Timeline of Urban Meyer’s short tenure in Jacksonville

FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer walks along the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. Urban Meyer's tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games and two victories when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him early Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 because of an accumulation of missteps. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File) (Phelan M. Ebenhack, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Urban Meyer’s time as the Jaguars head coach was filled with headlines and highlights, most of them unfavorable. A look at some of Meyer’s moments in Jacksonville. He was fired early Thursday morning.

Urban Meyer hired

Jan. 14: The Jaguars make their biggest coaching hire ever, landing the ultra-decorated college coach Meyer. Owner Shad Khan said at the time, “This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere. Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results.”

Controversial hire

Feb. 11: Meyer announces his coaching staff, which includes Chris Doyle, the ex-Iowa strength and conditioning coach who was put on paid administrative leave June 6, 2020 amidst allegations of racism and mistreatment of former players. Meyer said at the time that “I vet everyone on our staff and like I said, the relationship goes back close to 20 years. [There were] a lot of hard questions asked, a lot of vetting involved with all our staff, but we did a very good job vetting that one.” The Fritz Pollard Alliance ripped the hire as “unacceptable.”

FILE - In this Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle walks on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Northern Illinois, in Iowa City, Iowa. The Jacksonville Jaguars said Wednesday, July 14, 2021, that coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke were subpoenaed as part of a lawsuit filed by lawyers for Black players suing former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle for discrimination. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Doyle resigns

Feb. 12: Doyle resigned after one day on the job, saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction” to what the Jaguars were building.

Jaguars sign Tebow

May 20: The Jaguars announce that they signed former Nease High and Florida icon Tim Tebow to play tight end. Tebow had won a Heisman Trophy at quarterback when he played for Meyer in Gainesville. But he hadn’t played in a regular season game since 2012. While many local fans loved the move, Meyer was derided for it.

$300K in fines for Jaguars, Meyer

July 1: The NFL fines the Jaguars and Meyer for violations in organized team activities. The Jaguars were fined $200,000 and Meyer $100,000 for the issues. The Jaguars were one of three teams fined (San Francisco and Dallas were the others) but Jacksonville’s fine was the largest.

Reality check in Week 1

Sept. 12: Jacksonville’s Week 1 opponent, Houston, was supposed to be the worst team in the league. Then, the Jaguars played them and looked ill-prepared in a 37-21 loss.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, left, prepares to lead his team onto the field before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

College rumors begin

Sept. 15: Rumors begin of Meyer’s attraction to college jobs, specifically Southern Cal. Meyer said in a press conference that “there’s no chance [of returning to college]. I’m here and committed to try to build a organization.”

‘Every week is like playing Alabama’

Sept. 22: Broncos coach Vic Fangio said that Meyer told him before Denver beat the Jaguars, 23-13, that the NFL was tough. “I don’t know Urban Meyer at all really, I met him the other day, shook his hand before the game and after the game and his comment to me was, ‘Every week it’s like playing Alabama in the NFL. And that’s it. Everybody’s capable of beating everybody in this league.”

Primetime loss

Sept. 30: The Jaguars play well in a Thursday night game against the Bengals, but lose at the wire, 24-21. Meyer didn’t return to Jacksonville with the team, electing to stay in Ohio.

The video

Oct 3: A viral bar video began circulating Saturday night before but it took off Sunday morning. It showed Meyer very close with a young female in his Columbus, Ohio restaurant/bar who was not his wife, Shelley. It was viewed more than half a million times in just hours.

Video purportedly showing Urban Meyer out at bar goes viral

The apology

Oct. 4: Meyer addresses the video, calling it a “distraction” and apologizing. Another angle of the video emerges after Meyer’s press conference showing his hand on the young woman’s back side.

“Inexcusable” behavior

Oct. 5: Khan releases a statement calling Meyer’s behavior “inexcusable,” and said that he “must regain our trust and respect.”

Urban Meyer never considered resigning

Finally, a win

Oct. 17: The Jaguars end a 20-game losing streak with a 23-20 win over the Dolphins in London. “I really enjoyed that locker room after the game. I think I enjoyed that more than the actual game,” Meyer said. The Jaguars reach the bye week at 1-5.

Who’s making the calls?

Dec. 6: Meyer denies that he’s responsible for pulling running back James Robinson after he lost a fumble against the Rams, saying he doesn’t make those decisions. Meyer said the team wanted to limit Robinson’s workload because of injuries, although the team had him getting carries late in the game when they were down 30.

Losers and a fight

Dec. 11: The NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports that Meyer calls his assistant coaches losers and got into a heated argument with receiver Marvin Jones. Meyer says that he has high expectations for his staff but denies calling them losers. He said the argument with Jones was overblown. The Jaguars are shut out by the Titans a day later, 20-0, the first time they have failed to score in a game since 2009.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans , Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans won 20-0. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) (Associated Press)

The kicker

Dec. 15: Former Jaguars player Josh Lambo said in a story to the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him during warmups and called special teams players derogatory names. Meyer denied the report. Hours after that report broke, Khan fired Meyer.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.