Urban Meyer has had an awfully rough go in his first year coaching in the NFL, but not even an opening at Notre Dame would lure him away from trying to fix all that ails the 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. Meyer ended any such speculation Tuesday that he might be a candidate for the Notre Dame job, which opened this week when Brian Kelly accepted the head coaching job at LSU.
"I'm not a candidate," Meyer told L.A.-based media during a Tuesday conference call, per Greg Beacham of The Associated Press. "Obviously I spent six years of my life there, so great respect for Notre Dame, and as I do USC, UCLA, like we talked about. But I'm committed to the Jaguars and doing the best we can to turn this thing around."
Meyer, 57, was a wide receivers coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000, and once described the possibility of being Notre Dame's head coach as a "dream job."
If he is ever to return to Notre Dame, now clearly isn't the time.
Meyer also denied interest in the opening at USC earlier this year. A leap back to the college game, where he enjoyed immense success, would figure to have some appeal for Meyer. He won three national championships -- two at Florida and another at Ohio State -- before stepping down and taking on a role as a college football analyst for Fox Sports.
The NFL has proven to be a tough road for Meyer in his first season, although the rocky start has partly been of Meyer's own making. His actions in Ohio after a loss to the Bengals earlier this year drew rebuke from owner Shad Kahn. Nevertheless, it's too soon to judge Meyer's potential as a head coach on a disastrous first season, given that he inherited a rebuilding project.
He began that rebuild by drafting Trevor Lawrence as a face-of-franchise quarterback in April with the No. 1 overall pick. As Meyer has learned, however, it will take much more than a promising QB for the Jaguars to rise from the bottom of the AFC South, where they've finished every season since 2018.