COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer abruptly announced his retirement Tuesday, citing health concerns and a difficult year that included a three-game suspension over his handling of domestic violence allegations against a now-fired assistant coach.
He will step down after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Meyer is leaving at the top of his profession after three national championships in a career spanning three decades, the last seven years at Ohio State, where he has an 82-9 record.
Meyer, 54. has an arachnoid cyst in his brain that causes severe headaches, and showed obvious effects of being in pain on the sideline this season.
At a packed news conference, Meyer explained that the headaches became severe last season during Ohio State’s game at Penn State and have become a persistent problem this season. But he didn’t blame only his health for stepping away. Meyer said he believed he could no longer coach the way he has from the early days at Bowling Green to Utah, Florida and finally with the Buckeyes.
“The style of coaching I’ve done for 33 years is very intense, very demanding. I tried to delegate more and CEO more and the product started to feel …,” he said, not finishing his thought. “I didn’t feel I was doing right by our players and by Gene (Smith, the athletic director).”
Assistant coach Ryan Day will take over as the 25th coach of the storied program where Meyer won a national championship in 2014 after two at Florida (2006, 2008).
It was Day who led the Buckeyes when Meyer was suspended before the season opener over his role in the handling of assistant coach Zach Smith, who was accused by his former wife of domestic abuse.
Meyer said he knew about the allegations against Smith – the grandson of former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce – but wasn’t sure they were true and kept Smith on staff because no criminal charges were filed. The university cited that lapse in suspending Meyer after an investigation.
Meyer acknowledged that the investigation was among the reasons for stepping down – “the decision was the result of cumulative events.”

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