The days of the Head Ball Coach patrolling the sidelines are officially over.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier officially announced his retirement Tuesday after 11 years with the Gamecocks and a Hall of Fame college football career.
In traditional Spurrier fashion, the coach ended his time with South Carolina by appropriately re-nicknaming himself going forward.
“I’m stepping aside and I’m still going to be around town,” Spurrier said. “One of the players asked Coach (Ray) Tanner to tell coach to come by practice today. I’ll just be the former Head Ball Coach now, but I’ll be around town a lot. I think that’s the best thing for South Carolina football, for our university to start another building process.
“We’ve got another building process and an excellent interim coach and excellent coaches, and it’s their turn to have a go at it, to see what they can do. It’s time for me to move on and South Carolina to start rebuilding again.
South Carolina is 2-4 this season with all four losses coming against SEC competition. That marked the first time in Spurrier’s career he began a season 0-4 within the conference.
Spurrier is the winningest coach in South Carolina football history. He led the Gamecocks to their first-ever back-to-back 11-win campaigns in 2011 and 2012 and three consecutive top-10 finishes.
Spurrier is one of four college football coaches to record 100 wins or more as an SEC coach against SEC competition.
In a quarter-century of coaching, Spurrier has been named Coach of the Year nine times, seven in the SEC. He won 71.8 percent of the games he coached and finished his career with a 228-89-2 record and an 86-49 mark with the Gamecocks.
In his career, he boasts seven conference titles and the 1996 national championship as coach of Florida, his alma mater.
(Video by The State Newspaper)
Here are some other quotes from Spurrier:
- On if Spurrier will coach again … “I doubt if I’ll ever be a head coach again, but maybe coach a high school team or something. Who knows what will come in the future … I don’t know if coaching is completely over or not. It’s fun being on a team. I might be a consultant for someone. I doubt if I’ll ever be a head coach again, but who knows. I doubt it. Being on a team is fun.”
- On his biggest accomplishment at South Carolina … “I can rattle off a lot of firsts we achieved here. I think the one I personally like was 18 straight home wins. That was a school record and special I think. The fans had so much to do with that.”
- On life after being a head coach … “I got up this morning, got on the treadmill. I’m doing my normal stuff right now. I’ll have something planned. Everyone told me once you give up your day job, have something planned. I don’t know what is yet, though.”
- On the moment he knew he was going to resign … “Pretty much Sunday morning. I went and talked to Coach Tanner Sunday afternoon. When we were 2-2 I called up coach and said I’d try to get through this season. I had a sense about it. Central Florida was a struggle against those guys. I said I don’t know if I need to continue having these kinds of struggles. We talked briefly then and briefly this past Sunday. When something is inevitable, you do right then. You don’t wait a week or two. This has to happen, so let’s do it.”
- On his ability to recruit at this stage in his career … “I was sort of a recruiting liability. It’s hard to recruit when your coach has done it a long time. At a certain age, recruits want to know if the coach will be there five, 10 years from now. With a new coach here, we’re going to pick up recruiting. There will be a new message going out and our rebuilding process is in place.”