GAINESVILLE, Fla. — People just can’t get enough of Steve Spurrier now that he’s back at Florida in his new role as ambassador/consultant.
That goes for the fans who have lined up at his book signings and any public appearance for that matter, and who relished his return to The Swamp on Saturday night with his entertaining pregame “Mr. Two Bits” routine. And it also goes for the media, who can’t stop asking Gators head coach Jim McElwain what it’s like to have the Head Ball Coach around the program.
“It’s been great having him around. Just, he comes out and gets his football fix a little bit and watches a little practice, bits and pieces,” McElwain said when asked again on the weekly SEC teleconference Wednesday.
Spurrier took in practice Tuesday afternoon, wearing a blue Gators visor and standing behind the end zone of the practice field for at least the early portion open to the media.
He’s been to a number of practices and keeps an office in the stadium, but he’s reiterated that he is not looking to meddle or be a coach in any way.
For his part, McElwain has consistently spoken of how he appreciates having the legend as a resource.
“For me, just being able to visit with him just about things that come up, you know, as many years as he sat in this chair, different ways he might have approached, be it a conference game, be it rivalries, whatever that is,” he said Wednesday. “Having that, just — ‘Hey, how did you go about it and how does that fit with the way we’re doing things?’ — has really been fun.
“I know last week that meant a lot to him and a lot to the Gators in general that he was honored like that. And I know this, him being around has been really good.”
Ryan Young is a Florida beat writer for SEC Country.