The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Urban Meyer, owner Shad Khan announced early Thursday morning.
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“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Khan wrote in a statement.
“Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the balance of the 2021 season,” Khan wrote. “Darrell succeeds Urban Meyer. After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.
“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.”
Meyer is the second head coach to depart midway through this season. Jon Gruden resigned as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coach after it was reported that he sent racist, homophobic and misogynistic emails earlier in his career.
Meyer also was a controversial figure as head coach of the 2-11 Jaguars. He was widely disliked by players and staff, a source told PFF.com. A source close to the situation said Meyer was “embarrassing himself” as an NFL head coach.
Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo told The Tampa Bay Times’ Mark Stroud that Meyer kicked him in the leg before a preseason game. Meyer also lambasted Jaguars assistant coaches and called them “losers,” according to a report from NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
Earlier this season, Meyer stayed in Ohio after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals rather than flying back with the team. Later that weekend, he was videotaped at a bar with a woman who was not his wife dancing close to his lap.
Meyer also benched star running back James Robinson during the season and told reporters over the summer that he would cut players if they were not vaccinated, sparking an investigation from the NFL Players Association.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 16, 2021
Meyer won three FBS national championships during his tenure as a college head coach with the Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes. This stint with Jacksonville was his first in the NFL in any capacity.