Two years ago, Urban Meyer said he thought he’d never coach again.
Yet today, he is the most prominent name known to be in contact with the Chargers about their head coaching vacancy.
Meyer, 56, stepped away from Ohio State after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, as one the most successful coaches in college football history. He cited health concerns as one of the main reasons.
After sitting out the last two seasons, Meyer has interviewed in person with the Jacksonville Jaguars and talked with the Chargers, who fired Anthony Lynn last week.
In 17 collegiate seasons, Meyer went 187-32 and won three national titles, one at Ohio State and two at Florida. His teams never had a losing record, Meyer’s worst record (8-5) coming with the Gators in 2010.
When he announced his retirement in December 2018, Meyer said, “I believe I will not coach again.”
That marked the third time he had left football because of issues with his health. Meyer revealed two years ago that he had surgery in 2014 on a cyst in his brain that caused stress-related headaches.
During his final season at Ohio State, he was frequently seen on the sidelines in visible pain and even collapsed during a game after colliding with a member of his staff.
The university also put Meyer on leave to start that season while investigating reports that he mishandled allegations of domestic violence and other inappropriate behavior made against one of his former assistant coaches, Zach Smith. The suspension lasted three games.
The other candidates known to be on the Chargers’ list are all current NFL assistants: Brandon Staley (Rams), Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City), Joe Brady (Carolina), Brian Daboll (Buffalo), Matt Eberflus (Indianapolis), Jason Garrett (New York Giants), Robert Saleh (San Francisco) and Arthur Smith (Tennessee).
General manager Tom Telesco has given no timetable to make a hire. The Chargers are one of seven teams looking for a head coach.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.