For a man who has dedicated every ounce of energy to coaching, the sport he loves nearly cost him his life.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, a former two-time national champion at Florida, recently told HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ that the Gators’ 2009 football season left him depressed and physically drained according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.

“I was in a panic situation,” Meyer said, in reference to Florida’s BCS National Championship victory over Oklahoma in 2008. “We just won it. We got to do it again. I close the door. And I started just recruiting. One of my friends came and said, ‘What are you doing?’ He said, ‘Enjoy, what’s wrong with you, man? Enjoy this.’ I tried.”

Meyer resigned from his post at Florida in December 2009 after the Gators failed to win consecutive titles, citing health concerns for his departure. Original reports of heart-related issues were inaccurate despite Meyer’s trip to a local Gainesville hospital with chest pains.

It was more a stress issue, the byproduct of spending every waking moment thinking football.

“They said, ‘We don’t believe it was a heart attack.’ ” Meyer said. “So, OK, ‘Well, what is it?’ ‘We don’t know.’ And then you start thinking, ‘There’s something wrong with me mentally, you know? What is going on here?’ ”

Down 37 pounds since the start of the 2009 season after Florida’s loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Meyer thought he was dying.

“Mentally, I was broke.”

Stepping away from the game and spending more time with his family was the original goal before Meyer’s native Ohio State came calling in November 2011 after a brief career as an ESPN analyst.