Steve Spurrier Is the King of South Carolina
For a time, Spurrier was king of The Swamp.
It was Pre-HDTV days, but fans clearly remember him stomping down the sidelines, trademark visor shielding his eyes from the Gainesville sun. He presided over some of the best college football teams in the country, and he won championships.
He was a hero at the University of Florida, but he wanted to take his talents elsewhere. He chased NFL dreams, and they petered out. College was his domain—his Washington Redskins years established that. But even more, southern football, SEC football, was where he belonged.
So he chose South Carolina. He started in 2005 and is still there now. He's made a home in Columbia and become the big-time name the state's sporting scene needed. With no professional teams, Gamecocks football is No. 1 in The Palmetto State.
Spurrier, then, is king. When Bleacher Report ran a poll asking fans to crown their local king, South Carolina made Spurrier their man.
His castle is Williams-Brice Stadium. It seats 80,000, yet packs many more standing-room-onlys in. It's the crown jewel of South Carolina's athletic scene. On the grass before it, these massive crowds have witnessed Spurrier-led magic.
Take October 9, 2010. At 3:30 p.m., Spurrier's 19th-ranked Gamecocks played host to No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide was expected to win, of course, prognosticated to topple USC to pad their National Title game resume.
South Carolina has never beaten a No. 1 in program history—until this game.
Spurrier's players hit back and hit hard against Alabama. They won 35-21.
Fans stormed the field. Adulation carried across all 32,020 square miles of the state. The biggest victory of his tenure was arguably the greatest win in regular season history for the program as well.
Afterward, amid the revelry, a coach who had done it all in his career simply smiled.
"I think that this game was meant to be," he said.
Maybe going to South Carolina was meant to be, too. He had his fill at Florida and sampled the NFL. The Gamecocks are comfort food for him. He likes being there—he wouldn't have signed a contract extension if that was not the case.
Has he brought the same level of success that he did at Florida? No.
He still needs to lead this team to an SEC East title. When you're on top, there are always goals. And like president or king or prime minister, there's always something that hasn't been done yet that people expect you to do.
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