Nov. 23, 2004
Press Conference Video:
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Steve Spurrier, whose Florida team won the national championship in 1996, was introduced as the head football coach at the University of South Carolina Tuesday afternoon before an overflow news conference in the south end zone of Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. Spurrier becomes the 32nd head football coach in the school’s 111-year history of playing football. Spurrier steps in for Coach Lou Holtz, who announced his retirement on Monday.
Coach Spurrier has compiled a 142-40-2 (.777) won-loss record during his 15 seasons as a major college head coach. He led the Duke Blue Devils to the 1989 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, before returning to his alma mater, the University of Florida, as head coach in 1990. During his 12 seasons with the Gators, Spurrier’s teams won seven Southeastern Conference championships, one national championship and finished ranked in the top 10 nine times. His record at Florida was an amazing 122-27-1 (.817). Spurrier, who won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback for the Gators, most recently was head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins (2002-03), and was out of coaching this past season.
“My family and I are as excited as we can be to be coming to South Carolina,” said Spurrier. “I honestly believe this is the right place and the right time for me as a coach. Coach Holtz did a great job of building this program. There are good players here. There is great support here. The facilities are good and are getting better. Coach (Mike) McGee expressed the desire for me to become Carolina’s head coach and I was very interested from the beginning. There wasn’t a whole lot of negotiating back and forth. They wanted me and I wanted to be here.”
Earlier in the day, Spurrier’s seven-year contract was approved by the University’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee. The contract calls for an annual guaranteed compensation of $1.25 million, including a base salary of $250,000 and outside income from radio, television and apparel totaling $1 million. The contract also has an attractive incentives package. There is a $250,000 annual buyout clause in the agreement.
USC Athletic Director Mike McGee’s Introduction of Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier
“Good Afternoon and welcome to everyone here. Before I begin I would especially like to welcome two of our guests, Jerri Spurrier and their son Scotty.
Coach Lou Holtz’s retirement is one we did not accept lightly. Replacing a great coach is never easy, especially someone who has meant so much to the Gamecock family and to the state of South Carolina.
When Coach Holtz approached me about retiring, I felt it was important we hire someone to lead our football program with the same superior credentials. We wanted to build on the foundation Coach Holtz has laid.
We have found someone whose record speaks for itself – he is a proven winner. He is a man who will bring an energy and a confidence to the Gamecock sidelines.
Winning the ACC title at Duke University in 1989, he then left to build arguably the most successful SEC football program ever. In his 12-year reign at Florida, the Gators won a national title and 7 SEC crowns. Finishing in the top 10 nine times and the top 5 six times, his success was unprecedented. A 1966 Heisman Trophy winner, he also coached a Heisman Trophy winner, 5 SEC Players of the Year, 81 All-Americans and a countless other national football and academic award winners.
After a two-year stay in the NFL, I know the Gamecocks are ready to welcome he and his family to their new home, Williams-Brice Stadium.
Ladies and gentleman, it is my pleasure to introduce to you South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier.”
Quotes from South Carolina Players on Coach Spurrier
Freshman Safety Ko Simpson
“He’s a great coach. Coach Holtz got this thing going, and now we want to move it to another level. There aren’t any coaches out there that are better than Coach Spurrier. He will be a great guy and it will be great to have him here.”
Freshman Offensive Lineman James Thompson
“He will bring more attitude and discipline. I think he’ll make the game more fun and exciting. We’ll work more on pass blocking. I never though I would play for him, so I’m a little surprised. Coach Holtz introduced him to us and told us about his accomplishments and championships, and we’re really excited to play for him.”
Sophomore Defensive Back Fred Bennett
“Our first meeting with him went well. He introduced himself and told us about his career at Florida. We’re excited about having him here and we are ready to get going.”
Quotes from other College Coaches on Spurrier’s Hiring at South Carolina
Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops
“I am excited for Coach Spurrier and Jerri. It seems like a great fit for everyone. I’m also excited to have Coach Spurrier back in college football. He has been great for our game and has always represented the best part of our sport. I have stated many times the strong and positive influence he has had on me both personally and on my coaching philosophy. I believe he’ll bring great success to South Carolina like he has to so many other programs.”
Miami Head Coach Larry Coker
“Steve Spurrier is a tremendous football coach. His track record as a college football coach speaks for itself. He will do a tremendous job at South Carolina.”
Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden
“Ever since Steve resigned from the Redskins, I felt like he would not be able to stand too much inactivity, because that’s just not like him. He is so competitive that it doesn’t surprise me for him to get back into college coaching. I think South Carolina is very fortunate to get him as a coach.”
SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD FOOTBALL COACH STEVE SPURRIER
Compiled a 122-27-1 record at Florida from 1990-2001, the most wins for a Gator coach in school history and a win percentage (.817) that ranked among the top three in SEC history.
Coached Florida to two National Championship Game appearances (1995 and 1996), claiming the 1996 national title.
His 122 victories at Florida from 1990-2001 ranked as the best win total for a coach in his first 12 years at a school in major college history.
The only coach in SEC history, and one of only two coaches in major college history, to lead a squad to six straight seasons of 10 or more wins (1993-1998).
The only coach in SEC history, and one of only three coaches in major college history, to lead a school to 12 consecutive seasons (1990-2001) of nine or more wins.
He achieved 100 career victories at Florida in a faster time period (10th season, eighth game) than any major college coach at a school in the 20th century.
One of only five major college coaches in history and only the second in SEC history, to lead a school to 100 wins during a decade (102-22-1 at UF from 1990-99).
One of only three coaches in major college history, and the only one in SEC history, to lead a school to an appearance in the weekly polls for a period of 200 consecutive weeks.
