Of the many, many revelations in Urban Meyer’s text messages, the most newsworthy was the discussion between Meyer and Zach Smith of a previously unreported job offer for Smith to become Alabama’s wide receivers coach in January of 2018.
“After much thought, I want u to stay,” Meyer texted Smith on Jan. 18, 2018. “I have personally invested far too much in u to get u in position to take next step. U need to step away from other situation and let’s go in it all…. again.”
“We got u thru the shit–now go b a difference maker in the staff room,” Meyer said in a subsequent text.
“Yes sir I agree,” Smith responded. “They offered me the job and I wanted to sleep on it before deciding but it doesn’t feel right. I love this place, my players and am loyal to you for everything you’ve done. I just want to grow and keep my career on track but I’m confident that’s here. I’m ready to be a difference maker and ready to win it all again. I appreciate everything coach.”
“From this point forward… All grown ass man conversation, never again childish shit… use ur gifts and knowledge. Cell phone away-full engagement and become a coordinator. U have the ability,” Meyer responded.
“Yes sir,” Smith answered. “I will.”
Meyer clearly believed Smith’s version of events, texting a redacted recipient three days later, “Zach smith was offered wr/passing game Coord at Alabama. Went there to talk to Saban. At first thought maybe he should go but then decided all that effort I’ve put (in) to him and it’s Alabama. I told him to stay and he turned it down.
Every f—- day it’s something.”
In fact, Meyer was so convinced Smith’s offer was real that he texted an unknown recipient on Jan. 19, “Should (we) leak out that Alabama trie(d) to hire Schiano, Grinch and Zach and all three turned them down? Recruiting?”
A bombshell like that never passes without question, so on Saturday Saban was asked if his version of events matched Smith’s. Turns out, they didn’t.
Oh, and even though Meyer is no longer in coaching, Saban still used the opportunity to twist the knife in his former rival, telling AL.com:
“I think it’s pretty common that sometimes people that get interviewed someplace or someone calls and shows interest in them, it’s the way this profession works is that you go in and use that as leverage to try and improve your situation where you are now, especially if you have a job or you decide that that’s a better opportunity for you. We talk to a lot of coaches about a lot of things. I really never did ever offer this guy a job.
“He did a nice job in the interview. But it was when we did the background check that we decided that there was a better opportunity to hire somebody else, and that’s what we did.”
Another person who doesn’t believe Smith truly had an offer on the table? His ex-wife.
I’d like to hear his answer too because that’s not what I was told. Would be interesting if my ex lied to urban AGAIN & tried to use it as leverage for a raise. It’s not like UM would have called NS up to ask him about it 🤔 https://t.co/Bo4ZQPtVug
— Courtney Carano Smith (@CourtneyCSmith3) August 2, 2019
Saban eventually hired Penn State wide receivers coach Josh Gattis, who is now Michigan’s offensive coordinator. Holmon Wiggins will coach wide receivers for Alabama in 2019, the Tide’s fourth wideouts coach in as many seasons.
Smith never coached for Saban and, as it turns out, he never coached for Meyer again either. He was fired as Ohio State’s wide receivers coach six months later.