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11 days to Gator football! #11 Steve Spurrier

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by Escambia94, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    #11 Stephen Orr Spurrier. SOS. Ol’ Ball Coach. Darth Visor. Whatever you want to call him, this football genius from Miami Beach, Florida and Johnson City, Tennessee made Gator bait of opposing defenses as a quarterback earning the Heisman and as coach for a Heisman winner. As quarterback for Ray Graves‘ Florida Gators from ’64 to ’66, he is remembered for waving off the placekicker in order to nail a 45-yarder to beat Auburn in his senior season. Steve won MVP honors in the 1966 Orange Bowl, even though his team lost to Missouri, 18-20. He was a 1st-team All-American in his junior and senior seasons. Along the way he also earned accolades such as the UPI Player of the Year Award, Walter Camp Memorial Trophy, and SEC Player of the Year.

    Steve was the third overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft for the San Francisco 49ers, where in his first few years he earned more starts at punter than quarterback until 1972 when he took over for an injured John Brodie and accrued a 6-1-1 record in his relief. In 1976 he was part of an expansion trade that him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over the next few years he signed with the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins before retiring from the NFL as a player with 106 games, 6,878 yards passing, 40 touchdowns, 60 interceptions, and 230 punts in 10 years.

    Spurrier made his first return to Gainesville as an assistant under Doug Dickey in an attempt to revive the slumping Gator offense. When Dickey was fired a year later, Spurrier took a job with Pepper Rodgers at Georgia Tech. Pepper was an offensive assistant at Florida during Spurrier’s tenure. Spurrier did not find much success at Georgia Tech and later moved on to be Duke’s offensive coordinator. In 1983, Steve took his first head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL, where he coached two former Gator quarterbacks–John Reaves and Wayne Peace. When the USFL folded, he returned to Duke as the head coach and won them their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship. He was coach of the year in both of his years at Duke.

    In 1989, the Ol’ Ball Coach was invited to come home and revive his alma mater football program, and he brought it to new levels of national prominence with a swagger that is now well renowned throughout the football landscape. In his 12-year tenure as Ol’ Ball Coach, he won the 1996 Bowl Alliance National Championship, six SEC Championships, was named SEC Coach of the Year five times, won at least 9 games every year he coached, finished in the final poll top fifteen every year, and was ranked every week except his first week as coach (202/203 polls).

    Steve tried his hand at NFL coaching from 2002 to 2003, where he was reunited with his former QBs, Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews. He returned to SEC coaching in 2005 where he took over for Lou Holtz’s South Carolina Gamecocks. He left the Gamecocks in 2015 and is still regarded as the greatest coach in school history. Steve’s final stint as a head coach was with the AAF Orlando Apollos, where his team was the best in the league at 7-1 and were unofficially crowned the league champions.

    Steve Spurrier is a member of the University of Florida Athletic Association Hall of Fame, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as a player (1986) and as a coach (2017).
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  2. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Other #11s considered: Riley Cooper, Jarred Fayson, Ben Hanks, Bobby Dodd.
     
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  3. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Is he still with the Gators in some capacity? I know the university gave OBC a position before the AAF gig.
     
  4. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    As far as I know he is still a UF Ambassador, but it appears to be part-time now. Before the AAF gig it looked to be full-time. He appears to be focusing on his new restaurant. Judging by his social media accounts, he might not be an official ambassador anymore even though he spends a lot of time in Gainesville.
     

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