Urban Meyer’s final season coaching the Ohio State football team proved to be both turbulent and successful. One of his chief rivals emphasized the success and sympathized with the turbulence on Tuesday.
“Urban’s done a great job every place he’s been,” Barry Alvarez, the Wisconsin athletic director and previously the Badgers’ football coach, told The Post on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, where he participated in a news conference for the upcoming New Era Pinstripe Bowl. “I’ve got a lot of respect for him. It’s obvious, it’s been well-publicized about his health issues. So I’m glad for him. In this racket, it’s best when you go out by your own choice.”
Meyer might not have enjoyed such a choice if not for his ultra-impressive résumé on the field, as the Buckeyes have enjoyed an 82-9 record in his seven seasons. The 54-year-old, who has an arachnoid cyst in his brain that causes severe headaches, will step down after he coaches in the Rose Bowl against Washington.
The first three games of this season were coached by Meyer’s offensive coordinator, Ryan Day, who will succeed Meyer moving forward, because Ohio State slapped its iconic coach with a three-game suspension for his failure to supervise one of his assistants, Zach Smith, who was repeatedly accused of domestic violence.
“Very difficult year,” Alvarez said of his fellow Big Ten occupant Meyer. “To finish that last game the way they did [a victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten championship] is pretty impressive. I’m happy for him.”
Added current Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst of Meyer, “Obviously I have a lot of respect for what he’s done.”
Wisconsin and Miami will face off in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27, marking a rematch of last year’s Orange Bowl, in which the Badgers prevailed, 34-24. The cold-weather setting would appear to give an advantage to Wisconsin, although Chryst argued it might be harder to adjust from cold weather to warm weather than the other way.