Back in December -- shortly after Alabama quashed Florida's hopes of repeating as BCS champions -- when it came out that "chest pains" were forcing Urban Meyer to step down from his post as the Gators' head coach, the immediate reaction was: did he suffer a mild heart attack? Would he ever be able to return to the sidelines again, or had the cumulative stress of major college football coaching made that a foregone possibility?
Of course, Meyer abruptly reversed course, and announced that he would merely take an "indefinite leave of absence" rather than resign...which then turned in to him coming back to coach spring ball. All the while, Meyer kept private what had caused his chest pains, and what his prognosis was for the future -- until now.
Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday, Meyer revealed that he had suffered from esophageal spasms, which make it difficult to swallow and cause heart burn and muscle contractions. These symptoms can mimic the severe chest pains associated with heart attacks. Esophageal spasms are usually triggered by high levels of stress/panic attacks -- i.e., breaking down tape and/or recruiting around the clock -- although Meyer has reportedly been able to fend off any of these symptoms since January thanks to a combination of medication and a healthier lifestyle.
Meyer told reporters that his condition has not affected his long-term health outlook.