Urban Meyer timeline: A long series of controversies, incidents and embarrassments marked his short time with Jaguars

Garry Smits
Florida Times-Union

Urban Meyer was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars late Wednesday night by owner Shad Khan, after a series of incidents that marked his tenure of exactly 11 months.

From the controversial hiring of former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle - and his almost immediate resignation - to the incident in a Columbus, Ohio, restaurant with a woman and run-ins with his staff and players, Meyer's time with the Jaguars was marked by one on- and off-field incident after another.

His record was 2-11: two more losses than he had during seven years at Ohio State and only four fewer than six years at Florida.

Here is a timeline of the major incidents the plagued Meyer during his time in Jacksonville:

Shad Khan: 'I got it right' 

Jan. 14, 2021: Meyer is hired as the Jaguars' sixth full-time coach by Khan after three seasons as an analyst with FOX Sports. Khan, who pursued Meyer as soon as he fired previous coach Doug Marrone, was enthusiastic about the hire and stated, "I got it right."

Chris Doyle resigns under pressure 

Feb. 11, 2021: Meyer hires former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, despite accusations of racist remarks and bullying during his time with the Hawkeyes. Doyle resigned less than 48 hours later after numerous protests, including a statement from the Fritz Pollard Alliance denouncing "A Failure of Leadership by the Jacksonville Jaguars."  

In this Sept. 1, 2018, file photo, Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle walks on the field before a college football game between Iowa and Northern Illinois in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Tim Tebow experiment

May 20, 2021: The Jaguars signed former Nease High School and University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won two national championships and the Heisman Trophy under Meyer.

Tebow was signed as a tight end after spending six years away from the game and never looked comfortable in a position where the Jags desperately needed a playmaker. He was released after one preseason game

Tim Tebow (85) high fives fans after an preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 14.

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Jags fined by NFL 

July 1, 2021: The NFL fined Meyer $100,000 and the Jaguars $200,000 for violating league rules on contact during off-season practices. The Jags also will lost two OTA sessions this coming season. 

Urban Meyer, team subpoenaed 

July 14, 2021: The Jaguars and Meyer were issued subpoenas by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa for documents, electronic transmissions and other evidence related to the hiring and subsequent resignation of Doyle. The subpoenas were part of attorneys for former Iowa football players who were seeking evidence in their $20 million racial discrimination civil lawsuit against Iowa.

Embarrassing video after loss 

Oct. 2, 2021: A video surfaced showing a woman dancing in close contact with Meyer at the Columbus, Ohio restaurant he owns, one day after the Jaguars' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Meyer stayed in Ohio rather than returning to Jacksonville with the team.

Khan described Urban Meyer's conduct in the video as "inexcusable," saying that the coach "must regain our trust and respect."

Meyer he apologized to the team and his family, calling his behavior "stupid" for creating a "distraction." A second video later surfaces, more clearly showing Meyer's hand touching the woman's backside. 

Benching James Robinson 

Dec. 5, 2021: For the second week in a row, James Robinson, the Jaguars 1,000-yard rusher as a rookie in 2020, is benched for an extended period of time for fumbling. Robinson had lost only one fumble in two years before the Atlanta and Los Angeles Rams games.

Over a period of two weeks, Meyer alternately blamed Robinson's injury and running backs coach Bernie Parmalee's rotation for benching Robinson. 

James Robinson talks with Urban Meyer before a game on Nov. 28.

Turmoil within the building 

Dec. 11, 2021: An NFL Media report stated that there was turmoil within the locker room and coaching staff because of Meyer demanding his assistant coaches defend their records, and a heated argument he had with wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who was said to have left the stadium and refused to return until talked back. Meyer disputed the characterizations of his meeting with the staff and his conversation with Jones - the latter version confirmed by Jones in an awkward news conference on Wednesday.

Kicking Josh Lambo 

Dec. 15, 2021: Former kicker Josh Lambo revealed to the Tampa Bay Times and First Coast News that Meyer cursed at him and kicked him while he was stretching before a  practice.

When Lambo told Meyer to never kick him again, Lambo said Meyer's response was, "I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f—— I want.’' Lambo also said Meyer threatened him in the team's dining facility with cutting him. Meyer denied the incident in a statement. 

Josh Lambo walks on the field to kickoff to the Arizona Cardinals after missing an extra-point attempt on Sept. 26.

Urban Meyer fired 

Dec. 16, 2021: Khan fires Meyer and in a statement issued shortly after 12:30 a.m. ET, said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season. “After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” the statement.  “I informed Urban of the change this evening.  As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential.  Regrettably, it did not happen.”