Urban Meyer is the First Ohio State Head Coach in Nearly 70 Years to Leave the Position Voluntarily

By Kevin Harrish on December 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm
Urban Meyer is leaving Ohio State on his own terms.

Urban Meyer is leaving Ohio State on his own terms, becoming the first to do that in nearly 70 years.

The last Buckeye head coach to leave the position without being fired or replaced was Wes Fesler, who resigned back in 1950 due to "excessive pressure for winning football games" after going winless in four tries against Michigan.

Since then, Ohio State had four official head coaches before Meyer took over – five if you count Luke Fickell – none of which left the position on their own accord.

Following Fesler, Woody Hayes took over the program from 1951 to 1978, before he was ultimately fired for punching a Clemson player during the 1978 Gator Bowl.

After Hayes, Earle Bruce took over as the head coach in 1979 and was fired in 1987 due to the program's decline.

John Cooper took over after Bruce's termination, coaching the team from 1988 to 2000, when he was fired after losing to Michigan yet again and failing to win a single Big Ten title outright throughout his tenure.

Following Cooper's tenure, Jim Tressel took over as Ohio State's head coach in 2001, and coached for 10 seasons until he resigned from the position ahead of the 2011 season following NCAA violations. 

Luke Fickell coached the entire 2011 season as Ohio State's interim head coach, finishing the season with a 6-7 record before he was ultimately replaced by Meyer and returned to his role as an assistant on his staff.

Meyer is not going out that way. He's leaving the position on his own terms, allowing a smooth transition to a guy he hired while keeping much of his behind-the-scenes staff in tact.

With this planned succession from Meyer to Day, this could be one of the smoothest coaching transitions in program history – which is exactly what athletic director Gene Smith is hoping for.

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