Saturday, September 20, 2014, Ohio State’s football team had its first off week of a year that would ultimately end in a National Championship. Having a rare weekend of relative freedom in the fall, Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer was able to spend time with his family.
Watching football on TV instead of the sideline, Meyer spent Saturday night with his eyes glued to the big screen as he watched his longtime friend and former assistant Dan Mullen pull off what was then the biggest win of his career, a 34-29 victory in Baton Rouge over one of the country’s Top 10 teams.
Today in Starkville, Meyer spoke at Mississippi State’s coaching clinic, introduced by his old pal “Danny” Mullen. OSU’s head coach remembered that free Saturday clearly, he and his family pulling for the Bulldogs.
“I was cheering my heart out when Dak was running all over LSU,” he told the assembled coaches as Dak Prescott himself listened from the side.
The two ended up speaking for several minutes after Meyer finished his talk, and while Prescott was new to Meyer, elsewhere in the room he saw several familiar faces from his long, successful career. He was greeted with a huge hug and smile from Megan Mullen, who he first new as Dan’s girlfriend, the TV reporter Meg West. He spoke to MSU’s John Hevesy, Jon Clark and Billy Gonzales, too – all members of his staff at least once along the way.
The connections are everywhere, as the next speaker mentioned. Meyer was followed on the stage by Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien. While Meyer’s connection is Mullen, O’Brien’s is Hevesy, State’s offensive line coach.
It was only six months, but for a period of time so many years ago, Hevesy and O’Brien shared a desk at Brown University where they were the offensive line and running backs coaches, respectively.
“We’re just two guys that are very passionate about coaching football,” O’Brien said.
The talks the two coaches gave focused on leadership, though certainly, re-connecting with old friends became a topic of conversation.
MSU’s coaches clinic will continue through the day.