GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Steve Spurrier has many unique traits, one of them being his memory.
The Head Ball Coach can remember details of plays and moments from decades ago, and his memory was on display Monday at a UF speaking engagement.
During the hour-long interview, moderator Ted Spiker did a rapid-fire Q&A with Spurrier. Well, tried to at least.
It was story-telling time for Spurrier, and when he was asked for his favorite hole in one, the avid golfer had his options.
“Gosh, I’ve had 6 hole-in-ones so I can’t pick all 6, can I? I’ll pick the longest one,” Spurrier said. “I’ll tell you this, it’s a good story.”
Spurrier went back 27 years, when he had only been Florida football coach only a couple months. He was closing in on his first recruiting class with the Gators.
“We didn’t recruit hardly anybody my first year,” Spurrier said. “I got hired in December, so I only had 2 weeks to recruit. Anyway, that year National Signing Day was on Feb. 10 for some reason. So on Feb. 3, 1 week from signing day, we’re sitting around and it’s a beautiful day, 70-75 degrees.”
Spurrier said he called Gainesville Country Club and asked if he and 3 of his assistant coaches come play a round. His hole-in-one came on the 11th green.
“Par 3, 180-yard shot … and my ball hits in the bottom of the hole. You know how it hits the pin when you sink it,” Spurrier said. “Here I am, I’m playing golf a week before signing day. No coach does that. I said, ‘Boys, we’ve got to keep this quiet.’ ”
Golfing in his leisure time didn’t prevent Spurrier from having success. The Gators finished first in the SEC in 1990 and won 5 conference titles in the next 6 years, as well as the 1996 national championship.
Steve Spurrier: "The way coaches work now, I don't know how we won a game with as much golf as I played in the offseason."
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) August 25, 2016
Spurrier spoke in part of a university speakers series. Spiker heads Florida’s journalism department.