led to a 65-15 record in six seasons. He also led the Buckeyes to the 2014 national title and compiled an 83-9 record in seven seasons in Columbus, Ohio.
He will be the sixth head coach in Jaguars history, replacing Doug Marrone, whom Khan fired Jan. 4 after the Jaguars finished their worst season in franchise history (1-15). Marrone had a 25-44 record (including playoffs) in four seasons with the Jaguars.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Michael DiRocco