Stephen Orr Spurrier (born April 20, 1945 in Miami Beach, Florida) is a former American football player and currently the head coach of the University of South Carolina football team. He was a two-time All-American and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as a player. He is best known for winning the Heisman Trophy in 1966, and for coaching the University of Florida football team to six SEC championships in the decade from 1991–2000 including one National Championship in 1996.
In 1967, Spurrier was drafted during the first round by the San Francisco 49ers. Spurrier spent nine years with the 49ers before playing his last NFL season in 1976 with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his ten year career, Spurrier played in a total of 106 games, accumulating 597 completions, including 6,878 yards and 40 touchdowns, in 1,151 pass attempts.
Along with winning 122 games in 12 seasons at Florida--far and away the most of any coach in school history--Spurrier is also credited with changing the way the SEC played offense. Spurrier employed a pass-oriented offense in contrast to the ball control, rush-oriented offenses that were traditionally found in the SEC. His innovative offensive scheme forced many in the conference to change their offensive and defensive playcalling.
Under his leadership, the Gator offense became the only collegiate unit to score at least 500 points, including bowl games, for four straight years (1993-96) since the NCAA started keeping statistics in 1937.
When signing with the University of Florida he insisted the artificial turf in the stadium be replaced with grass. The Swamp remains a grass field today.
Spurrier also became known for his gamesmanship while at UF, doing such things as giving much-derided Georgia coach Ray Goff the nickname of "Ray Goof" and intentionally running up the score against not only lesser teams, but also conference rivals such as UGA and Kentucky. His rivalry with Tennessee and their coach Phillip Fulmer became highly publicized, as Spurrier would often tell the media after UF wins over the Vols that "you can't spell 'Citrus' without 'UT'", a reference to the Citrus Bowl, which second-place teams in the SEC would often go to in the postseason.
Before Spurrier's return to coach the Gamecocks against the Gators on November 11, 2006, his most recent visits to Gainesville were on September 2, 2006, to take part in the Gators' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of their 1996 championship season and on September 30, 2006, when he was one of the first four inductees into the Gator Football Ring of Honor, alongside Danny Wuerffel, Emmitt Smith, and Jack Youngblood. At both appearances, Spurrier received standing ovations from the crowd.
Spurrier is known to hold a deep love for his alma mater. In April 2007, after Florida beat Ohio State's teams in both the football and basketball national championship games, Spurrier was quoted as saying "We've kind of turned Ohio State into Runner-up U., haven't we?" The royal "we" in this statement was partially in reference to the Gators' recent dominance of Ohio State, as well as South Carolina's back-to-back wins over Ohio State in the Outback Bowl in 2001 and 2002.
In his first NFL season he put up a respectable 7–9 mark for a first-year head coach.
The defense created a modest amount of pressure and interceptions, but gave up 4.4 yards a carry and blew several leads during the season, including a 23-10 lead against the Miami Dolphins in week 12 and a 13–7 late 3rd quarter lead against Tampa Bay in week 6 that resulted in a 35–13 blowout.
One bright spot on his staff was his son, Steve Spurrier, Jr., who helped wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner reach their finest seasons thus far in the NFL, including Coles' only Pro Bowl appearance to date.
Another bright spot was in Week 4 of the 2003 season. Washington defeated the New England Patriots 20–17; it would be New England's last loss until Week 7 of the 2004 season. The Redskins went 5–11 in that season.
Spurrier's offensive line troubles resulted in quarterback Patrick Ramsey being one of the most sacked and hurried quarterbacks in the league. Spurrier would often bench him mid-game during a bad performance in favor of Danny Wuerffel or Shane Matthews, who both played under Spurrier at Florida. Both combined for 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games played. (TD/INT Wuerffel 3-6 with 7 games, Matthews 11-6 with 8 games).
Spurrier's last game as an NFL head coach was a 31–7 blowout at the hands of the Eagles. In their last three games, the Redskins were outscored 85-31 including a 27–0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
On December 30, 2003, Spurrier resigned as the Redskins coach.
In 2005, his first season at the helm, Spurrier led the South Carolina football program to several notable successes. The Gamecocks, who were not expected to have a winning season by most pundits, rattled off a five-game SEC winning streak for the first time in school history. Included among those victories were historic wins at Tennessee (16-15) -- the program's first win in Knoxville -- and against then 12th-ranked Florida (30–22), who South Carolina had not beaten since joining the SEC. Spurrier was named SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, and the Gamecocks finished with a 7–5 record for the 2005 season.
Two days prior to South Carolina's 2006 season opener, Spurrier announced that he would kick off the athletics department's capital campaign with a $250,000 donation over five years. He then followed with a 15-0 win over Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi, where he was 0–2 while coaching the Florida Gators. With the victory, he reached 150 wins for his college coaching career. On September 30, Spurrier was inducted into the Gator Football Ring of Honor in a pre-game ceremony at Gainesville. Later in the season on November 11, Spurrier returned to "The Swamp" to face off against his former team, who were ranked #6 at the time. Trailing 17–16, the Gamecocks had a chance to win with a 48-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game. However, Ryan Succop's kick was blocked as time expired in a repeat of an earlier blocked extra-point attempt. In the final game of the regular season, Spurrier led the Gamecocks to victory over in-state rival Clemson at Death Valley. Trailing 28–14 in the 3rd quarter, South Carolina scored 17 unanswered points to lead 31–28. With 8 seconds left in the game, Clemson's field goal attempt missed wide left as USC celebrated their first victory over Clemson in five years. On December 2, amid speculation he was a candidate for head coaching jobs at Miami or Alabama, Spurrier received a contract extension through 2012 and a raise from $1.25 million to $1.75 million annually. Spurrier and the Gamecocks went on to defeat the Houston Cougars in the Liberty Bowl on December 29, to finish the season 8–5. All five losses were to ranked opponents. Spurrier became the first coach in USC Football history to take a South Carolina team to a bowl game in his first two seasons as head coach.
In the 2007 football season, Spurrier's third as USC head coach, the Gamecocks got off to a quick start start winning 16-12 on the road over SEC rival #11 Georgia early in the season, as well as beating then undefeated #8 Kentucky 38–23, and climbed to #6 in the National and BCS rankings. South Carolina stumbled down the stretch however, dropping their final five games. The 6–6 (3–5 SEC) season record marks the first non-winning season for Spurrier since his first season at Duke in 1987.
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|WAS||2002||7||9||0||.438||3rd in NFC East||-||-||-||-|
|WAS||2003||5||11||0||.313||3rd in NFC East||-||-||-||-|
|Overall Total||12||20||0||.375||NFL Championships (0)|
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