Reports that began surfacing in earnest two weeks ago have been confirmed — Urban Meyer will become the permanent successor to Jim Tressel at Ohio State.
The agent for the former Florida coach, Trace Armstrong, confirmed to ESPN.com that Meyer has accepted the job with the Buckeyes. The move comes three days after ESPN announced that Meyer, who had been serving as a college football analyst for the network after stepping down — again — as the Gators’ head coach following the 2010 season, had requested off his studio assignment for the weekend. That move came after Meyer had been pulled off the broadcast team for the OSU-Michigan game to serve as an in-studio analyst.
The school has yet to confirm Meyer’s hiring, although that should take place at some point later this morning or early afternoon. It remains unclear when a press conference will be held to officially introduce Meyer.
Meyer’s deal, which was finalized over the weekend, is expected to be for seven years and pay in the neighborhood of $5-$6 million annually. Mack Brown of Texas is currently the highest-paid coach in college football at just under $5.2 million.
Meyer has steadfastly denied speculation that he had been offered or had accepted the job, but it became apparent weekend before last that it was a matter of when, not if, Meyer officially became Tressel’s successor.
UPDATED 8:57 a.m. ET: OSU athletic director — for now — Gene Smith will conduct a previously unscheduled meeting with the current coaching staff later this morning to inform them of the development, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting. The current scuttlebutt is that a meeting with the players will take place as well today, likely early this afternoon. Those two meetings are expected to take place before an official release announcing Meyer’s hiring is issued by the school.