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  • Spurrier wants to return to college ranks not the NFL

    Nov. 10, 2004 wire reports

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Steve Spurrier wants to return to college coaching.


    Spurrier told several newspapers he has no intentions returning to the NFL, where he spent two losing seasons with the Washington Redskins.

    Spurrier left Florida in 2002 after 12 winning seasons, six Southeastern Conference championships and a national title. He went 12-20 with the Redskins and resigned after last season.

    "I probably decided then that I was done with the NFL," he told the Gainesville Sun. "It wasn't the lifestyle best for me. You don't have scout teams in the NFL. When I was at Florida, I worked with the quarterback every snap for two hours. It wasn't that way in the NFL."

    Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt resigned Tuesday, prompting speculation that Spurrier would bring his famed visor and playbook to South Florida. But Spurrier told Florida Today that NFL teams shouldn't even bother pursuing him.

    Steve Spurrier isn't interested in the Dolphins' job or any other NFL gig. (Getty Images)
    "I've said recently to several people that if I get back coaching, it will probably be a good college job somewhere," Spurrier said. "It seems like I'm better suited for that. I know I certainly had a lot more success in the college game than in the NFL. So if I return to coaching, I think that would probably be the best idea."

    Spurrier even took a shot at his NFL record.

    "Probably very few NFL teams would want me after the success I had," he said. "Some probably would say that in the right situation I could be successful. But if I had a choice, I'd lean toward the college game. Everybody has their own little niche. The college game was certainly a lot better success-wise for me."

    Spurrier withdrew his name from consideration to return to Gainesville, where Ron Zook was fired last month after two-plus seasons.

    Spurrier refused to reveal whether he would have taken the job had it been offered, but school president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley weren't planning to extend any invitations without a full-blown search-and-interview process -- something Spurrier may have felt was a slap in the face considering his track record with the Gators.

    Now Spurrier could land elsewhere, maybe even with another SEC team.

    Spurrier said he would prefer to coach in a warm-weather climate. South Carolina? North Carolina? How about Texas?

    He declined to say whether he has spoken to any schools.

    "I can't answer all that. I can't answer all your questions. In the next two or three weeks, once the season is over, we'll see what happens," he told the Sun.

    "I think I've made it clear now that if I go back into coaching, it'll be at a good state university, a college job. Hopefully it will be in the South. I'd rather not get up there in the North."

    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    Return to Spurrier hardly a done deal
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 27, 2004 wire reports

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- All the trophies Steve Spurrier brought to Florida still line the hallways inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Six Southeastern Conference championships, two Heismans and a national title.


    Spurrier's legacy remains -- and it always will.

    He gave the program its first Heisman Trophy in 1966, its first SEC title in 1991 and its only national championship in 1996. He coached the Gators to 122 victories over 12 seasons, tormented opponents with his offensive flair and witty one-liners, and left town with the best winning percentage in league history.

    So if Spurrier wants to coach at Florida again, is there anything that would prevent his return?


    "Everybody thinks it's a done deal. It's not a done deal. It's not a slam dunk," said Tommy Donahoo, president of Gators Boosters Inc., which raises money for the school's athletic programs. "Spurrier can't just ask for the job and get it. There's certainly a contingency out there that wants him back, but there also are people upset with some of the things he did before."

    For everything Spurrier would seemingly return to Gainesville -- credibility, victories and championships -- he also brings some baggage.

    Many fans are still upset over the way Spurrier left Florida. He called athletic director Jeremy Foley from his beach house and dropped the news in the middle of the recruiting season.

    His recruiting dropped the last few years -- he admitted he left the "cupboard somewhat bare" -- and he wanted to limit the number of stops he made on the annual tour of "Gator Clubs."

    Speculation about his return has even prompted concerns about his age (is 59 older than ideal?) and his motivation (will he leave again for the NFL?).

    Would players, fans, boosters, Foley and school president Bernie Machen be willing to trade potential problems for the chance to restore the Gators to the national elite? Would they be silly not to?

    "It was hard for coach Zook to replace 'The Legend,"' center Mike Degory said. "And if 'The Legend' wants to come back, it's going to answer a lot of questions."

    There's also Spurrier's relationship with school administrators to consider, and his lack of one with Machen.


    As for Spurrier and Foley, the AD says the relationship hasn't soured.

    "Steve Spurrier and I were friends before he was the head football coach at the University of Florida, we're friends today and we'll be friends forever," Foley said. "Did we always see eye to eye and stuff? No, but our friendship has never been better."

