Steve Spurrier Resigns: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier claps as his team warms up before an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Steve Spurrier's days as South Carolina's head coach are over.

Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated reported Monday that the Gamecocks coach was planning on retiring, and Chris Clark of GamecockCentral.com confirmed the retirement plans and noted Spurrier informed the team of his decision Monday.

Clark initially reported the timetable for the coach's retirement was unknown, but SportsCenter reported shortly afterward that "Spurrier's retirement is immediate."

Spurrier, however, clarified on Tuesday that he was only "resigning," via Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated

ESPN's Mark Schlabach passed along confirmation on Tuesday that co-offensive coordinator Shawn Elliott was named interim head coach.

South Carolina quarterback Connor Mitch took to Twitter after Spurrier's announcement and said, "Man it's been a crazy day."

Spurrier is 70 years old, and his team has lost eight of its last nine SEC games, but he is also the school's all-time winningest coach. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com added more context to the story:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Asked a source, why? "He's just done." Very Spurrier. https://t.co/VDp3kD9QU1

According to Sports-Reference.com, Spurrier boasts a 228-89-2 coaching record over 26 years and an 11-10 mark in 21 bowls.

He started his head coaching career with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 1983, then moved on to Duke in 1987, eventually leading the team to a No. 20 ranking in the Associated Press poll in 1989. He also won the ACC Coach of the Year award in 1988 and 1989.    

After that, Spurrier coached at Florida from 1990-2001 and led the Gators to the 1996 national championship with a 12-1 record and Sugar Bowl victory over archrival Florida State. Florida was ranked in the Associated Press poll in every season Spurrier was there, and he was the SEC Coach of the Year in 1990, 1995 and 1996.

Spurrier also played quarterback for the Gators from 1964-1966 and took home the 1966 Heisman Trophy and SEC Player of the Year award, per Sports-Reference.com.

Spurrier stayed in the conference when he took the South Carolina job in 2005. He was also the SEC Coach of Year as the leader of the Gamecocks in 2005 and 2010, and South Carolina has won a bowl game in each of the last four seasons under Spurrier.

However, college football writer Phil Steele pointed out the 2015 season is the first in Spurrier's 23 years in the SEC in which his team started 0-4 in conference play. 

Despite the disappointing start to this campaign, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star recognized Spurrier's overall greatness:

Zach Osterman @ZachOsterman

If Spurrier is nearly done, I hope he gets just credit for his impact on college football on the way out the door.

His record as a coach certainly stands out, and Spurrier has also consistently made headlines for his outspoken approach during press conferences and his willingness to take verbal jabs at opponents. Joe Schad of ESPN noted Spurrier's tendency to engage with the media, while Paul Myerberg of USA Today recalled one of the coach's famous jabs:

Joe Schad @schadjoe

Steve Spurrier used to have open practices and scrimmages, was always available and ate lunch w us. I thought it was like that everywhere.

Paul Myerberg @PaulMyerberg

Spurrier when a fire at Auburn destroyed 20 books: "The real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet."

Spurrier developed into one of college football's defining characters over the last three decades behind his personality and his teams' dominance on the field, and he will remain a legend in the SEC no matter where he ends up.


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