Florida coach Urban Meyer is taking an indefinite leave of absence instead of resigning and expects to be on the sideline leading the Gators when next season opens.
"I do in my gut believe that will happen," Meyer said yesterday at a Sugar Bowl news conference in New Orleans.
Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will run the team during Meyer's absence, but Meyer will be the coach against No. 4 Cincinnati on New Year's Day.
"It's full speed ahead. We're going to do everything possible to win this game," Meyer said.
Less than 24 hours after resigning because of health concerns, Meyer changed his mind. He said he was offered and encouraged to take a leave of absence earlier in the week by the university's president. Yesterday, after conferring with athletic director Jeremy Foley and his family he "accepted the offer to improve my health."
The 45-year-old Meyer said being with his players at a "spirited practice" yesterday morning persuaded him not to resign.
On Saturday, Meyer said he was stepping down after five seasons as Gators coach.
After the Southeastern Conference championship game three weeks ago, Meyer spent several hours in a Gainesville, Fla., hospital because of chest pains.
Meyer said yesterday he had experienced similar problems at times this season but had not had a heart attack. However, he would not elaborate on his physical condition. When asked if doctors advised him to stop coaching, Meyer again declined to answer.
Foley said when he went to sleep Saturday night he did not think there was any chance Meyer would change his mind.
"It was a long night for everybody in Gator nation," Foley said. "The intent here is to make sure Urban goes and deals with the issues we discussed last night."
Gators quarterback Tim Tebow said he and several of his teammates cried when they found out that Meyer was stepping down Saturday and were elated when he told them he changed his mind.
"We want him to do what's best for him," Tebow said. "We want him to get himself right, and when he's right then come back to coaching, then get back into ball."
Meyer is 56-10 with Florida, including 32-8 in the SEC and a school-record 22-game winning streak that was snapped by the Crimson Tide in the conference title game Dec. 5.
Last month, Sports Illustrated chronicled Meyer's coaching career and reported that he suffered from persistent headaches caused by a cyst that becomes inflamed by stress, rage and excitement.
Music City Bowl. C.J. Spiller scored a touchdown and had 172 all-purpose yards in his final college game, leading Clemson to a 21-13 victory over Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville.
The Tigers (9-5) had not won a bowl since the 2005 Champs Sports Bowl.
Spiller, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, scored his 51st career touchdown - a Clemson record - on an 8-yard run with 10 minutes, 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter to make it 21-13.
Kyle Parker threw a touchdown pass for the Tigers, and Jamie Harper ran for another score.