Report has Meyer taking Florida's open post

Saturday, December 4, 2004

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It looks like Florida is going to get its first choice this time.

Turned down by Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan three years ago before settling on Ron Zook, the Gators lured Utah coach Urban Meyer away from his "dream job" Friday, according to several media reports.

Meyer seemingly has snubbed Notre Dame, where he worked as the receivers coach for five years, and agreed to a seven-year, $14 million deal with Florida, according to The Gainesville Sun.

His wide-open offense should be welcomed at Florida, where Zook never could satisfy fans who became accustomed to Steve Spurrier's innovative system that was fun to watch and tough to stop.

Meyer will quadruple his $500,000 salary and inherit a program with plenty of talent; the Gators finished 7-4, with three losses coming in the waning minutes.

Messages left by The Associated Press on Friday at Meyer's office and the office of Utah athletic director Chris Hill were not immediately returned.

Officials at Florida refused to confirm the reports and said there was no immediate plans for a news conference.

Holtz hired at ECU

East Carolina introduced former South Carolina assistant Skip Holtz as its head football coach on Friday.

Holtz, 40, is the son of Lou Holtz, who retired last week at South Carolina, and was quarterbacks coach on his father's staff. He was offensive coordinator through the 2003 season, when Lou Holtz took on that role. Skip Holtz also served as the offensive coordinator under his father at Notre Dame.

When Steve Spurrier was hired to replace Lou Holtz as the Gamecocks' coach, he decided not to keep Skip Holtz as an assistant.

Gill leaving Nebraska

Turner Gill, the last enduring tie to the Tom Osborne era at Nebraska, announced his resignation as an assistant coach on Friday to pursue full-time his goal of becoming a head coach.

Gill said at a news conference that he had been pondering such a move for a few years. He characterized his decision to leave now as "a leap of faith."

Gill, 42, had been in the program as a player or coach most of the last 25 years and was one of the two assistants Bill Callahan retained from the Frank Solich staff.

-- From wire reports

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