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The Meyers in Ohio
Urban Meyer's Ohio roots run from birth throughout his coaching career.
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published January 5, 2007
Urban Meyer's Ohio roots run from birth throughout his coaching career. Born in Ashtabula, Ohio, on July 10, 1964, Meyer lived in four Ohio cities over nearly four decades - including playing at the University of Cincinnati and coaching at Ohio State and Bowling Green. A glimpse of life in Ohio for Urban and Shelley Meyer as told by the Meyers.
Growing up: Ashtabula, 1964-1982
"It was awesome," Urban Meyer said of growing up in his hometown. "That's all I knew. I didn't understand there were warm-weather places. It was awesome. Athletics were everything in that small town. If you played football, you talk about elite status. If you played baseball, elite status. So it was great. It was a great small town."
Playing days: Cincinnati, 1984-1988
Meyer met Shelley on campus at the University of Cincinnati, where they were students and Urban played as a defensive back. "Cincinnati was great," Shelley Meyer said. "We both were students at UC, and that was my first time living in a city because I grew up in a cornfield in southern Ohio. So I was like, 'Woo hoo.' I had these big eyes. Cincinnati is great. Very fun town with the Reds and the Bengals, and we did a lot of that. We went to Reds games a lot. I think I skipped way too many classes to go watch Reds games in the afternoon. We had a great time. We were both very active in college, and I got a great education there. I went to nursing school there, and he got a degree in psychology from there."
Breaking into coaching as a graduate assistant: Columbus, 1986-87
"He graduated a year before me, so he went on to Columbus to work for Earle Bruce at Ohio State (as a graduate assistant), and I stayed at UC and finished my last year," Shelley Meyer said. "I brought one of my sorority sisters to Columbus, and we moved there and I worked there for a year. ... I started at the lowest part of the totem pole, that's the GA's girlfriend. That was really, okay, that's where I found out where coaching was going to be about because as the GA, he worked, and this is not an exaggeration, it had to be 20 hours a day. It had to be. ... So we kind of lived our own little thing there. I worked and he was doing that, and we got together on weekends after the Ohio State Buckeyes' games."
Becoming coach: Bowling Green, 2001-02
"Bowling Green is real small, real, real, real small, like 18,000 people population. Very close-knit group of people in the community. We have wonderful friends still from there because of that real small-knit community and the support from the university. That's all they had was supporting that university, and it was Urban's first head coaching job, and he had some success there, so it was a lot of fun. It's always fun when you're having success. It was a great time there. There are a lot of people confused about this game up there because they are Buckeyes fans and Gator fans."