UPDATE: The Jaguars made it official.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are about to make a huge splash to open the 2021 calendar year. The team is hiring former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer to serve as their next head coach, according to multiple reports. He will replace Doug Marrone who was fired following a 1-15 season.
Meyer had reportedly spoken with the Los Angeles Chargers about their head coach position, but the Jaguars offered more to like. He is finalizing his deal, with Albert Breer reporting some of the final negotiating points related to the facilities and his coaching staff.
The Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick with a clear quarterback choice in Trevor Lawrence, a host of draft picks, and also is projected to have the most salary cap space. Jacksonville has 12 picks in the coming draft, including two picks in the first and second rounds.
It’s unclear for the moment what kind of personnel control Meyer will gain as head coach. Trent Baalke is currently interim general manager and Shad Khan has interview him, Ray Farmer, Terry Fontenot, Jerry Reese, Louis Riddick, and Rick Smith for that role. Khan has also said he will have more say in personnel decision, but it’s not clear if that’s just “final approval” or Khan getting more involved in some of the intricacies of the personnel process.
Meyer has been out of coaching the past two years, having left Ohio State due to health reasons following a 10-1 2018 season in which the Buckeyes won the Rose Bowl. In seven seasons at Ohio State, Meyer was 83-9 with a national title in 2014 and five other appearances in major bowl games. The Buckeyes did not appear in a bowl game his first season because the team was ineligible due to violations by Jim Tressel and his staff.
Prior to taking over Ohio State, Meyer spent six seasons as the head coach at Florida where he left due to family and health reasons. In his time as the Gators’ head coach, Meyer was 65-15 with two national championships. Prior to that, he coached Utah for two seasons with a New Years Day bowl game and two years prior at Bowling Green.