Home Sports City Meyer in Talks to Make N.F.L. Leap With Jacksonville Jaguars

City Meyer in Talks to Make N.F.L. Leap With Jacksonville Jaguars

Urban Meyer, the former Ohio State and Florida head coach who retired in 2018, is in talks to return to coaching with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which would be his first N.F.L. job.

Meyer and the Jaguars are in “advanced talks,” but have not yet completed a deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday morning. Both sides were optimistic a deal could be reached, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no agreement had been reached.

Meyer, 56, was a spectacularly successful and highly paid collegiate coach, winning national titles with Florida in 2006 and 2008 and Ohio State in 2014. He previously had successful stints at Bowling Green and Utah and his overall coaching record is 187-32.

In 2018, Meyer retired from the Ohio State job, citing health concerns, including severe stress-related headaches.

“I believe I will not coach again,” he said at the time.

Meyer had been suspended for three games earlier that year after an investigation revealed he had protected a longtime assistant, Zach Smith, with a history of domestic abuse. One trustee of the university said the punishment was too lenient.

Meyer defended his actions and moved to another job in Ohio State’s athletic department.

The Jaguars won their first game of the season against the Colts, then lost the remaining 15 games on the schedule. After the season, they dismissed head coach, Doug Marrone, who had taken the team to the A.F.C. championship game in 2017, but was 12-36 since.

The Jaguars’ abysmal record will give them the top pick in this year’s draft, a selection they are likely to use on quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Clemson. That could quickly bring an end to the starting job of Gardner Minshew, the colorful but erratically performing starter for most of the last two seasons.

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