Notre Dame's Meyer Tabbed BGSU Head Coach

Updated 7/10/1964
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Urban Meyer, a native Ohioan who is in his fifth year as an assistant coach at Notre Dame, has agreed to become the 15th head football coach at Bowling Green State University.

"We are excited to welcome Urban and his family to BGSU," said Athletic Director Paul Krebs. "He is highly regarded by everyone he has worked with and is viewed as one of the top coaching prospects in the country. I was extremely impressed by his organizational skills and vision for the future of our program."

Meyer has been the receivers coach for the Fighting Irish since 1996 and replaces Gary Blackney, who resigned after coaching the Falcons for 10 seasons.

"Growing up in the state of Ohio, you know that Bowling Green has a great reputation as a University," said Meyer. "It is my goal to add to the great tradition of its football program and do so with the best interests of the student-athlete in mind."

MEYER HAS IMPRESSIVE BACKGROUND

This season, Notre Dame ranks among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency and has committed the fewest turnovers in the nation and earned a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl. In addition, they boast one of the top special teams units in the country - ranking third in kickoff returns, 10th in net punting and 12th in punt returns. The 1999 season saw Meyer's receiving corps break the Irish single-season record for pass receptions with 192 and total receiving yards with 2,858. During 1998, Meyer coached split end Malcolm Johnson, who ended his career with 110 receptions, the seventh-highest total in school history. Johnson is now with the New York Jets. In 1997, Meyer coached Johnson and fellow receiver Bobby Brown as they became the first Irish pair of players to record 40 or more receptions individually in a season as Brown made 45 catches and Johnson had 42. In addition, the Notre Dame receivers helped set a then single-season school record with 190 receptions. In 1996, he coached a youthful Irish receiving corps and helped integrate those players with veteran quarterback Ron Powlus to contribute to a Notre Dame offense that produced the third-highest figures for total offense and scoring in Irish history. Prior to joining Notre Dame, Meyer coached at Colorado State from 1990-95. He helped the Rams to the 1994 Western Athletic Conference title and to Holiday Bowl appearances following both the '94 (10-2 final record) and '95 seasons (8-4). Colorado State finished 16th in the final Associated Press poll in '94. In 1992 he coached wide receiver Greg Primus, an all-WAC pick who finished as Colorado State's all-time leading receiver and ended up with 192 career catches for 3,200 yards (10th on the NCAA's all-time yardage list). He also helped Colorado State to the Freedom Bowl title following the 1990 season.

Meyer spent two seasons at Illinois State, coaching quarterbacks and receivers in 1989 and outside linebackers in 1988. He worked as receiver coach at Ohio State in 1987 and helped the Buckeyes to a Cotton Bowl win following the '86 campaign when he coached tight ends. He also served one season at Cincinnati as a student assistant coach.

MEYER'S MENTORS

Meyer has worked for a number of the top head coaches in the country including Earle Bruce, Lou Holtz, Sonny Lubick and Bob Davie.

HIS RESPONSIBILITIES

During his time at Notre Dame, Meyer had served as special teams coordinator and developed and installed the Irish passing game. In addition, he has heavily recruited in areas such as Ohio, Florida, south Georgia, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

A STRONG OHIO BACKGROUND

A 13th-round pick in the amateur baseball draft in 1982, He played two years in the Atlanta Braves organization. He played as a defensive back at the University of Cincinnati before earning his degree in psychology in 1986. He went on to earn a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio State in 1988.

Born July 10, 1964, Meyer and his wife Shelley are parents of two daughters, Nicole and Gigi, and a son, Nathan. He is a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, where he graduated from St. John High School.

FALCON TRADITION

The Falcons, who concluded their 49th season as a member of the Mid-American Conference, rank second in MAC history in conference wins (201) and championships (10). Their .617 winning percentage ranks third all-time. BGSU has finished first or second in the conference in 21 of their previous 49 seasons in the league.

THE URBAN MEYER FILE

HOMETOWN: Ashtabula, Ohio

BIRTHDATE: July 10, 1964

EDUCATION: Cincinnati '86 (BA, Psychology) Ohio State '88 (MA, Administration)

WIFE: Shelley

CHILDREN: Nicole (10), Gigi (8), Nathan (2)

Year School/Bowl Experience Assignment

1985 Cincinnati Student Assistant Coach

1986 Ohio State/Cotton GA, Tight Ends

1987 Ohio State GA, Receivers

1988 Illinois St. Outside Linebackers

1989 Illinois St. Quarterbacks, Recievers

1990 Colorado St./Freedom Wide Receivers

1991 Colorado St. Wide Receivers

1992 Colorado St. Wide Receivers

1993 Colorado St. Wide Receivers

1994 Colorado St./Holiday Wide Receivers

1995 Colorado St./Holiday Wide Receivers

1996 Notre Dame Wide Receivers

1997 Notre Dame/Independence Wide Receivers

1998 Notre Dame/Gator WR, Sp. Teams

1999 Notre Dame Receivers

2000 Notre Dame/Fiesta Receivers

THEY PLAYED FOR MEYER

Cris Carter Ohio State (1st Round Pick)

Everett Ross Ohio State (7th Round Pick)

Nate Harris Ohio State (60 Receptions)

Ed Taggart Ohio State (All-Big 10)

Bill Miller Illinois State (6th Round Pick)

Greg Primus Colorado State (All-American)

Paul Turner Colo. St. (All-WAC/NFL Draft Choice)

Jeremy Burkett Colorado State (Denver Broncos)

Malcolm Johnson Notre Dame (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Bobby Brown Notre Dame (Green Bay Packers)

Raki Nelson Notre Dame (Philadelphia Eagles)

FALCON QUICK FACTS

Defensive coordinator Tim Beckman will return for his third season in that capacity and fourth overall with the Falcons. This past year the Falcons finished fourth in the league in total defense and second in sacks. They also increased their interception total from four in 1999 to 12 in 2000.

The rest of Meyer's coaching staff should be assembled in the next few weeks.

The Falcons could potentially return 18 starters next season (nine on offense, nine on defense).

BGSU could return 100 percent of its rushing, passing, receiving, scoring, and all-purpose attack.

Defensively, players who have accounted for nine of 10 interceptions should return as would eight of the team's top 10 tacklers.

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MEYER

Notre Dame football coach Bob Davie

"He's an outstanding coach," He's a difference-maker. I've got no reservations about Urban Meyer being a head coach. He has a tremendous future."

Colorado State football coach Sonny Lubick

"Urban is an ambitious and hard working coach. This position is well deserved for a highly motivated, intelligent football coach. We all miss him and wish him the best."

Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White

"In the short time I've been at Notre Dame, I've been extremely impressed with Urban Meyer. Urban is highly task-oriented, intense, empathetic and situationally flexible. He also has a tremendous grasp of the game and possesses a great instinct for what it takes to be successful. I've really enjoyed watching his relationship with our players, wherein it is very obvious they have a great deal of respect for his inordinate abilities. To be sure, he'll be a very effective recruiter because he has a presence and a confidence about him that will pay great dividends for Bowling Green."

Q AND A WITH URBAN MEYER

What attracted you to BGSU?

"A number of great coaches have been associated with the BGSU program and that has helped establish a long-standing tradition of excellence."

"The campus is beautiful and safe and the community is close enough to major cities allowing someone to enjoy the best of two worlds."

"The people I have spoken to and who I have a great deal of respect for believe this is a good situation. Bowling Green has name recognition in significant circles and that makes it an easier sell to high school coaches and the student-athletes they teach."

What characteristics can people expect to see from those involved in your program?

"Loyalty to the University and the administration is the one component necessary to preserve a successful football program."

"All areas associated with the program must share common goals of winning, developing student-athletes, and running a first-class operation."

What are qualities that are desirable in putting together a coaching staff?

"I want coaches who are great teachers. I want leaders who are honest and have great character. I want to work with people who are confident and who love the game of football."

"A coach must work with and get along with all types of personalities. I'm looking for outstanding recruiters who have a burning desire to be great at everything they do."

What is your offensive philosophy?

"We want to force the opponent to defend the entire field using spread formations. We will run a multiple offense that will take great pride in being fundamentally sound and aggressive."

"We will strive to have the fewest penalties in the conference and our top priority will be to take care of the football and keep our quarterback out of situations where turnovers occur."

How do you think this program can be successful each week?

"The great teams are the ones who excel in all three areas of the game: offense, defense and special teams. Some games we will excel in one area or the other, and we have to understand that it is a team game."

"The one phase of the game we must win each week is the kicking game. This phase is won primarily with desire, organization and concentration."