Timeline: A look at the career of new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer

Garry Smits
Florida Times-Union
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The Jaguars made it official shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Thursday — Urban Meyer is the fifth head coach in the 26-year history of the franchise.

Meyer, who won three national championships with two of college football's most storied programs, will try to reverse the Jaguars downward spiral that hit bottom in 2020 with a 1-15 record and losses in their last 15 games.

He will have multiple resources at hand: the overall No. 1 draft pick, expected to be used on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, 10 other draft picks, including another late in the first round, and the largest available salary cap surplus in the NFL.

Meyer's hiring comes more than 35 years after he began his coaching career at an Ohio high school. He has no professional coaching experience.

More:Urban Meyer agrees to deal to become Jaguars next head coach

Career starts at an Ohio high school

September 1985: Meyer's coaching career begins as the secondary coach at St. Xavier High School in Ohio. 

Aug. 27, 1986: Meyer begins two years as a graduate assistant at Ohio State when the Buckeyes lose to Alabama 16-10 in East Rutherford, N.J. Over the next 15 years, he is a position coach at Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame, working with quarterbacks, wide receivers and linebackers. 

Sept. 1, 2001: Meyer, who has been hired at Bowling Green, wins his first game as a college head coach, 20-13, at Missouri. The Falcons go 8-3, their first winning record in seven seasons, and a near-complete reversal of their 2-9 record the year before. Bowling Green goes 9-3 in 2002. 

Dec. 12, 2002: Meyer is hired by Utah after the Utes were 5-6 the year before. With Alex Smith as the quarterback, Meyer guides Utah to records of 10-2 and 12-0, two Mountain West titles, and victories in the Liberty and Fiesta Bowls. 

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Urban Meyer led Utah to a 22-2 record, 12-0 and a final No. 4 ranking in the AP poll in 2004.

The Florida Gators years

Dec. 3, 2004: Meyer is hired by the University of Florida, with UF athletic director Jeremy Foley beating out Notre Dame for his services. 

Jan. 1, 2005: Utah beats Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl, Meyer's final game with the Utes, to finish 12-0. Utah is later voted fourth in the final AP poll. 

Sept. 3, 2005: Meyer unveils his spread offense with a 32-14 victory over Wyoming, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. 

Dec. 13, 2005: Meyer lands what would prove to be his most significant recruit at Florida when Jacksonville's Tim Tebow commits to play for the Gators. 

Jan. 2, 2006: The Gators beat Iowa 31-24 in the Outback Bowl to cap a 9-3 season. Florida was unbeaten at home, beat Georgia 14-10 and beat FSU 34-7, the first of five victories in a row over the Seminoles. 

Urban Meyer celebrates the Florida Gators' first national championship on Jan. 8, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz., with his players. UF beat Ohio State 41-14.

Jan. 8, 2007: Florida routs Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., the first of two national titles the Gators would win under Meyer. 

Oct. 27, 2007: The Gators lose 42-30 to Georgia, their third loss in four games. 

Dec. 8, 2007: Tebow becomes the first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy, after throwing for 3,132 yards and 29 touchdowns, and running for 838 yards and an SEC-record 22 scores. 

The Florida Gators won two national championships with Urban Meyer coaching and Tim Tebow playing quarterback.

Sept. 27, 2008: After a 4-0 start, the Gators lose 31-30 to Ole Miss. Tebow tearfully promises in the locker room that he and the rest of the team will go back to work for the rest of the season, and UF wins its next nine games to reach the BCS national championship game. 

Jan. 8, 2009: Florida beats Oklahoma 24-14 in Miami to win Meyer's second national championship. 

Dec. 5, 2009: After winning 22 games in a row, Florida loses to Alabama 32-13 in the SEC championship game. 

Dec. 6, 2009: Following the team's return from Atlanta, Meyer complains of chest pains at home and was taken to a Gainesville hospital. He was released later in the day but the news is not released to the public. 

Dec. 26, 2009: Meyer announces he will resign as the Florida coach after the Sugar Bowl, citing health and family concerns. He said chest pains and headaches were stress-related. 

Dec. 27, 2009: Meyer said he will take an indefinite leave of absence, rather than retire. 

Jan. 1, 2010: Florida beats Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl, Tebow's final college game. After the game, Meyer said, "I plan on being the coach of the Gators." 

March 17, 2010: Meyer returns as the Florida coach at the start of spring practice. 

Dec. 8, 2010: After a 7-5 record that included three SEC losses and a 31-7 loss to FSU, Meyer announces his retirement for a second time. 

Twitter reacts:Urban Meyer to Jaguars draws mixed reaction on social media

The Ohio State Buckeyes years

Nov. 28, 2011: Meyer is announced as the new coach at Ohio State after working one season with ESPN. The Buckeyes go on to post a 12-0 record in 2012 but are ineligible for the post-season because of NCAA sanctions. 

Urban Meyer holds up the Big Ten championship trophy on Dec. 6, 2014, after Ohio State beat Wisconsin 59-0.

Dec. 6, 2014: Ohio State routs Wisconsin 59-0 in the Big Ten championship game and qualifies for the first College Football Playoff. 

Jan. 1, 2015: The Buckeyes stun Alabama 42-35 in the Sugar Bowl to reach the CFP championship game. 

Jan. 12, 2015: Ohio State beats Oregon 42-20 in Dallas to win the national championship, Meyer's third as a college coach. 

Aug. 1, 2018: Ohio State puts Meyer on paid administrative leave after reports surface he knew about spousal abuse allegations against assistant coach Zach Smith long before Smith's firing the week before. 

Aug. 22, 2018: The Ohio State board of trustees suspends Meyer for the first three games of the season. 

Dec. 4, 2018: Meyer retires from college coaching for a third time, citing health reasons. 

Jan. 1, 2019: Ohio State beats Washington 28-23 in the Rose Bowl, Meyer's final college game. He posts an 83-9 record at Ohio State (.902) and a 187-32 record overall as a college head coach (.853). 

Jan. 14, 2021: After working as an analyst for FOX Sports football coverage for three seasons, Meyer is hired as the Jaguars fifth head coach.  

The Meyer file 

Born: July 10, 1964, in Toledo, Ohio. 

Playing career: Played defensive back at Cincinnati and also two seasons of minor league baseball in the Atlanta Braves system. 

Coaching career: After 15 years as a college assistant, Meyer went 17-6 at Bowling Green, 22-2 at Utah, 65-15 at Florida and 83-9 at Ohio State, for a total college coaching record of 187-32. His teams won three national championships, seven conference championships and 10 division championships. 

Personal: Meyer and his wife Shelly will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary later this year. They have three children, Nicole, Gisela and Nathan. His two daughters both played NCAA Division I volleyball. 

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