To say the last NFL season was a mess for the Jacksonville Jaguars would be an understatement. Owner Shad Khan went out on a limb and hired college football head coach Urban Meyer to take over a pro team for the first time in his career. As much success as Meyer had in college, let’s just say his history of winning didn’t exactly translate to the NFL.
The Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL last season with a 3-14 record. They were terrible on the gridiron and off the field issues became a constant issue. Drama seemed to follow Urban Meyer at every turn during his short stint in the league. That led Shad Khan to fire Meyer midseason, only 13 games into his tenure with the team. Meyer would earn a 2-11 record as an NFL head coach, but Khan says that’s not why he fired him.
According to a new interview with the Jaguars owner, he fired Urban Meyer due to respect and trust issues. Khan did not mince words in the interview as he unleashed criticism about the coach’s alleged lewd behavior on and off the field.
“When you lose the respect, the trust and an issue of truthfulness, how can you work with someone like that? It’s not possible,” Khan said to USA Today Sports about Urban Meyer’s train wreck of a season last year.
“It was not about wins and losses,” Khan said of Meyer’s dismissal. “I think when you know someone is not truthful, how can you be around someone, okay?”
“We had [former coaches] Doug Marrone here four years. We had Gus Bradley here four years,” the Jaguars owner added. “I have nothing but the utmost respect and friendship with them. That’s why they got the time, because it wasn’t a matter about respect or truth. It was a matter of wins and losses over four years. This is much bigger than that.”
Timeline of Former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer’s Downfall in Jacksonville
In January of 2021, the Jaguars announced the hiring of three-time NCAA national championship-winning head coach Urban Meyer. The football coach had a long and storied college career where he won two titles with the Florida Gators and one more with the Ohio State Buckeyes. However, it didn’t take long for things to start heading south in Jacksonville.
A few weeks into the 2021-22 season, photos and videos of the Jags head coach with a 24-year-old woman on his lap went viral. In a since-deleted Twitter post, his wife, Shelley, shared that she was at home watching their grandchildren while he was at the bar with the young woman. Khan had a meeting with Meyer about the incident and the owner commented after that the head coach had to “regain our trust and respect” in Jacksonville. Yet it didn’t stop there.
Not long after, reports began to come out of soured relationships with his coaching staff. Allegedly, Urban Meyer called his assistant coaches “losers” and deflected blame for the team’s poor play. He also got into a verbal altercation with wide receiver Marvin Jones. Multiple stories of a similar nature surfaced, but then former kicker Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him during a practice from earlier in the season. That was the final straw for Khan who gave Urban the boot within hours of the accusation on December 15.
According to the same USA Today report, Urban Meyer and the Jaguars still haven’t reached a settlement over his contract. He originally signed a five-year deal worth between $10-12 million per year. While that plays out, Jacksonville has already signed a new head coach this offseason. Former Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson, is now at the helm of the Jaguars. All things considered, Pederson can’t do much worse than Meyer during his tumultuous stint with the Jaguars.