The only coach in the nation to lead his team to at least nine wins in each of his 12 years (1990-2001) at the helm.
o One of only five coaches in major college history to have his team ranked in the final Top 15 Poll in each of 12 consecutive seasons (1990-2001).
His UF squads finished in the Top 10 of the polls nine times and six times in the final top five, totals that both ranked second best in the nation over his 12 seasons (1990-2001). UF’s average poll ranking of 6.5 in the decade of the 1990’s was second best in the nation. o He and the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant are the only coaches in SEC history to win as many as four consecutive league championships. (1993-96).
His 87-14 record in SEC play ranked as the best winning percentage in conference history (.861) and his 73 league wins in the 1990’s represents the most SEC wins during a decade in conference history.
The only coach in SEC history to win eight conference games in a season four straight years (1993-96).
The only coach in SEC history to lead a school to nine consecutive January bowl game appearances.
His six outright SEC titles (’91, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, 2000) ranked as the second best total in SEC history, trailing only “Bear” Bryant’s 11. His Gator teams appeared in the weekly polls 202 of a possible 203 weeks, including each of his last 202 consecutive weeks. From 1990-2001, the Gators were ranked number one in the polls 29 times, appeared in the top five for 117 weeks and among the nation’s top 10 for 179 weeks.
Led Florida to seven appearances in the SEC Championship Game (1992-96, ’99-2000), with five victories (1993-1996, 2000).
Under his leadership, the Gator offense became the only unit in modern collegiate history (since the NCAA started keeping stats in 1937) to score at least 500 points (including bowl games) for four straight years (1993-96). Yale also achieved that distinction from 1886-89 and Michigan from 1901-04.
Prior to his arrival in 1990, Florida had never won more than nine games in a season. In 12 seasons at the helm he lead the Gators to nine seasons of 10 or more wins.
Recipient of the 1966 Heisman Trophy.
He won his 100th game at Florida in 1999 in just his 120th overall game (100-19-1 record), a total that ranks among the six fewest games to reach that level at a major college school in the 20th century.
His 142 career wins in his 15 collegiate years (Duke and Florida from 1987-2001) ranks among the three highest victory totals in college football history for a head coach in his first 15 years at the helm.
He has been selected as a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year Award four times (1990, 1991, 1995, 1996).
> In his 15 years as a collegiate head coach (1987-2001) he led his squad to the best record in the conference standings eight times (Duke in 1989 and Florida in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 1996 and 2000).
Has been named his conference’s Coach of the Year seven times (1988 and 1989 in the ACC with Duke and 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 1996 in the SEC with Florida).
He has led teams to 12 bowl games, including each of his last 11 years (1991-2001) at Florida. Of his 12 bowl teams, 10 played in January games.
In 12 of his 15 seasons (1987-2001) as head mentor of a college team, his squad ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams in passing offense 12 times and ranked among the top 10 in total offense nine times.
In his 15 years (1987-2001) as a head collegiate coach, three at Duke and 12 at Florida, his squads have led the conference in passing offense 10 times and total offense nine times.
Steve Spurrier Playing Highlights
In addition to his exploits on the sidelines, Steve Spurrier was also an excellent quarterback during his playing days at the University of Florida, where he was the recipient of the 1966 Heisman Trophy.
Spurrier was a two-time All-America selection and was tabbed as the 1966 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
o During his three-year playing career, he broke every single-game, single-season and career record in passing and total offense, and broke all league passing records.
Became the first player in the history of the Sugar Bowl to earn MVP honors despite playing for the team that did not win the game after breaking six game records in the Gators’ 20-18 loss to Missouri.
First-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers. Spurrier played 10 years of pro football with the 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He set a 49ers team record with five touchdown passes vs. the Chicago Bears.
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1965.
The Spurrier Era at Florida (1990-2001)
His 122 wins in his 12 years at UF (1990-2001) are the most for a major college coach in history in his first 12 years at a school.
When he won his 100th game at UF during the 1999 season (8th game of 10th season), he became the only coach in major college history in the 20th century to achieve that distinction during his first 10 years at a school.
The only coach in SEC history, and one of only two in major college history, to lead a school to 10 or more wins for six straight years (1993-98).
One of only three coaches in major college history, and the only one in SEC history, to win at least nine games for 12 straight seasons (1990-2001).
One of only four coaches in major college history, and the only one in SEC history, to lead a school to a final Top 15 finish in the polls for 12 consecutive seasons (1990-2001).
One of only three coaches in major college history, and the only coach in SEC history, to ever lead a school to a streak of 200 consecutive weeks in the polls.
One of only two coaches in SEC history to lead a school to four consecutive years (1995-98) ranked in the top five of the final polls.
He won his 100th game at Florida in 1999 in just his 120th overall game (100-19-1 record), a total that ranks among the six fewest games to reach that level at a major college school in the 20th century and ranks tied for the best in this category in SEC history.
One of only five major college coaches in history, and one of only two in SEC history, to win 100 games at a school during a decade (102-22-1 at UF from 1990-99).
Led Florida to its first National Championship in 1996.
His seven 10-win seasons from 1990-99 at Florida tied for the most 10-win seasons by a coach in his first 10 years at a school in major college history. Overall, he had nine 10-win seasons at UF in 12 years.
His 102 total wins in the 1990’s is the second most wins for a coach in a decade in SEC history (“Bear” Bryant had 103 in the 1970s at Alabama).
Compiled an 87-14 record in SEC games, a winning percentage of .861. This is the best in SEC history for a coach who has coached a minimum of five years in the league by far.
His 73 SEC wins in the 1990s is the most league victories for a coach during a decade in conference history.
His UF overall win percentage of .817 (122-27-1) ranks as the third-best in SEC history (min. of 5 years as a head coach in the league).