It comes as little surprise that Steve Spurrier, one of the greatest coaches in the history of college football, has decided to call it quits.
But in the middle of the season?
The South Carolina coach told his players at meeting Monday night that he is going to retire immediately, according to multiple reports. South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus is expected to be named interim coach, according to The State newspaper in Columbia.
Spurrier’s exit has been anticipated. He is 70 years old and South Carolina is suffering through a 2-4 season, including 0-4 in the SEC. But unless there is some health issue, — which nobody is reporting — to leave in the middle of a season would tarnish the man’s legacy. Make no mistake about it: Spurrier is walking out on his players, coaches and everybody associated with South Carolina, including fans. Unless there’s a health issue, the man who spent most of his adult life leading young man at South Carolina, Florida, Duke and Georgia Tech – as well as two years with the Washington Redskins – just showed everybody how not to deal with a difficult situation
Spurrier’s sudden exit takes the focus off of his long list of accomplishments: six SEC championships and a national title at Florida, an ACC championship at Duke, nine coach of the year awards and more than 200 wins in 26 years as a head coach (228-89-2). He was close to stepping down after last season when South Carolina finished 7-6 but opted not to.
He has been sensitive to criticism and suggestions that might not be the coach he used to be and his heart wasn’t in it any more, even going on a bizarre rant during SEC Media Days because of an off-hand comment by the AJC’s Mark Bradley. But on the field, the man was as good a coach as there ever was, changing the SEC with his offense at Florida and flipping the Georgia-Florida series in the Gators’ favor.Recent ramblings • Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow • Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem • There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season • Short takes: After loss, Georgia is trailing even Kentucky in SEC East • It’s too late to save season but Sefolosha deserved to hear words, ‘Not guilty’ • Weekend Predictions: No fantasy, Chihuahuas will rebound (I think) • Braves may have a plan but it will be a while before masses buy in • Here’s your Depressed Braves Fan viewing guide to the postseason • Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt • Falcons 4-0, Freeman 7 TDs — who didn’t see that coming? • Short takes: An easy Falcons win, and this is a team to take seriously • Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most • Short takes: Georgia’s reality check — there’s a problem at quarterback • Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions • Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here – Dogs over Bama • Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this • Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves • Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now • Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama • Short takes on Georgia’s win over Southern • Weekend Predictions: Lilly takes the lead and likes Falcons • Falcons’ fourth-quarter fizzles absent so far under Dan Quinn • Braves have been more adept at building off field than on it • Overreaction Monday: Are things as they seem with Falcons, Dogs, Jackets? • Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance • Short takes: Lambert says, ‘I just had to go through a rough patch’ • Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance • Tech over Irish, Georgia over South Carolina (but not by 17) • Tech has something Georgia would like — comfort at quarterback position • An impressive opening by Dan Quinn’s new Falcons • Short takes: Gruden praises Falcons’ defense after win • Georgia looks like a shaky 2-0 with its passing game • Short takes: Another Georgia win but QB issues continue • Weekend Predictions: I can’t block this Falcons’ upset from my brain