Urban Meyer said he was ‘devastated’ after being fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars just 13 games into his pro career that was marred by scandal, including a video of him groping a young woman at a bar.
Meyer was also accused of kicking a Jaguars player during pre-game warmups.
Earlier this week, Josh Lambo, the team’s former kicker, revealed that Meyer cursed at him and kicked him while he was stretching before a practice.
When Lambo told Meyer to never kick him again, the coach is said to have replied: ‘I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f*** I want.’
Lambo also claimed Meyer threatened to cut him from the team. Meyer has denied the claims.
It was the latest in a series of reports claiming that he alienated several Jaguars with his hard-nosed coaching style.
Urban Meyer (seen above on November 28 in Jacksonville) expressed regret and disappointment over his firing as head coach of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars
Meyer’s brief tenure with the Jaguars was marred by off-field controversy and scandal. In October, Meyer, 57, was seen groping a young woman who was grinding up against him in a bar in Columbus, Ohio
Meyer’s dismissal was announced on Wednesday by owner Shad Khan. His firing came just hours after former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo (above) alleged that Meyer kicked him before a game earlier this season
His 28-year-old daughter, Gigi Meyer, lashed out at her father’s critics, posting a scathing message to her social media.
‘The enemy wants us to crumble & crawl into a hole,’ Gigi Meyer wrote on Instagram. ‘But I think you just released the kraken in me.
‘This isn’t about peoples (sic) opinions,’ she continued. ‘I don’t care. But when there’s lies & ppl full on after my family… Then I have a problem & I won’t stay quiet.’
Shad Khan, the Jaguars owner, announced that Meyer had been dismissed earlier this week. Meyer’s brief tenure with Jacksonville ends with a record of two wins and 11 losses.
It has been reported that Meyer was let go with four years remaining on his contract. ESPN reported that the team had no plans to pay out the rest of the money owed to Meyer on the deal.
Various reports have claimed Meyer’s contract was either our or five seasons at $9 million or $10 million per year.
Despite the ouster, Meyer, who was hired to take the franchise to new heights alongside star rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, had warm words for Khan.
‘I still think Shad’s a great owner,’ the fired coach told NFL.com.
‘It’s heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it’s standing room only.
Gigi Meyer (left), the daughter of fired Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer (right), is lashing out at her father’s perceived enemies following the 57-year-old’s dismissal and a string of embarrassing media reports, including a viral video of him fondling a young blonde woman at an Ohio bar in October
Gigi, a married fitness instructor, did not address any specific criticism of her father, but still painted her father’s situation as a battle between good and evil
Gigi Meyer claims people have spread lies about her father, although she didn’t specify which accusations were untruthful
‘Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it.
‘So, I’m just heartbroken that we weren’t able to do that.
‘I still believe it’s going to be done. It’s too good of a place.’
Meyer, who won multiple national championships in college, was in for a rude awakening in his NFL career. He said that losing in the pros took its toll on him.
‘I tell people, losing eats away at your soul,’ Meyer said.
‘Once you start losing, it’s hard on everybody.
‘I thought at one point, when we won two out of three, there was some momentum, great energy, the defense was really playing well.
‘We were running the ball and then when that dried up on us, then we started turning the ball over.
‘We had that bye week and then James Robinson gets hurt.’
After his final game with the Jaguars last week, Meyer was seen meekly shaking the hand of the opposing coach, Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans.
Meyer was accused of poor sportsmanship for the handshake.
But he said there was no ill intent toward Vrabel, who was an assistant under Meyer at Ohio State.
Wife Shelley Meyer shared pictures of herself playing with her two grandchildren and captioned them ‘Meanwhile I am babysitting #MyChoice #MimiRules #BuddyDeservedANightOut.’
‘Someone asked me about Vrabel’s [handshake], we’re really close,’ Meyer said.
‘That had nothing to do with him. That’s probably one of my issues why I’ve thought some of the things I said: I can’t take losing. I try to accept it, it just eats away at my soul.
