Coach Urban Meyer on reasons for retirement: Headaches have become persistent

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COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) –  Ohio State coach Urban Meyer explained his reasons to retire after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. 

Meyer has been dealing with lingering health issues which have been causing him occasional severe headaches this season. The headaches are related to an arachnoid cyst in his brain that he has been dealing with for years.

He says the headaches that he suffers from became severe last season during Ohio State’s game at Penn State and have become a persistent problem this season.

He says stepping away would have been more difficult if the program wasn’t healthy. The Buckeyes are 12-1 after winning the Big Ten. He also says knowing assistant coach Ryan Day would be his successor made the decision easier.

Meyer says the timing of his retirement was based on recruiting. He said the move needed to be made before the early signing period opens on Dec. 19.

Athletic Director Gene Smith named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day as the 25th head coach in the history of the program, beginning Jan. 2. 

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith opened a news conference about Urban Meyer’s retirement, saying the coach has exceeded expectations and raised the level competition in the Big Ten.

“We have enjoyed an incredible run. I recognize the toll that it takes,” Smith said.

Smith said Meyer will be staying with the university in a new capacity, working coaches and athletes, but he was not specific about the role.

On the Friday before the Big 10 Championship game, Meyer declined to comment on his future with the Buckeyes after a report was released that he planned to step down as coach. 

Day received a big pay raise for his time as the football team’s Acting Head Coach at the start of the season.

Day received a one-time payment of $487,000 in his September 30 paycheck.

Day served in the expanded role from August 1, 2018, through September 16, 2018.

 

The payment is in addition to his $1 million per year salary, agreed to during with the signing of a new contract in February.

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