Former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was on the field prior to Monday night’s national championship game between Alabama and Clemson.
And as the College Football Hall of Fame player and coach was introduced, he was greeted with a nice dose of boos, likely from the Clemson fans on hand. He responded with a smile, then a subtle little wink.
Spurrier was 6-4 vs. Clemson as South Carolina’s head coach. The Gamecocks won five straight with Spurrier at the helm from 2009-13.
Spurrier and fellow Hall of Fame inductee Peyton Manning were honorary captains for the game. The pair was introduced individually prior to the game and walked to midfield for the coin toss.
Spurrier was announced as Hall of Fame inductee Monday as a coach, adding to the honor he received as a player.
Spurrier coached for 25-plus years with stops at Duke, Florida and South Carolina. He had a 228–89–2 record in his career as a college head coach, also coaching the Washington Redskins for two seasons in the mid-2000s.
He retired during the 2015 season at South Carolina, accepting a position as a consultant and ambassador at Florida – his alma mater – prior to the 2016 season.
“It’s no different than when I coached at South Carolina and came back to Florida,” Spurrier said following Florida’s 20-7 win against South Carolina on Nov. 12. “I work for Florida right now. South Carolina is my former team. I pull for Florida every game now. I pull for South Carolina every game but one. …
“The emotions of coaches don’t change. It’s whoever you are with at the time – that’s the team you are for.”
Spurrier was a two-time All-American as a quarterback at Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy after the 1966 season. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1986.