“After several weeks of deliberation and a thorough analysis of Urban’s entire tenure with our team, I am deeply disappointed to come to the conclusion that immediate change is essential for all.” Khan said. “I notified Urban of the change this evening. As I mentioned in October, it was essential to restore our trust and respect. Unfortunately, that has not happened.”
Owner Daryl Bevel, offensive coordinator, will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Mayer’s departure followed a number of controversies that have dogged his tenure at Jacksonville, including a report on Wednesday that former kicker Josh Lambeau accused the coach of kicking him during a training session in August.
“He kicked me in the leg,” Lambeau said of Meyer.
According to The Times, Mayer denied that what Lambeau said was accurate.
“Josh Lee’s description of this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses who disprove his account,” Mayer told the newspaper. “(General Manager) Trent (Balkee) has met him on several occasions to cheer his performance, and this was never touched upon. I have been fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish only the best for him.”
Lambeau told The Times that the kick “certainly wasn’t as hard as he could have done, but it certainly wasn’t a love flick.”
“Honestly, I would have scored it as five (out of 10),” Lambeau told the newspaper. “In the workplace, I don’t care if it’s football or not, a coach can’t beat an employee. And for a second, I couldn’t believe it actually happened. Oops, I said, ‘Don’ Have you ever kicked a king again!’ And his response was, ‘I’m Head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever I want to.”
CNN has reached out to Jaguars for comment from Meyer and the organization.
Other issues in Jacksonville
Khan did not mention the kicking allegations in his statement about Mayer.
“I have taken up this matter with Urban. Details of our conversation will be kept confidential,” Khan said at the time.
After sharing the video online, Mayer admitted he acted “stupidly” and apologized to his team for being an unwelcome distraction to the preparations.
In February, Mayer defended his controversial appointment of Chris Doyle, a former strength and conditioning coach at the University of Iowa, to be the team’s athletic performance director.
Doyle, who was a staff member at the University of Iowa from 1999-2019, was placed on administrative leave by the school in June 2020 after several former Iowa players accused him of racism. Soon, the university and Doyle agreed to separate. Doyle posted a statement on Twitter at the time – which has since been deleted – saying the accusations about his behavior were “incorrect”.
The Jaguars have gone 2-11 this season. According to Khan, Trent Balkey will remain as general manager, and will work with Bevel “to ensure our team is inspiring and competitive while proudly representing Jacksonville for the last four games of the season.”
Mayer’s last major coaching job was at Ohio State, from 2012-2018. He helped guide the team to a national title in 2014. He also won two National Championships when he was coach of the Florida Gators, in 2006 and 2008. After stepping down as head coach at Ohio State, Mayer worked as a studio analyst at Fox Sports.
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