After weeks of fervent speculation, it's finally official: Urban Meyer is headed to the NFL.
The National Championship-winning college football coach has been hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars as their new head coach, the team announced Thursday.
"This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere," Owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results.
"While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakable," Khan continued. "I am proud to name Urban Meyer the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars."
Meyer had been linked to the Jaguars, as well as other teams with head coaching vacancies, in recent weeks. But the Jaguars quickly emerged as the most likely contender for the retired coach.
"I'm ready to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars," Meyer said in a statement, per ESPN. "Jacksonville has an enthusiastic fan base, and the fans deserve a winning team. With upcoming opportunities in the NFL Draft, and strong support from ownership, the Jaguars are well-positioned to become competitive.
"I've analyzed this decision from every angle -- the time is right in Jacksonville, and the time is right for me to return to coaching. I'm excited about the future of this organization and our long term prospect for success."
The Jaguars fired head coach Doug Marrone earlier this month. He had accumulated a 23-43 record, including a 1-15 mark this season, with the franchise.
Meyer will look to translate his college success to the NFL
There's plenty of reason to believe that Urban Meyer will be successful in professional football. Meyer is one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. His all-time record is an impressive 187-32 across 17 seasons as a head coach. His most notable stint arguably was at Ohio State, as he turned the program into a perennial powerhouse.
Meyer won three national championships, as he brought two to the Florida Gators and he clinched another one with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Meyer retired from coaching in 2018. Since he stepped away from the sideline, he has worked as an assistant athletic director at Ohio State and an analyst for Fox Sports. He appeared on the "Big Noon Kickoff" college football show.
The Jaguars will hope that Meyer can replicate his success throughout his career as a college coach in the NFL. Time will tell whether he can turn the Jaguars into a winning team.