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Urban Meyer ( 1964 - )  Category ( Athletes ) [suggest a correction]

Urban MeyerEverywhere he has gone as a college football head coach, Urban Meyer has won.

His run of success started at Bowling Green University in 2001, continued at the University of Utah and reached its pinnacle with two national championships in three years at the University of Florida.

Winning would be enough for most schools, but Meyer's teams also generate a lot of excitement in the process. His offensive style revolves around short passes and speed, a modus operandi that first gained him national attention when his 2003 Utah team finished 10-2. Sports Illustrated was so impressed that it named Meyer its national coach of the year.

A year later, led by All-America quarterback Alex Smith, Meyer's Utes were 12-0 and captured a Fiesta bowl victory over Pitt.

Suddenly, Meyer was in demand by every college in the country with a coaching vacancy (or restless alumni). Florida outbid Notre Dame for his services with a contract worth $14, later renegotiated upward -- something of a surprise, since Meyer is a devout Catholic and had been a Notre Dame assistant.

And Gator fans weren't disappointed. Meyer's first Florida team went 9-3, the second won the national title, 41-14 over Ohio State . Quarterback Tim Tebow engineered his coach's system well enough to win a Heisman trophy for a 9-3 team in 2007, then directed the Gators to a 13-1 record and another BCS title bowl victory, this time beating Oklahoma and reigning Heisman winner Sam Bradford.

At this point, Meyer is not only 5-1 in bowl games but 11-1 at Florida against the team's biggest rivals -- Tennessee, Florida State and Georgia.

This is not luck. Earlier in his career, Meyer made a point of visiting the top practitioners of the spread and West coast offenses.

In his younger days, the Ashtabula, OH product native was a good, but not great, two-sport athlete -- accomplished enough to play defensive back for the University of Cincinnati and two years of minor league baseball in the Atlanta Braves' chain.

Meyer's on-field style is buttoned-down and relatively undemonstrative. As many of his players can testify, however, he can be lethal to players who don't produce. In 1997, for example, he famously told reporters at a pre-season press conference that "We might as well play without a running back. We don't have any."

If there is a criticism of Meyer as a coach, it's that his teams have been occasionally porous on defense. The good thing is, the defense rarely has to take the field.

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