While speculation abounds when, or if, Urban Meyer will become the new head football coach at Ohio State, one of his closest friends while at the University of Florida, Gators basketball coach Billy Donovan, said Wednesday that he expects Meyer to coach again at some point.
"My guess would be, and this is not about Ohio State, do I think he'll go back and coach?'' Donovan said. "Yeah, I think he will. But I think that for himself, he's got to get himself to a place where he really feels good about the other aspects of his life that maybe he felt he was missing out on or wasn't as attentive to as he wanted to be, or felt comfortable with himself internally that he was handling the right way. And that's what I think it's all about for him.''
Donovan said he's had several conversations with Meyer.
"I think he's really evaluating what he wants to do as a coach. I think that sometimes people look at things maybe a little bit differently than what reality is sometimes,'' Donovan said. "I understand it's, 'Is he taking the job, is he not taking the job, has Ohio State offered?' But I think the biggest thing for him right now that he's trying to get his arms around is when you've had a chance to win a couple of national championships, every coach wants to experience that. But there is a perception created that it brings a level of worth and value to your life _ and it really doesn't.
"And what you find out, and I've said this before (New England Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady made the comment after winning three Super Bowls, he said 'Is this all there is in life? There's got to be more.' You've got to really enjoy the process of dealing with these guys each and every day. And I think what happened for Urban, and it happened to me too, is you look at, 'Okay, (I've won the national championship) twice. Why am I coaching? What is my purpose for coaching? Besides just winning.'''
Donovan said drive and desire might diminish for some after winning national titles.
"But it doesn't necessarily make your life complete when it does happen,'' Donovan added. "And I think there's so many coaches out there chasing that (championship), thinking that something's going to change, and when they get it, I'm not so sure it does.
"And I think for Urban, it's that balance right now for him of chasing championships, his family, his health, those things: Can I balance all of that and can I make all of that work, and can I do it in a way that I can feel good about myself, feel good about my family, feel good about myself as a coach? And I think he's evaluating those kind of things. And then he's got to figure out how he can go about enjoying the process.''
Meanwhile, there have been rumors that current Florida assistant coach Dan Durkin and strength coach Mickey Marotti will be joining Meyer at Ohio State. Durkin played for Meyer at Bowling Green and coached under him. Marotti was a graduate assistant at Ohio State and was head strength coach at Notre Dame, both instances when Meyer was an assistant on those staffs.
Current Gators coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday, "That's all speculation. Anytime somebody takes a job and you've worked with somebody before, of course it's a natural thing to do to start piecing the puzzle together and saying what's going to happen.''
But he still doubts Meyer will return to coaching so soon.
"In my conversations with Urban, I would be surprised to see him take a job, based on the things he talked about when he left Florida,'' Muschamp said.