5 Minutes with Urban Meyer

September 23, 2011 — Many of the interviews I conduct each season are planned out days in advance, weeks in advance and in some cases even months in advance.

The interview that I conducted with Condoleezza Rice for The Women’s Issue of Yankees Magazine took place in June, but I reached out to the former secretary of state for the first time in January.

Some interviews require no planning at all, and the process of trying to secure time with the subject through phone calls and e-mails is non-existent.

Those interviews usually take place when a dignitary, entertainer or sports figure makes a surprise visit to Yankee Stadium. In the last five years, I was able to interview Paul McCartney (2007) and Colin Powell (2010) on what were spur of the moment visits to the ballpark.

Earlier this summer, I spoke to former University of Florida football coach Urban Meyer in the Yankees dugout. I didn’t know that Meyer was going to be at the game until I walked onto the field, but I was pleasantly surprised to see him.

My interview with Meyer will be published in the October issue of Yankees Magazine, and it includes Meyer’s recollections of George Steinbrenner. Long before Meyer led the Florida Gators to two National Championships, he was an assistant coach with Ohio University, an institution that Steinbrenner made major contributions to over many years.

“I actually know more about Mr. Steinbrenner because he was in the shipping industry, and I lived on Lake Eerie,” Meyer said. “He meant a lot to Ohio State because he not only donated money, but he also gave so much of his time to the university. When I moved to Florida, I began to see how much philanthropic work he did in Tampa. Of course, he also transformed the game of baseball because of his desire to always be the best.”

Check out the rest of the interview in October issue of Yankees Magazine, which comes out on Friday September 30.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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