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Nov. 29, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – USC free safety Ko Simpson has been named Freshman All-America by Simpson, a true freshman from Rock Hill, S.C., led the SEC in interceptions with six, including one he returned for a touchdown (57 yards vs. Georgia). Simpson also returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown vs. Arkansas.

USC head coach Steve Spurrier said Monday that his son, Steve Spurrier, Jr., would be joining his coaching staff and would coach the wide receivers. Steve Jr. previously was an assistant at the University of Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida. He also worked under his father as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins. Coach Spurrier said: “I will be bringing Steve Jr. aboard. He will coach the wide receivers. He’s been fortunate enough to coach on two national championship teams (Florida and Oklahoma) and that’s quite an accomplishment for a young coach.”

Coach Spurrier also said Monday that Mark Smith, former strength coach for the New Orleans Saints, would be joining the Gamecock staff as football strength coach. Smith also worked with Spurrier at Florida and with the Washington Redskins. He was the head strength coach at Kansas, as well. Additionally, Coach Spurrier said that Jamie Speronis will join the Gamecock staff as Director of Football Operations. Speronis has worked with Spurrier before at Florida and in Washington.

On Monday, Coach Spurrier said that “he was dedicated to putting together the best possible staff he could. We need to recruit the best players we can and we are committed to doing just that.”

Coach Spurrier said that for the present time, he had retained three of Coach Lou Holtz’s former assistants – Rick Stockstill, Ron Cooper and David Reaves. Spurrier said that Stockstill would still coordinate the recruiting efforts and coach somewhere on offense. Cooper’s coaching responsibility would be determined at a later date. Reaves would assist Spurrier in coaching the quarterbacks.

Spurrier said that a top priority would be to hire a defensive coordinator. “I’ve talked to several people about the job. A lot of folks are interested. We’ve got a great opportunity here. I’m really excited about being here and I’m excited about coaching and living in South Carolina.”

Coach Spurrier said that he really began sensing the urge to return to coaching this fall. “It was probably sometime in early or mid-October that I felt like it was time to get back into it,” said the new Gamecock head coach.

Spurrier is expected to hit the recruiting trail as early as Tuesday evening. He met with the team late Monday afternoon and had already broken in wearing a new Gamecock pullover jacket.

Spurrier said he met with juniors Moe Thompson, Jabari Levey and Troy Williamson following the team meeting about returning for their senior seasons. “I’ve always felt that unless a player had accomplished all he could and performed to the highest level he could, it would be best for them to return for their senior year,” said Spurrier. “I believe Moe and Jabari are set on coming back and I’d love for Troy to come back, as well, because I believe he could really have a super senior season.”