The man who some consider the greatest college football coach of all time is back in the game. Steve Spurrier will be coaching the Orlando Apollos in the new Alliance of America Football (AAF) league.
Bringing the Swamp to Orlando
The Apollos kick off the AAF this Saturday against the Atlanta Legends at UCF’s Spectrum Stadium. Besides having a Gator legend as their coach they also have some big college football names making a return to the gridiron.
Among the roster for the Apollos are former Gators Austin Appleby, Chris Thompson, and Josh Evans. But as much as Florida fans would love to see a former Gator coach and a former Gator quarterback, it won’t be seen on the field for some time. Garret Gilbert has been named as the starting QB for the Apollos.
“Garret is an excellent passer, and has a chance to be a great player,” Spurrier said. “He’s been in the NFL for four or five years and maybe hasn’t gotten a real good chance, but he will have a good chance Saturday night we’ll make sure of that.”
Spurrier has also added a bit of the swamp into his coaching staff. Wide receiver coach Willie Jackson played for Spurrier at UF. Linebacker coach Jim Collins coached under Spurrier at UF. Former Gators assistant Jimmy Ray Stephens also will coach the Apollos’ offensive line.
Back to Coaching
Going into his fifth team as a head coach, Spurrier isn’t done just yet. Leaving both Florida and South Carolina as those programs’ winningest head coach, Spurrier said he came to AAF because he was intrigued by the new rules of the game. This includes two-and-half hour games and 30 seconds in between plays, and the opportunity to include great players who don’t make it into the NFL.
“It’s a fine line between who makes a team and who doesn’t in the NFL. We don’t have a minor league of professional football,” Spurrier said. “Those players get a chance to continue playing even if they don’t play at the highest level and then maybe someday they play well enough to go to the highest level.”
Coming back to coach has been a rewarding time for the Gator man, as he says he has been drawing up plays for a year and he can’t wait to execute them.
Spurrier and the Apollos are currently predicted to finish in top two in the AAF out of the eight teams competing. We will see how well the Florida Legend does as the Apollos begin their campaign this Saturday at 8 p.m. on CBS.
— Ryan Welch (@RyanWelchNews6) February 4, 2019