Urban Meyer retiring as coach of Ohio State

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In 2014, Meyer had brain surgery to address a congenital arachnoid cyst, but he still deals with occasional painful headaches.

Meyer had shown obvious effects of being in pain on the sideline this season. Meyer considered Bruce, a former Buckeyes head coach who died in April, his mentor and a father figure in the coaching world. The university cited that lapse in suspending Meyer for the first three games of the season after an investigation.

Yahoo reported Meyer's "happiness with the state of the program" was the primary factor in him stepping down. Meyer worked as a TV analyst for ESPN for one year before taking the Buckeyes job.

Meyer recorded his second flawless 12-0 season.

Rather than go through the all the unwanted fuss of hiring a search firm and looking for Meyer's replacement, the Buckeyes already have one in Day, their 39-year-old offensive coordinator.

Day will receive a 5-year contract from Ohio State that's worth $4.5 million per season.

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Meyer guided Ohio State to the national championship in 2014 after doing so at Florida in 2006 and 2008.

Shortly before Halloween, Meyer addressed speculation that he could step down at the end of the season, saying he felt fine and definitely would be back next year. To me, after being around him it might be easy for me to say that, how special of a player he is, but to me it's obvious.

Ryan Day is viewed as an up-and-coming superstar in the coaching business and Ohio State didn't want to let him achieve his stardom somewhere else.

Meyer repeatedly said he planned on coaching in 2019, but uncertainty remained, even after Meyer seemed to improve in recent weeks and Ohio State won the Big Ten championship in beating Northwestern on Saturday. Ohio State boasts the country's No. 12 class right now.

Meyer's retirement comes on the heels of a tumultuous year in Columbus, Ohio, in which he was suspended for the first three games of the season after an investigation revealed that he mishandled domestic assault allegations made against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who was sacked in late June.

Amid the scrutiny on Meyer's program, it also emerged that Zach Smith's treatment of his wife had drawn police scrutiny almost 10 years ago - shortly after Meyer first took him on as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida. He also led Utah in 2004 and Ohio State in 2012 to undefeated seasons. It appeared to be a dream job for the Toledo native and success quickly followed.