It was a surprise for many Buckeye fans Tuesday: getting the breaking news notice that head coach Urban Meyer is retiring after the Rose Bowl. While the news wasn't a surprise to his family, his wife Shelley says they only found out about the final decision hours before word went out to the public.
"I did not know 100% until 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning that he was really going to do this. That's how hard it was," Shelley Meyer revealed about her husband's retirement as she sat down with ABC 6/FOX 28.
The first lady of football opened up about Urban Meyer's decision to retire, and the struggle to come to a decision. Retirement was something he'd been considering, but wavered throughout the season. "Really, really tough. It was like a roller coast of emotions all season," she said.
Shelley Meyer has been by her husband's side through the ups and downs, watching up close as her husband grappled with this season's turmoil and personal pain. Urban Meyer revealed at the start of the season he has an arachnoid cyst that he's dealing with, which causes severe headaches. Coach Meyer had surgery in 2014 to help relieve some of the symptoms. But he started experiencing severe pain again throughout the 2018 season, even dropping to his knees on the sideline during the Indiana game.
"I just want to see him happy and feeling good," Shelley Meyer said.
As the wife of the soon-to-be retired head coach, she says the time is just right. "Our family is very supportive of him doing this," she said. "The program is in a good place right now."
The family hopes to stay in Columbus for awhile, although they're not exactly sure what Urban will do. While answering questions about his retirement, Urban Meyer said he hopes to stay involved with Ohio State.
"There's a lot he loves to do. We're hoping he'll be a part of the athletic department at Ohio State. Maybe help with fundraising, be an ambassador. We've seen other coaches do that," Shelley said. She also said she does not want to see him coaching again, as his headaches and the stress of college football has become worse over the years.
Despite the harsh criticism and scrutiny the family endured this past season, they say they have nothing but love for Ohio State and its fans. They also want to thank everyone for their support.
"To Buckeye Nation - this program is our home. And the support we've gotten through all of August and all of September, it never wavered. Know that we love you back, and we will always be Buckeyes."
Full interview with Shelley Meyer: