South Carolina Football: Steve Spurrier One of the Keys to Frank Martin's Hire?

Alex RobertsCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the Clemson Tigers 34-13 at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Steve Spurrier has gone and done it. 

He's made South Carolina a reasonable location for great coaches to coach. Before Spurrier, it was always a shock to hear big names tied to university jobs. The Gamecocks already had a Hall-of-Fame caliber coach in baseball in Ray Tanner, but he doesn't have the overall sexy allure of a Spurrier. 

When Spurrier came to South Carolina, all of that changed. With Spurrier on board, the entire athletics department reformed. 

They started putting money where it was necessary to stay competitive. They created top of the line facilities. Dawn Staley, a woman's basketball star and Olympic gold medalist, came to coach the lady Gamecocks and is enjoying excellent success. 

Now, the Gamecocks have a new coaching ace in Frank Martin. 

While still shocking, it's no more so than when Spurrier arrived. According to ESPN, Martin was overwhelmed with the allure of working in an athletic department with such legendary coaches and players as Spurrier, Staley and Tanner. 

Spurrier had nothing to do with the actual hire—directly. Indirectly, he's created a university that is an appealing location for coaches all over the country. Martin sees this as an opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds in all of sports. 

You cannot overstate the importance of Spurrier to the University of South Carolina. He has left a permanent stamp on the Gamecocks athletic program. He's way more than just a football coach. 

He's a school ambassador.