SALT LAKE CITY -- Coaching Notre Dame is still Urban Meyer's dream job. It just isn't the one he's taking.
"This was a family decision that was made prior to the other situation," Meyer said Saturday after the fifth-ranked Utes practiced.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said Saturday in Gainesville, Fla., that Meyer's contract was for seven years, $14 million.
"He's got a presence," Foley said. "You walk into a room and you can tell he has a little something about him."
Meyer said he met with Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White on Thursday night after White and the school's new president flew to Salt Lake City. But Meyer said the meeting was out of respect for the school where he spent five seasons as an assistant.
|Urban Meyer was carried off the field after Utah's Nov. 20 rout of rival BYU.(AP)|
Meyer told his players before practice Saturday that he was taking the Florida job, confirming what they already knew. By going 10-2 in Meyer's first season and 11-0 this year, the Utes vaulted Meyer to the top of many schools' wish lists.
And Florida, which fired Ron Zook in October, was apparently the first in line. Foley is looking good after luring Meyer, who has never lost more than three games in a season in his four years as a head coach. The Gators had been spurned three years ago by Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan when Steve Spurrier left for the NFL.
Spurrier, who was considered an early candidate for the Florida job when Zook was fired, is the new coach at South Carolina, which plays in the same division as the Gators.
"You have to give that guy credit. He's had four fantastic seasons in a row at two different schools," Spurrier told ABC TV on Saturday. "When you're hot, you're hot as they say. He's hot right now."
Meyer spent five seasons as an assistant at Notre Dame and had an out clause in his Utah contract if the Irish head coaching job was available. It opened Tuesday when Notre Dame fired Tyrone Willingham, but Meyer was already leaning toward Florida.