Jul 15, 2014; Hoover, AL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier talks to the media during the SEC Football Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Spurrier Starts Third Chapter with Gators

Gator great Steve Spurrier is back at the University of Florida as an Ambassador and Consultant for the Florida Gators Athletic Department. The announcement was made by Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley and Spurrier is happy to be back in Gainesville.

Spurrier has many roots in Gainesville. Both he and his wife attended the University of Florida and Spurrier was quarterback for the Gators starting his sophomore year in 1964 until 1966. He won the Heisman Trophy in his last year with Florida, the first in university history.

From there, he was drafted third overall in the 1967 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. In 10 seasons in the NFL, Spurrier played nine of them with the 49ers and spent his last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being an assistant coach and then a head coach at Duke University, Spurrier got the job coaching his alma mater in 1990 and coached thru 2001, leading the Gators to six SEC championships and a national title while winning SEC Coach of the Year five times. After a short stint in the NFL, Spurrier coached at South Carolina from 2005 until his retirement this past season.

This job originally started as a light-hearted joke when Jim McElwain and Spurrier met at the Outback Bowl a year and a half ago. McElwain was asked if he was looking forward to coaching against Spurrier and responded that he was looking forward to the day that Spurrier could come back and help the Gators. Although Spurrier is known for his work on the football field, Spurrier will work more behind the scenes. He says that he wouldn’t mind talking about football with Jim McElwain in an informal setting, however.

Spurrier will have another legacy at the University of Florida. Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be soon known as the Steve Spurrier -Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Spurrier said he was honored by the name change. Spurrier was the first coach to use the term “The Swamp,” which has become the true nickname for the facility.  He’s honored with his name being added in front of Florida Field, but he thinks that people are still going to call it “The Swamp.” The name change will be revealed on September 3rd when the Gators take on Massachusetts.

About Michelle Spring

Senior telecommunication and history major at the University of Florida and contributor for ESPN Gainesville 95.3. Baseball and hockey are my favorites, but I love all sports.

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