The retirement question is one that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has had to answer for the last few years—and for good reason.
At age 67, he's getting to (and perhaps already at) a point where his rivals will bring up how long he'll be in Columbia in the living rooms of potential recruits.
But before Spurrier steps aside and chases a dimpled white ball around a golf course for five-and-a-half hours per day, he has some unfinished business.
In an interview with Ryan McGee of ESPN.com (which is required reading), Spurrier discusses the past and the present, and the latter of the two has to make Gamecock fans smile.
What I've found at South Carolina is kind of like Florida when I got there as player and as a coach. Great fans and so much talent right in the home state. But we had to get over saying, 'oh, other teams win championships, we just are who we are.' That's gone now. Our facilities were just about the worst in the conference; now they're so much better.
We haven't won a conference championship here since South Carolina won the ACC in 1969. That's what will make winning the SEC so special. It's more fun when you had a hand in building something from the ground up.
He's not speaking of winning the SEC as a possibility, he's speaking of it as a certainty.
That's why you can't put a time frame on Spurrier's tenure in Columbia, despite the fact that he was given a contract extension through 2015 this past offseason.
When his work is done, it's done.
It's that simple.
When Spurrier made the rounds on the first day of SEC media days in July, he clearly had a bounce in his step. Not just because of the team that he had coming back, but because he was comfortable with his situation and had a grasp on what his future held:
Yeah, going into the eighth year, again, we've sort of assembled I think better players, coaches, everything around us that gives us a chance to be successful.
Every time some sportswriter asks me how much longer I'm going to coach, I think I need to ask him, How much longer are you going to write? What's the difference?
In Spurrier's mind, there is no difference, because retirement isn't an option until he finishes the job that he signed up for at South Carolina.
Considering the talent that he has amassed—and continues to amass—that time may come sooner rather than later. If that's the case, then his goals may shift from building the program from the ground up to sustaining it at the high level that he helped build.