GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Sports Network) - Urban Meyer announced Saturday that he plans to be coaching the Gators for the first day of spring practice on March 17.
Speaking with several media outlets during halftime of Florida's basketball
game against South Carolina, Meyer said he was going to undergo a series of
tests in February and that he has cut back on his travel during recruiting.
Nearly a month ago, Meyer announced he was going to take a leave of absence
due to medical issues. He hadn't spoken about his so-called leave since the
Gators beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, but did so Saturday. That leave is
expected to begin after national signing day on February 3.
Meyer added that he tacked on 20 pounds and that he would speak with interim
coach Steve Addazio about the next step in returning.
At the time of announcing his leave of absence, the 45-year-old Meyer did
not lay out a definitive timetable for his time away from the team, but
said he believed he'd be coaching next season.
Meyer revealed he'd been dealing with pains in his chest for the better part
of four years and that the condition had worsened over the past two years.
Meyer has guided the Gators for the last five seasons, compiling a 56-10 mark.
That includes BCS national titles following the 2006 and 2008 seasons. The
Gators won their first 12 games this season before losing to Alabama in the
SEC championship game, which snapped a school-record 22-game winning streak.
The health of Meyer came into question following that loss against the Crimson
Tide. He was admitted to a hospital in Gainesville the following morning and
was treated for what was termed as dehydration and released.
Meyer, who took over at Florida for the embattled Ron Zook in December 2004,
is a three-time national coach of the year. He took his first head coaching
job at Bowling Green in 2001 and posted a record of 17-6 in two seasons with
the Falcons before moving on to Utah, where he guided the Utes to a mark of
22-2 in two seasons. Meyer closed out his stint in Salt Lake City with 16