Darnisha Jackson was driving home from work when she found out that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was retiring. She still hasn’t fully processed the news that her son, current Gamecocks linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams, is now without a permanent head coach.
“I really just don’t know how to feel right now,” Jackson told the AJC’s SECCountry.com. “It’s overwhelming because I’m so sad to see such a legend go out the way he’s going out. I don’t think I ever imagined that coach Spurrier would be going out in the middle of the season. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a legend. I’m saddened he’s going to be leaving. He’s a special guy to me and my family.”
Her son, Allen-Williams, tweeted shortly after the news that “as a recruit you commit to a university not a coach.” Jackson also said her son, who is a sophomore, hasn’t expressed any desire to leave the school.
Jackson and Spurrier had a good player-coach relationship, she said. A couple of years ago, she had a health scare and recalled a time when Spurrier was so kind and loving toward her when it happened.
“Coach Spurrier gave me a big hug when he saw me shortly after that,” Jackson said. “I was also close to his wife, Mrs. Jerri. Their faces will be missed around the complex.”
Jackson’s one complaint about the timing of the situation is that she wishes the Gamecocks could have sent him out with one more winning season.
“It would have been nice to give him a proper send off,” she said. “He’s a 70-year-old man, and if he decided that this is the time to retire then the only thing we can do is respect that and hope that whoever they bring in is going to be young and energetic.”
As a recruit you commit to a university not a coach
— Bryson Allen-Wms (@B_Quatro4) October 13, 2015