It's no surprise but the more you read into Ohio State's turnaround under Urban Meyer, the more you see he is continuing that which served him well at Florida and other coaching stops. For him, it's about the relationship -- with individuals and with his team. You can read between the lines and see that developing those relationships through communication are part of the strategy he utilizes.
There was a great article earlier written by Chuck Culpepper for the Washington Post titled: "Rise of Ohio State’s Urban Meyer fueled by player relationships" -- you can read it in it's entirety hear but here are a few of the excerpts the resonated with me:
“To be honest, the biggest thing about Urban is he instilled more confidence in players than I’ve ever seen before,” said Revill, 34, a then-defensive back. “You could be a very average football player and he could make you feel like you were an all-star. Really, every player felt like we could be the best team in the country when before we knew our statistics didn’t show that. He basically said, ‘We have a scheme in place that literally, if you buy into the system and we execute it properly, we will not lose …’
“People that had negative attitudes the year before were buying in and people you wouldn’t expect to buy into a system like that bought in.” Tardiness ebbed. “He got guys who completely changed their lifestyle and got them where they were 100-percent involved.”
In Revill’s words and in others, that seems to have combined with an accessibility to players infrequent in the icons of last century if more common nowadays. All along the way, Meyer seemed to understand football as a collaborative human experience, and that understanding it that way actually might help the football.
When Florida reached the BCS Championship Game in Meyer’s second season, players there told of atmospheric shifts in the program. Linebacker Brandon Siler said the emphasis had changed to value togetherness so that, “We play for each other and we care about the guy next to us.” Receiver Jemalle Cornelius managed to mention “going bowling and hanging out all the time.” Offensive tackle Steve Rissler said, “I didn’t really go to my coach’s house in the last coaching staff. This time, I have been numerous times and hung out with their kids. I know his wife.”
To this day, Revill values dinners he had, as a captain, with Meyer, Meyer’s wife, Shelley, and Revill’s wife, Carlye.
“He is a good guy,” Revill said of Meyer, “but I don’t think him going with the captain of the team to dinner is because he wants to be nice. It’s because it’s a part of his plan, a part of him wanting to get people super-involved in what he’s doing.”