‘And I believe our players deserve better.’
Meyer was hired 11 months ago by Khan after spending three seasons as an analyst for Fox Sports.
Since Khan announced Meyer’s hiring in January, however, the team has been dogged by negative headlines.
In February, one of Meyer’s first hires, strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, resigned less than two days after joining the team.
Doyle’s resignation came after it emerged that he had made racist remarks during his tenure at the University of Iowa.
In May, Meyer brought in former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow to try out with the Jaguars as a tight end.
But Tebow, who had a short NFL career as a quarterback with the Denver Broncos, never fit in at tight end and was released after just one preseason game.
In July, Meyer was fined $100,000 by the NFL and the team was fined $200,000 for violating rules on contact during off-season practices.
That same month, the Jaguars and Meyer were issued subpoenas by a federal court in Iowa which was hearing a racial discrimination lawsuit related to the hiring and resignation of Doyle.
Perhaps the most embarrassing scandal involving Meyer took place in early October, when amateur video surfaced showing the 57-year-old married grandfather groping a young blonde woman at the Columbus, Ohio restaurant that he owns.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Urban Meyer failed to regain the trust of his team
Video shows Meyer, a father of three, groping the woman’s backside. While he was out celebrating, his wife was at home watching the couple’s grandchildren.
The incident took place just a day after Meyer’s team lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. Rather than returning to Florida with the team, Meyer stayed behind in Ohio.
Khan described Meyer’s behavior in the video as ‘inexcusable’ and said that Meyer ‘must regain our trust and respect.’
Meyer apologized to the team and his family for his ‘stupid’ behavior and for causing a ‘distraction.’
Earlier this month, Meyer caused a stir in his own locker room when he benched James Robinson, the team’s second-year running back, for the second week in a row for fumbling the football.
Robinson’s benching reportedly caused consternation among his teammates. In response, Meyer blamed a mysterious injury that Robinson was nursing as well as running backs coach Bernie Parmalee.
Last week, it was reported that Meyer had angry conversations with assistant coaches who were berated by their boss for being ‘losers.’
Meyer also got into a heated exchange with Marvin Jones Jr, the team’s wide receiver, who left the stadium and refused to return until he was talked into coming back.
On Wednesday, Khan issued a statement that read: ‘After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone.
‘I informed Urban of the change this evening.
‘As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential.
‘Regrettably, it did not happen.’
When asked by NFL.com what he plans to do next, Meyer responded: ‘To be determined.’
Meyer joins former Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino as college coaches whose NFL careers flamed out in stunningly swift fashion.
Petrino, who left the University of Louisville for Atlanta in January of 2007, resigned from the Falcons that December to take over at Arkansas. He was 3-10 at the time.
Similarly, Alabama head coach Nick Saban spent 2005 with the Miami Dolphins after winning a national title at LSU, but returned to the college ranks with the Crimson Tide a year later.
Meyer went 2-11 in his partial season as the Jags unraveled on offense, averaging a measly 9.1 points in his final seven games, which ended with five straight defeats.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as Jacksonville’s interim head coach for the final four games, beginning Sunday against Houston (2-11).
While the Jaguars were terrible on the field under Meyer – his last game in charge was a 20-0 defeat by the Tennessee Titans, only the fourth shutout in franchise history – his reign will be remembered for a catalogue of disastrous off-field incidents.
Hours before Khan confirmed his unemployment, Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him as he stretched during training camp.
‘I’m in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back,’ Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times.
‘Urban Meyer, while I’m in that stretch position, comes up to me and says, ”Hey Dips***, make your f***ing kicks!’ And kicks me in the leg.’
‘It certainly wasn’t as hard as he could’ve done it, but it certainly wasn’t a love tap,’ Lambo continued. ‘Truthfully, I’d register it as a five [out of 10]. Which in the workplace, I don’t care if it’s football or not, the boss can’t strike an employee. And for a second, I couldn’t believe it actually happened.’