    Spurrier has met Machen...
    -10-28-2004, 10:24 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Gators fans disheartened about Spurrier's choice
    by DJRamFan
    By Brian Shaffer Independent Florida Alligator
    Gainesville, FL (U-WIRE) -- The name Steve Spurrier evokes great emotion from the people of Gainesville, Fla.

    It was an emotion of hope when he took the head coaching position at UF in 1990. It was one of pride when he led the Gators to the 1996 national championship. But now, after hearing that their former beloved coach is taking over at South Carolina, the people of Gainesville run the gamut from angry to indifferent to almost relieved.

    Rumors of a storybook Spurrier return to the Gators sideline began swirling almost immediately following the Oct. 25 announcement of former coach Ron Zook's firing. At that press conference, UF athletics director Jeremy Foley insisted that he and Spurrier had not suffered a personal falling out and that Spurrier was certainly up for consideration to replace Zook.

    However, Spurrier soon issued a statement that he was withdrawing himself from consideration at UF. Fans quickly began to speculate whether his statement was sincere, or if he had dropped out of the running due to the way Foley and UF president Bernie Machen handled the situation.

    "I think [he didn't return because] he felt the reasons he left Florida in the first place were still valid," UF historian Norm Carlson said. "He was here for 12 years and he accomplished a heck of a lot. I think that is the reason he issued the statement a couple of weeks ago withdrawing from the position. He felt that the reasons had been validated."

    While the reasons that Spurrier balked at the opportunity to fill the Gators coaching vacancy are up for debate locally, some UF boosters are not happy with the way it was handled by the school's administration.

    "As a booster and lifelong Florida fan, I am disappointed in our university for not being able to put a deal together with Steve," said Larry Martin, a Bull Gator from Ocala. "I'm also disappointed in [Spurrier] that he has now decided to coach against the University of Florida instead of for us... It has been a real tough thing for us to digest and to swallow. When you think about how much he means to the university and to the UF fans, it almost feels like we've been slapped in the face."

    Spurrier's landing in Columbia and not in Gainesville may have incited Gators boosters, however, current UF students continue to ride high following a victory against in-state rival Florida State and are still preoccupied by the turmoil surrounding Zook.

    When Zook was fired in midseason, Zook loyalists were few and far between. But after three consecutive wins to finish out the season, Zook has received a groundswell of local support.

    "I'm actually almost tired of hearing about [Spurrier]," said Jesse Colston, a fourth-year Industrial Engineering student....
    -11-26-2004, 09:22 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Spurrier peeves prep coaches by yanking six scholarships
    by DJRamFan
    July 29, 2005
    CBS wire reports

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier upset high school coaches in his new homestate when he revoked the scholarships of six players recruited by his predecessor.


    The South Carolina Football Coaches Association's Board of Directors called the move "unethical" in a letter to Spurrier on Wednesday.

    "We understand athletic scholarships are a year commitment," according to the board's letter. "However, we feel that unless an athlete 'breaks rules' or embarrasses the institution, to revoke a scholarship because you feel an athlete cannot play at the level needed to compete in the Southeastern Conference is unethical."

    The board's letter, signed by about 90 coaches, also recommended the South Carolina High School League find an alternate location for its five state championship games, scheduled to be played at South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium in December.

    Steve Spurrier inherits a South Carolina squad that went 6-5 last season. (AP)
    Earlier this summer, Spurrier sent letters to six players telling them they would lose their scholarships. Those affected included South Carolina high school products Grayson Mullins and Trent Usher, both recruited by the staffs of former coach Lou Holtz.

    Scholarships are renewable each year.

    "If coming out of spring practice, you make that decision that's one thing," SCFCA board member Andy Tweito, an assistant coach at Daniel High, said Thursday. "Now, these kids are stranded, they have nowhere to go. He's left the kids high and dry."

    Spurrier says there are a few players signed by the old staff who new coaches did not think contributed much to the team.

    "We had some walk-on players who were actually contributing more," Spurrier said at the Southeastern Conference football gathering in Birmingham, Ala. "So some of the high schoolers, they got mad about it. I don't know what to say, but to me in life you put people on scholarship who deserve it the most and that's what we tried to do."

    Spurrier last week said receiver Michael Flint and long-snapper Ike Crofoot, both walk-ons, were rewarded with scholarships.

    Spurrier's arrival as Holtz's replacement has been greeted with glee by most South Carolina supporters. The school said Thursday it sold a record of 62,618 seasons tickets. Donations to the Gamecock Club were up more than $1 million from last year to a record of $13 million.

