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Urban Meyer reportedly retired due to health concerns

When Urban Meyer abruptly and stunningly stepped down as Florida’s head coach Wednesday, he said that, unlike last year’s flip-flop, his health was not a factor in his decision.

According to the Gainesville Sun, and confirmed by the Associated Press, it indeed was.

The Sun reported Sunday morning that Meyer stepped down because health reasons made continuing on as head coach too risky. Meyer was rumored to have been dealing with heart issues that forced his brief retirement and subsequent sabbatical, although Meyer stated publicly that he was suffering from esophageal spasms.

Apparently, those issues remained even as he was taking medication that was reportedly keeping the episodes under control.

Meyer was told by doctors last week that the symptoms he continues to experience — including burning sensations in his chest -- would raise his cardiovascular risk factors, so he decided it necessitated his resignation, according to the source. Meyer had been told a year ago that if his symptoms continued, it would increase his cardiovascular risks if he continued to coach.

Meyer said earlier in the week that he will not be coaching in 2011 -- insert skepticism here -- although he did not rule out a return to the sidelines in the future. Obviously, based on the past year, his return -- whenever it is -- will be directly tied to how successful he is in getting his health issues under control.

As for his immediate future, Meyer plans on remaining in some capacity at the university and will coach the Gators in the Outback Bowl against Penn State New Year’s Day.