COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says it was a series of factors that led to his decision to step down.
He says his headaches have become a persistent problem. He also says he is not sure he is able to coach at the intense, demanding level he has used for more than 30 years.
Meyer was suspended for three games at the start of this season for his role in handling domestic violence allegations against a now-fired assistant coach. He says the investigation of him also played a role in his decision.
Meyer was asked if the suspension will affect his legacy. He answered: "I'm sure it will... I can lie to you and say it is not important to me."
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is explaining his reasoning to retire after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
He says the headaches he suffers from the cyst that he has in his brain became severe last season during Ohio State's game at Penn State and have become a persistent problem this season.
He says stepping away would have been more difficult if the program wasn't healthy. The Buckeyes are 12-1 after winning the Big Ten. He also says knowing assistant coach Ryan Day would be his successor made the decision easier.
Meyer says the timing of his retirement was based on recruiting. He said the move needed to be made before the early signing period opens on Dec. 19.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith opened a news conference about Urban Meyer's retirement, saying the coach has exceeded expectations and raised the level competition in the Big Ten.
"We have enjoyed an incredible run. I recognize the toll that it takes," Smith said.
Smith said Meyer will be staying with the university in a new capacity, working coaches and athletes, but he was not specific about the role.
Rutgers coach Chris Ash was defensive coordinator for Urban Meyer for two seasons at Ohio State, including the 2014 national championship team.
He says Meyer was a great leader and was clear with both his expectations and the "culture that he wanted within the program."
The Buckeyes say Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl game against Washington on Jan. 1. A news conference with Meyer and school officials was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
North Carolina coach Mack Brown says Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told him he is stepping down for health reasons.
Brown told reporters that Meyer called him on Tuesday morning to tell him about his decision to retire after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, a decision that was announced on Tuesday.
Brown says Meyer "explained to me that he has the health issues and that's totally the reason he's stepping away, and it's time for him to do that."
Brown added: "(Meyer) told me that he couldn't be animated at the level he needed to to energize the team and stay healthy."
Brown was coach at Texas for 16 years and there were times he expected to face Meyer's Florida teams in national championship games. He just took over at North Carolina.
Former Ohio State players are paying tribute to retiring coach Urban Meyer.
Ohio State says the 54-year-old Meyer is retiring from coaching and co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over after the Rose Bowl.
Former Buckeyes linebacker Joshua Perry says in a tweet that aside from his parents, Meyer was "one of the most influential people to touch my life."
Former safety Tyvis Powell tweeted that it "was truly an honor to play for not only the best coach in America, but a great mentor as well."
Michael Thomas, a receiver who plays for the New Orleans Saints, tweeted that he sheds a tear when thinking about the impact Meyer had on his life and others.
Urban Meyer, the coach who won three national football championships and was suspended for three games this season for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a now-fired assistant, will retire after Ohio State plays in the Rose Bowl.
The university announced the decision but didn't say why he was leaving after seven years at the Big Ten school, where he has an 82-9 record. But the 54-year-old coach has previously cited health concerns. He has a cyst in his brain that causes severe headaches.
A news conference was scheduled when Meyer will announce his retirement. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day will become the team's 25th head coach after the Rose Bowl game.
Meyer guided Ohio State to the national championship in 2014. He also won titles at Florida in 2006 and 2008.