Coaching icon Steve Spurrier made the decision to hang up his head seat and visor and retire as the University of South Carolina’s head football coach last week. The Gamecocks are having a disappointing year thus far, having lost four of their first six games. Spurrier leaves South Carolina as the winningest coach in school history.

 

Spurrier played quarterback for the University of Florida in the 1960s and won the Heisman trophy in his senior year in 1966. After playing in the NFL for 10 seasons, Spurrier returned to college to coach. He was the offensive coordinator and then head coach Duke University’s football team before leaving to coach his alma mater in in 1990. Spurrier spent 11 years at Florida and led the football team to their first national title in 1996. After his very successful stint at Florida, Spurrier spent two years coaching in the NFL before returning to the collegiate ranks in 2005 at the University of South Carolina.

 

The former quarterback has been involved in more than his fair share of iconic moments. He was a player at the University of Florida when Gatorade was invented as a way to keep the Gators’ players hydrated in the in the Florida heat. He also created the nickname for Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Spurrier said, “The Swamp is where Gators live. We feel comfortable there. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous.” Since then, fans and opponents alike have referred to Florida’s home field as “the Swamp.”

 

 

Spurrier was one of the most dominating personalities in college football for a number of years. His pass-heavy, fun’n gun offense inspired an entire generation of coaches and helped set the stage for the pass happy attacks found across the current college football landscape. Spurrier was extremely passionate about football, as proven by his tirades on the sidelines and in press conferences. Former Spurrier assistant and current University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said, “He’s probably the most competitive guy I’ve ever known, but he’s also one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever known. He’s special.”

 

Many current and former members of the college football community went out of their way to pay their respects to Spurrier both in person and via social media. ESPN analyst and former quarterback Kirk Herbstreit said, “I’ve covered a lot of great coaches over the last 20 years but not sure I’ve enjoyed anybody more than Coach Spurrier. Sad to see it end!”

 

Who will South Carolina bring in to replace Spurrier? Is it fair to the players for Spurrier to leave in the middle of the season? Feel free to leave a comment or find me on Twitter @Andrew_Morse4