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Tuesday May 3, 2005Urban Meyer Goes "Under The Lights" On Sun Sports


As Gator fans across the state get set for the upcoming football season with their new head coach, Sun Sports debuts a compelling and insightful look at Urban Meyer, focusing on both the coach and the man, in the latest episode of its critically acclaimed UNDER THE LIGHTS series.

UNDER THE LIGHTS: URBAN MEYER premieres Friday, May 6, at 7pm statewide with several repeats scheduled throughout May.

Hosted by Sun Sports' Whit Watson, the one-hour show tells the story of Meyer's cross-country path to Gainesville, the individuals and experiences that have inspired and shaped him along the way, and features comments from those who know him well. The special gives viewers insight into Coach Meyer with interviews with those who've played, and continue to play, a part in both his coaching career and his life off the field.

Coaches that inspired Meyer appear in the special, including legendary names like Lou Holtz and Sonny Lubick, for both of whom Meyer was an assistant. If it wasn't for the pushing and prodding of Holtz's son Skip, a friend of Meyer's at the time, to get his influential father to meet the young coach, even Meyer himself wonders where he would be today.

"Skip pulled a back door play on me to trick me into meeting Urban during lunch," Holtz says during the special. "We talked football for an hour and I knew he was someone special." And without the support and knowledge about life from Lubick, Meyer might not in the coaching profession at all. "I would not be coaching today if it wasn't for Sonny," Meyer says. "I would've been burned out. He was instrumental in teaching me how to treat people."

UNDER THE LIGHTS: URBAN MEYER traces Meyer's path from growing up as a tough high school football player in Ashtabula, OH, to coaching beneath Touchdown Jesus in South Bend and eventually leading an undefeated Utah team to a history-making BCS bowl game win last season.

Current and former players add their insight as well, including 2005 No. 1 NFL Draft pick Alex Smith, and current Gators Brandon Siler and Mike Degory. Shelley Meyer offers insight into what the UF position means to the Meyer family and to Urban.

First day reactions of UF players upon meeting the discipline-oriented Meyer, who was selected as the 21st head coach in UF history are featured.

"At first, when he arrived, we all wondered who the heck did he think he was," says Siler. "After 45 minutes of hearing him talking we thought, we're about to win a national championship."

The program also looks into Meyer's highly anticipated arrival in Gainesville, with Sun Sports' cameras and microphones following the head Gator this Spring during practice and the Orange & Blue Game, around the state to booster events, on-campus and one-on-one.

UNDER THE LIGHTS: URBAN MEYER repeats Saturday, May 7, at 11:30am; May 9, 8pm; May 10, 11pm; May 15, 11am; and May 30, 8pm (ET).

The acclaimed UNDER THE LIGHTS series draws upon Sun Sports' longstanding television partnerships with many of the state's professional and collegiate teams providing viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at some of Florida's top sports stories and newsmakers away from the playing fields. Given unparalleled access by the schools, coaches and teams, the series allows viewers to witness preparations rarely seen by anyone outside the teams/programs.

Florida's Sun Sports is a member of the Fox family of regional sports networks and is available in more than 6.1 million cable and satellite homes statewide. The network's programming partnership with the

University of Florida is one of the most comprehensive in the nation, providing Gator fans with extensive, year-round coverage of their favorite team.

Sun Sports is available via cable and satellite in Florida, nationwide via satellite, and much of its local/regional programming is available to digital cable subscribers outside Florida via Fox College Sports. For more information on the network, visit



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