Urban Meyer learns about recovery from Coach K

By Adam Silverstein
April 4, 2010

PART II: Coach K speaks on meeting with Urban Meyer

Duke Blue Devils head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and Florida Gators head football coach Urban Meyer have something unique in common aside from each being at the top of their game coaching-wise. Like Meyer did after last the 2010 Sugar Bowl at the end of the season, Krzyzewski took a leave of absence from his team after its 1994-95 campaign due to back issues and an intense level of exhaustion.

Speaking to the media after practice Friday for the first time in over two weeks, Meyer told reporters that he sought out and met with Krzyzewski recently to discuss his return to coaching from a leave of absence he took to deal with his own health issues.

“I did meet with Coach Krzyzewski. I went up there and talked to him for a little while. I didn’t really meet with many guys [during my leave of absence], just my closest friends. He actually went through something where he had some kind of health issue that he dealt with and actually took a year off. And I think the biggest thing I learned from him — without giving it much detail — is he surrounded himself with a little pack of people he really trusts. If you look at his staff, they’re all former players and they’re all people [he can trust]. And he can do that because it’s such a small staff. I think that’s important, to get that little foxhole mentality where you’re with the guys who care about you and you care about them.”

This appears to be advice Meyer needed, especially after losing his defensive coordinator (twice), secondary coach, wide receivers coach and running backs coach all within a few weeks of each other. He has raved about their respective replacements – Teryl Austin, Zach Azzanni and Stan Drayton – and seems to have already maintained a solid comfort level with his new staff.

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