Urban Meyer Leaving Florida: 10 Reasons Steve Spurrier Could Return To Gators
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
OK, by now you have heard the big news that Urban Meyer is resigning from the head coaching position at the University of Florida. Meyer leaves UF after six seasons with two national and SEC championships.
Though the Gators struggled this year, only going 7-5, he has an overall mark of 64-15 in his tenure at Florida for an overall winning percentage of 81%.
Who in the world would want to try to follow that?
Somewhere, Steve Spurrier is watching and smiling from ear to ear.
Why? Well, obviously, this is the Spurrier's chance to go back home to "The Swamp" and try for another NC before waiving adios and strutting off to retirement on a golf course near you.
Here are the top 10 reasons, in no particular order, why the 'Ol Ball Coach should be back stalking the sidelines and ranting at referees in Gainesville next season.
Spurrier Will Have a Stacked Shelf in Florida
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Even in its' best year, South Carolina could never match the ability of Florida to bring in the best college football players in America.
The state of Florida is stacked with talent. Florida could stop recruiting altogether and still get the best high school football players in the state showing up at the door, begging for a scholarship.
The Gators stockpile NFL players-in-waiting around the campus like that crazy lady in your neighborhood collects cats.
Florida turns down players South Carolina recruiters have to trick into taking a phone call from them.
Spurrier Is One Of the Gators Three Heisman Trophy Winner
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
In 1966, Spurrier became the Gators first Heisman Trophy Award winner when he led his team to to a mark of 9-2 his senior year.
Spurrier was a two-time All American playing quarterback at Florida.
The 'Visor' was also a SEC player of the year and the first former Heisman winner to coach another one when Danny Wuerfell won it under his tutelage.
He is also an inductee into Gator Football Ring of Honor, receiving that honor in 2006.
He would most likely jump at the opportunity to return home and finish his impressive coaching career at the university he is so passionate about. To this day, he still says 'we' when talking about the Gators.
Spurrier loves his alma mater and his alma mater loves him. Even though he left after the 2001 season, he remains one of the most popular figures for Gator football fans.
Florida Needs a Big Time Coach To Remain at The Top
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
With the SEC being the snakepit it is, Florida can ill-afford to stumble with another Ron Zook-type of hire. Zook brought in talent but, just like he's done in Illinois, he couldn't make them win. Not consistently.
Even with the many good players currently at Florida, the Gators still struggled this year, finishing only 4-4 in the conference despite winning both SEC and National championships in the 2008 season.
The SEC has a plethora of quality coaches like Saban in Alabama. The wrong hire here could set the school back in ways that would have seemed impossible only last season.
They need a proven winner who can both recruit and COACH.
Spurrier fits both those qualifications like few others in the coaching fraternity. Spurrier's recruits like him and his opponents fear him.
Show Me The Money
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
By leaving for Florida, Spurrier will almost certainly double the $1.8 million compensation he receives as the head coach in Columbia.
Meyer made about $4 million last year and Spurrier could expect a package very similar, if not more.
If you had a chance to go to another job where you would more than double your salary and have superior opportunities for both advancement and recognition, how much rubber would you leave on the way out of the parking lot?
Spurrier would drive a monster truck over the Gamecock's athletic director and university president if they tried to stop him. The South Carolina governor couldn't stop him without calling up the national guard, and then, ...maybe.
Spurriers Best Years Have All Been In Florida
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
On December 31, 1989, Steve Spurrier, formerly of Duke, was named head coach at the University of Florida. What followed next is the reason Spurrier is a sure bet to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.
Spurrier's Florida teams had an unprecedented run of success for the twelve seasons he coached at his alma mater.
His 'Fun 'n' Gun' offense reeked havoc upon the run-first, run-second league, racking up points and victims with equal ferocity.
In 1991, Florida won its first ever SEC championship.
Under his guidance in 1996, the Gators won their first national title, besting Florida State, 52-20, in the Sugar Bowl.
He nicknamed Florida's Ben Hill Griffen Stadium "The Swamp", as it still known today.
Spurrier won 6 SEC championships, was a 5-time SEC coach of the year and won at least nine games every season in his time in Gainesville.
Under Spurrier, Florida was Hannibal and the SEC's other teams were the Romans, hiding behind the gates and wetting themselves.
His other coaching tenures pale in comparison.
Spurrier Knows Florida
Doug Benc/Getty Images
One of the main advantages Spurrier will have over other potential candidates is he has been there, done that.
Spurrier knows Florida football and the high school coaches. He could hit the ground running from a recruiting standpoint.
While other coaches may have to get their feet wet, Spurrier knows the state and then some. He's been around the block like a hooker with a bus pass.
The experience he brings to the table in the ability to recruit the state makes it hard to see why the Florida athletic director would not have him at the top of a very short list.
This is a list that should start with Ste.. and end with ..urrier.
Spurrier Loves His Golf
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Everybody knows how much Steve likes to golf. Next to football, it is probably his biggest passion.
Florida supposedly has a pretty decent golf course or two.
If I'm not mistaken, Spurrier still has a home in Florida. Someplace next to a night club called Porky's, in the Angel Beach area.
Spurrier Wanted The Job After Zook Was Fired
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images
After Ron Zook was fired following the 2004 season, it was a well known fact that Spurrier campaigned for the Gator's head coaching gig.
Though Florida chose Urban Meyer at that time, the opportunity to select Spurrier must have made it a difficult decision.
While the choice of Meyer was a great success, he did not at that time have nearly the resume or clout that Spurrier continues to sport. While he may not have been a big winner at South Carolina, no one else ever has been either.
Spurrier's star still burns bright in the coaching universe and passing on the legendary coach again would seem foolhardy.
If the 'Ol Ball Coach is available, the Gators should snatch him up like an "actress" going after Charlie Sheen's watch.
The Fans Want Spurrier Back
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
If the University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley (no relation to Matt Foley, motivational speaker) values his life, hiring Steve Spurrier may make a lot of sense.
Spurrier commands standing ovations at Gator functions whenever in attendance. Even today he is as popular with the fan base as the day he stood on the sidelines while Florida captured their first ever title.
Make no mistake, there will be other names floated around as more likely choices to succeed Meyer but none makes as much sense as hiring back Spurrier.
Urban Meyer fed the monster but Steve Spurrier created it.
Now, for Gator fans, it is time to bring back the man in the visor who can keep that monster fed and continue the success they have become accustomed to.