South Carolina Football Will Be Healthy Long After Spurrier Retires

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMarch 1, 2013

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
South Carolina head coach Steve SpurrierKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

An argument can be made that this is currently the golden age of South Carolina football and the South Carolina administration is taking advantage. 

Following back-to-back 11-win seasons—the first 11-win seasons in program history—the South Carolina Board of Trustees has improved several construction projects aimed to boost the standards of the entire Gamecock athletic department, with a specific focus on several key football-related projects.

The university announced on Thursday that the board approved $53 million in new construction projects, including Phase II of an indoor practice facility with a 100-yard turf field, training rooms, film towers, new practice fields and renovations to the plaza areas outside Williams-Brice Stadium.

"These projects will allow us to compete at the highest level in intercollegiate athletics," said Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner in a release. "We are appreciative of the vote by the Board of Trustees to turn these plans into action."

It's a signal that the South Carolina football program will be healthy long after head coach Steve Spurrier hangs up the visor and starts chasing a little white ball around a lawn for five hours each day.

Facilities matter in the SEC, and South Carolina is stepping up its game to compete with the big boys—just as it has done on the gridiron over the last few years. The program is no longer an afterthought in the SEC East; rather, it's a legitimate contender not only for the SEC East title, but the BCS National Championship.

Does that mean that Spurrier's days are numbered?

Of course not. 

He's locked into a contract through the 2017 season and has the roster and schedule to make a legit title run in the immediate future.

The head ball coach will probably coach through the end of that deal unless he tastes the ultimate success before then. If that were to happen, then it wouldn't be shocking at all to see him ride off into the sunset, title in hand.

But whenever he calls it quits, he has cemented quite a legacy in Columbia.

Winning at a high level is the expectation rather than the exception nowadays. The approval of several new facilities is an indication that South Carolina is not just in "win now" mode—it expects its success on the football field to continue in the future.