    Tweito said the high school coaches were not trying to pick a fight with Spurrier or sour future recruits on the Gamecocks; they were just making their case in one of the few ways they...
    -07-31-2005, 04:03 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Spurrier excited about SEC revival with Gamecocks
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 28, 2005
    By Dennis Dodd
    CBS Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- You really can't believe he's 60. On a random offseason weekday, Steve Spurrier is bounding around his office like a kid in Toys R Us.

    South Carolina fans hope Steve Spurrier can do for them what he did for Florida. (Getty Images)
    "Have you seen Cocky?" Spurrier says, flipping on the switch of a two-foot replica of the South Carolina mascot that begins dancing across a ledge.

    "I was lucky on the hair genes," he remarks after a reference to his perfectly coifed hair helmet that looks like it has been preserved since he won the Heisman in 1966 -- as a dashing senior.

    You simply can't believe he's 60. A doctor checked Spurrier's heart last year during his year off from football. It looked better than in 2003, his last year with the Washington Redskins. What was he doing different? Relaxing. Well, that and a new interest in the StairMaster.

    "It gets you huffin' and puffin'," says the smiling man who used to eat quarterbacks for lunch, even when they followed instructions.

    Lunch was served again in the spring. Spurrier, you see, reads everything. Not many people know that about him. Newspapers, TV, Internet. He likes to keep track of the condition of the program.

    After a scrimmage, quarterbacks Blake Mitchell and Antonio Heffner were asked how they thought they did. "Pretty good," they were basically quoted as saying.

    "You call that, 'pretty good?'" he shot back next time the three came together.

    Spurrier sat down his quarterbacks and showed them a film of Florida's 54-17 victory at South Carolina in 2001. Rex Grossman threw for 302 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Gators scored the last 44 points of the game.

    "It was a game we never punted," Spurrier said. "Now that's pretty good, not hitting one out of three. You guys have to understand what playing well means."

    This is the Spur Dog in full. At an age when a lot of men are counting the days to retirement, Spurrier is counting the days toward the opener in his new job.

    "Sometimes as a young coach in your 30s, you're trying to act like you're 45," Spurrier said. "When you get to be above 60 or so, you want to act like you're 45. Health-wise I feel like I can do more than I did at 45. Hopefully my mind is still as good as it was then.

    "I think it is."

    Consider that a warning shot. The college football world is on the edge of its cleats, waiting for The Tao of Steve to return to the game. That opener against Central Florida is now three days away. National television is moving...
    -08-29-2005, 06:07 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Holtz isn't worried about future just yet
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 15, 2004 wire reports

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- What's Lou Holtz going to do next? Depends if the White House calls.


    "I see Secretary of State's open," the 67-year-old South Carolina coach said Monday.

    Don't expect Holtz to succeed Colin Powell. But the question that's consumed South Carolina fans the past few weeks remains: Will Holtz return for a seventh season?

    "This is not a good time to talk about it, it really isn't," Holtz said. "It's just not a good time."

    Holtz said all his focus and energy is on helping the Game****s (6-4) beat Clemson (5-5) and not on what's ahead.

    Speculation of Holtz's future has come up about this time in each of his six years at South Carolina. He has generally waited until after the season to give a thumbs up to supporters.

    The past few weeks, though, have vexed even the staunchest backer trying to figure out what's next.

    Holtz has said he was tired and worn out from the season. He continually makes references to "whoever is the coach next year" when questioned about his future. Complicating matters are reports this month that a school representative talked to former Florida coach Steve Spurrier about returning to college football.

    And just when Holtz sounds as good as gone, he'll throw out a line like, "Don't bury me yet," or "There's no opening at South Carolina."

    Holtz is signed through 2008. However, a clause in his deal lets him or the university get out of the agreement with five days notice.

    Game****s defensive end George Gause said Holtz hasn't told the players anything about next season. "It's his decision and whatever happens, happens. We just have to go along with it," Gause said.

    South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee has steadily refused to talk about Holtz's return.

    It's understandable that Holtz wants the focus on the game ahead this week. Last year, the Game****s, needing a victory at home against Clemson to reach a bowl, instead were blasted 63-17. Holtz vowed after the game such a debacle would not happen again.

    Holtz said it wouldn't have been fair for him to leave last season -- and leave the program in such a funk. This year, he says, the Game****s are on more solid footing and should be strong for the next few seasons.

    For now, Holtz is trying to cut off the talk about him and make sure his team is pointed at Clemson.

    "I don't want to go down that road because there's only one thing on my mind right now and only one thing important in this world right now and that's Clemson, for our seniors and our football team," Holtz said. "And I don't want to get into anything else."
    -11-16-2004, 08:46 AM