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Ohio State head coach hosts local fundraiser

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - For real football fans there is no such thing as off season.  And Monday night hundreds of football fans came out to see the head coach of the Ohio State University.

Sports Illustrated called him the coach of the decade in 2009 and it's easy to understand why.

Urban Meyer has won two national championships as a head football coach, both at Florida. And this past season, his first as head coach of Ohio State, he went an undefeated 12-0.

Hundreds of people came out to hear the coach give the keynote address at the Covelli Centre for the 8th annual Champions Among Us dinner to benefit the local United Way.

He says everything he's learned as a coach and as a man he learned from growing up in Northeast Ohio.

"And where or who you've become, it's where you grew up.  And I'm proud to say if you've come down and watched the Ohio State University practice; the way we do business, the way we handle our players, the way we love our players but also push them very hard. Where did it happen? Up the street on Route 11 in Ashtabula, Ohio.  And I'm so grateful and blessed to be brought up there," Meyer said.

Coach Meyer says it says something about a team and its players who all refused to go to another school after finding out, through no fault of their own, that Ohio State would be ineligible for a bowl game this past season.

"It's the genuine love for the Ohio State University that's why those kids stayed.  The other reason they stayed, and this brings chills to every coach and everyone in this room, their genuine love for one another. Not the fake stuff, the genuine love. That's why they stuck around," Meyer said.

Meyer spoke for about 20 minutes. The United Way hoped his visit would help them raise around $100,000.

Spokesperson, Bob Hannon says, "People want to come support the United Way, but when you get a marquis speaker it really doubles the attendance and it also adds credibility to what we're trying to do that coach Meyer would come here and support the Youngstown Mahoning Valley United Way."

The Youngstown United Way supports 34 local non profit agencies throughout the Valley.

And as always, the money raised here stays here.

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