Meyer has town hall meeting with students, Ohio State football coaches
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
The biggest story surrounding Ohio State football in 2012 has been the team’s new coaching staff, led by new coach Urban Meyer, whose coaching career already includes two BCS National Championship victories.
On Tuesday night, Meyer and three other members of his coaching staff spoke to OSU students in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom of the Ohio Union, at an event called the Urban Meyer Student Town Hall Meeting. Meyer was joined by defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel and assistant athletic director for football sports performance Mickey Marotti.
Meyer spoke with praise about the coaches who sat on the stage with him.
“What you really need are great coaches,” Meyer said. “I’m proud to say we’ve got a great staff, and these two (Fickell and Vrabel) are great coaches.”
Meyer said he also believed in building a coaching staff with Ohio roots.
“I brought in some great coaches,” Meyer said. “The one thing that’s common, eight of our nine coaches on our staff are from the great state of Ohio.”
Fickell, who served as interim head coach of the Buckeyes last season, said even though many of the coaches are new to the program, he believes that all of them understand the history of OSU football.
“I think a lot of them (the coaches) have some familiarity, whether they played against them, whether they grew up here,” Fickell said. “What we probably haven’t had a chance to do is really get into that game, that season, that true game-time atmosphere.”
Vrabel, who joined Fickell’s staff last season in July, is still in his first calendar year as a coach following his retirement as a player from the NFL. Vrabel said he is still becoming acclimated to life as a college football coach.
“The one thing that I have to keep reminding myself is that until summer camp and fall camp starts, every day is a new day for me,” Vrabel said.
Marotti stressed that OSU football players must have a great work ethic.
“I’m all about hard work,” Marotti said. “I think the great people of the state of Ohio understand what hard work is all about, and I think that’s what, to me, Ohio State is all about.”
Meyer also spoke about the success of OSU football during the 10-year span that Jim Tressel led the Buckeyes as head coach.
“The previous staff did a great job at Ohio State,” Meyer said. “There was obviously a mistake made, but you can’t just take the last decade of football and say that great things didn’t happen at Ohio State.”
Meyer’s wife Shelley, Fickell’s wife Amy and Vrabel’s wife Jen, a former OSU volleyball player, joined their husbands on stage. Four players from the team also made appearances on stage: senior fullback Zach Boren, sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, redshirt senior linebacker Etienne Sabino and senior defensive end John Simon.
Miller said his favorite OSU football tradition is the team’s “preparation to beat the team up north”, referring to the Buckeyes’ annual rivalry game and regular-season finale versus Michigan.