Ohio’s high school coaches agree…As big of a shock as Jim Tressel’s resignation was six months
ago from The Ohio State University, Urban Meyer’s hire is a welcomed sigh of relief and shot of energy.
Saints John and Paul Catholic School in Ashtabula dropped football
several years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the tiny private school from
making a huge impact on the sport in Ohio.
Yesterday the school’s most famous alumnus – Urban Meyer –
was named head coach at The Ohio State University. Meyer graduated from
then-St. John’s in 1982.
“Oh, it’s the biggest thing I can remember here,” Meyer’s
childhood friend, Tom Penna, told The News Herald. “It’s great for all
of us – the entire state.”
Ohio’s high school coaches agree.
As big of a shock as Jim Tressel’s resignation was six months
ago, Meyer’s hire is a welcomed sigh of relief and shot of energy.
“I think Urban Meyer is a tremendous hire for Ohio State,” Kenton
head coach Mike Mauk said. “He has strong Ohio ties and great
relationships with several coaches in the state. We had a great working
relationship with him when he was up at Bowling Green and I don’t think
there’s anyone better for Ohio State right now.”
Youngstown Cardinal Mooney head coach P.J. Fecko agreed.
“Coach Meyer has a great track record and he’s an Ohio guy,”
Fecko said. “He’s from the diocese of Youngstown up here in northeastern
Ohio. I know he’s excited to be back in this area.”
Trotwood-Madison head coach Maurice Douglass summed it up like
this: “I think it’s a tremendous move for the Ohio State Buckeye
Moving programs forward is one aspect Meyer is known for. An
explosive offense and being from Ohio are others. All are important.
Meyer played college football at Cincinnati, started his coaching
career at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School (1985) and got his first
college gig at Ohio State (1986-1987). During a 10-year stint as head
coach at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, Meyer compiled a career record
of 104-23, went 7-1 in bowl games and won two BCS national
championships (both at Florida). The Gators beat the Buckeyes 41-14 for
the 2006 national title. Florida also won a national championship in
“When you look at the idea of offense and being innovative and
creative and using weapons – Urban has a great reputation that way,”
Cleveland St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle said. “He’s a great recruiter,
too, and obviously that’s important. Ohio needs Ohio kids to stay here.”
Meyer and OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith hit on that during
Monday’s introductory press conference.
“I’m from Ashtabula,” Meyer said. “I know Cleveland very well.
I’ve recruited Ohio. In my opening comments, I mentioned (the) respect I
have. I love these coaches here. It’s a state where you have a high
school coaches association, (and) several thousand coaches show up to
it. Football is really, really important in the state of Ohio.
Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati … this is as good of football as there
is in America. It’s certainly (as) well coached as any in America.”
Said Smith: “We wanted a football coach who understood that,
(and) who would create the environment here (where) the aspiration for
every single football player in the state of Ohio is to be a Buckeye.”
Pickerington Central head coach Jay Sharrett believes Meyer will
move the needle.
“I think it was essential that they got an Ohio guy,” Sharrett
said. “And I think (Meyer) knows that high school football in this state
is tied in very close to Ohio State football. I think he knows that
connection is what makes this state strong in football and I think it’s a
great step in the right direction.”
Said Mauk: “I think he’ll do a tremendous job at Ohio State.”