GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 10: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators coaches his team during the Orange & Blue game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on April 10, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Esophageal Spasms Caused Chest Pain That Led To Urban Meyer Briefly Resigning

Citing health issues, legendary Florida head coach Urban Meyer confirmed in a press conference Sunday that he is taking an indefinite hiatus. Steve Addazio, his assistant, will fill the position on an interim basis. Follow along with us.

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Urban Meyer Will Coach Spring Ball At Florida

At halftime of the University of Florida-South Carolina game, there was quite a stir when Urban Meyer started talking to reporters. According to ESPN’s broadcast team, a bevy of reporters huddled around Meyer (at the game, below), who politely answered questions and explained that yes, he will be coaching spring football practice at the University of Florida.

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...Wait what? What happened to taking time off to focus on his health? First he was retiring. Then it was an indefinite leave of absence. Then it was "I’ll coach by the fall." Now? He’s coaching spring practice. Those two weeks off must have been really, really refreshing…

It’s sort of hilarious when considered alongside his initial announcement and the reaction it sparked throughout the sports world. America was initially dumbfounded, but then responded with an uncharacteristic understanding, recognizing that college coaching takes a toll on the body and mind that’s beyond our understanding. If Urban Meyer was going to choose his life over his work, then good for him. He’d surely earned it.

But that’s all overwith. Forget Bali Hai; Smell that? Spring football’s a comin! KICK. ASS.

So, yes, it's hilarious considered next to the initial statements from Meyer. But it’s also completely predictable when considered alongside everything else we’ve come to know about Urban Meyer. The man has an otherworldly, possibly pathological work ethic. He lives to coach football. It’s why we were so surprised to hear he might the leave the game. And it’s why we shouldn’t be surprised that, in the end, he never really left.

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Live Reactions To Meyer's Retirement: When Did He Decide? Why The Day After Christmas?

Our Florida Gators blog, Alligator Army, is all over the news of Urban Meyer's retirement as head coach. You're advised to check back with this page habitually for updates. Here are some of the highlights so far:

There are two immediate questions that need to be answered; when did Meyer make the decision to quit? And, is Florida already looking for a successor? In the first case, it has been three weeks since Meyer was hospitalized following the Alabama game. Was that more serious that originally thought? If Meyer made the decision this week, was Florida working back channels to find a new coach? Is this why Charlie Strong is running in place in his first few weeks at Louisville? Also, and this has to be considered because of our tabloid culture; is Meyer quitting as a way to get out of a contract or because of family concerns? Do we have to wait for the presser at the Sugar Bowl?

From the perspective of a media person, WHO ISSUES A PRESS RELEASE THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS? Why is this decision released now? Was UF and Meyer hoping to avoid a ravenous Florida media? Meyer has always played head games with the press, but this is no time to do this. The University of Florida and the Florida Gators are an institution that is eternal and Meyer is just a part of that. The health and well being of those institutions must be considered, as well as Meyer's apparent health issues. You cannot drop bombs about your school and program at a time when it could slide out of sight. The night after Christmas is no time to do this.

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Urban Meyer's Health Status 'Not Critical'

Health concerns are the reason for Florida coach Urban Meyer's resignation. Thankfully, it appears that we do not have immediate cause to worry about Urban Meyer, the human being. Chris Mortenson tweets:

Reported to ESPN that Urban Meyer's health issue is not critical. This is about coaching toll on health, Dick Vermeil-style.

It sounds as though Meyer is making a wise decision. Here's Jeremy Fowler:

Just talked to a Florida staff member -- Urban was in hospital at least twice this month for chest pains, nausea and sickness.

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Early Speculation On Meyer's Possible Successor

Less than an hour after Florida coach Urban Meyer announced his retirement, College Football Talk is already looking to Florida's future. Who will succeed Meyer as the new Gators head coach?

Most certainly, Bob Stoops' name will be tossed out there.  Stanford's Jim Harbaugh was connected to both the Notre Dame and Kansas vacancies, and is a mortal lock to have his name attached to this job as well.

At first blush, here's the name you should probably in the front of your mind: Boise State's Chris Peterson, if for nothing more than the fact that plucking a coach from a non-BcS automatic qualifier turned out rather well for UF the last time they were in need of a head coach.

CFT also mentions a name that we at SB Nation are quite skeptical about:

One thing we would think would be a certainty, though: Charlie Strong is probably kicking himself in the ass right about now.

Strong was Meyer's defensive coordinator before leaving for the Louisville head-coaching gig earlier this month.  Would he consider doing an about-face and return to Gainesville just weeks after leaving?

It's an interesting idea, and certainly worth a thought, but our own Spencer Hall believes this idea to be "completely" ludicrous, and that it would be "career suicide" for Strong. As a Louisvillian, I'm well aware that everyone in this city is in love with Strong, so I certainly share his skepticism.

UPDATE: Sigh. For posterity's sake, here is Darren Rovell's latest tweet:

Pat Forde (@espn4d) tells ESPNEWS that Charlie Strong has only signed term sheet, not contract, at UL. Never understand this.

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