Stephen Orr Spurrier was born on April 20,1945 and is an American former football quarterback and coach who played in the National Football League for 10 seasons before coaching for 38 years, primarily in college.
100 Facts About Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier is often referred to by his nickname, "the Head Ball Coach".
Steve Spurrier was a multi-sport all-state athlete at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Steve Spurrier attended the University of Florida, where he won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a college football quarterback with the Florida Gators.
Steve Spurrier was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1986.
Steve Spurrier was hired to his first head coaching job by the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League in 1983 and led the team to two playoff appearances in three seasons before the league folded.
Steve Spurrier retired from coaching in 2015 and became an ambassador and consultant for the University of Florida's athletic department, though he briefly returned to the sidelines to coach the Orlando Apollos of the short-lived Alliance of American Football in 2019.
Steve Spurrier was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2017, making him one of four members to be inducted as both a player and a coach.
Steve Spurrier's teams were known for winning with aggressive and high-scoring offenses, and he became known for teasing and "needling" rivals both before and after beating them on the field.
Steve Spurrier is the winningest coach in both Florida and South Carolina program history, making him the only coach to hold the record for most wins at two different Southeastern Conference schools.
Florida's streak of four consecutive SEC championships in the mid-1990s is the second-longest in conference history behind Bear Bryant's 1970s Alabama teams, and Steve Spurrier is second to only Bryant in total wins with an SEC program.
Steve Spurrier was born on April 20,1945, in Miami Beach, Florida.
Steve Spurrier is the second son of a Presbyterian minister, J Graham Spurrier, and his wife Marjorie.
Graham Spurrier changed congregations repeatedly during Steve's early childhood, resulting in several moves for the family.
Steve Spurrier's father accepted pastorships in Athens, Tennessee and then Newport, Tennessee before settling in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1957, when Steve Spurrier was 12 years old.
The youngest Steve Spurrier began to earn his reputation as a good athlete and a fierce competitor in Johnson City, impressing his peers and his older brother's friends with his tenacity in sandlot sports.
The younger Steve Spurrier has often repeated an anecdote about playing baseball on a team coached by his father.
Steve Spurrier attended Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was played football, basketball and baseball for the Science Hill Hilltoppers and was an all-state selection in all three sports.
Steve Spurrier had an undefeated record in three years as a high school starting pitcher and led his team to two consecutive state baseball championships.
Steve Spurrier averaged 22 points per game during his senior season and was named the conference player of the year.
However, he was not aggressively pursued as a football player by the coaching staff at the University of Tennessee in nearby Knoxville because at the time, Tennessee ran a wing-T offense that featured a running quarterback while Steve Spurrier was an excellent passer.
Spurrier and his family got along well with Graves, and Steve visited the Florida campus in Gainesville the following week.
Steve Spurrier received a favorable first impression of Gainesville when he arrived to find warm sunshine after leaving freezing temperatures in Tennessee, and thought more highly of Graves when the coach stayed by his side in the school infirmary after Spurrier's cold worsened into the flu during his recruiting visit.
Steve Spurrier therefore spent his first year at Florida practicing with the varsity team and playing on the freshman team, which scheduled four scrimmages against other schools' freshman squads as a way for young players to gain experience.
Steve Spurrier was in competition for the starting quarterback position leading up to his sophomore year of 1964 until a serious knee injury suffered during spring drills allowed returning senior starter Tommy Shannon to keep the job.
Steve Spurrier entered the season-opening game against SMU in the second quarter.
Steve Spurrier would add another touchdown pass during the second half of his varsity debut.
Steve Spurrier continued to alternate with starter Tommy Shannon as the season progressed, gaining more playing time every week.
Steve Spurrier remained the Gators' starter for the remainder of the season and was sometimes brilliant but inconsistent.
Steve Spurrier was the Gators' starting quarterback and team leader in 1965 and 1966.
Steve Spurrier finished his three-year, thirty-one-game college career having completed 392 of 692 attempts for 4,848 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, breaking every UF and many conference records for passing and total offense.
In 2006, Steve Spurrier was recognized by The Gainesville Sun as the No 2 player of the first century of the Gators football program.
Steve Spurrier was among the test subjects who was given a prototype for what would become Gatorade during the 1965 season.
Steve Spurrier was unsure of whether or not the beverage had a substantial impact on the team's success.
Steve Spurrier was told by team officials that he was being prepped to replace veteran 49ers quarterback and frequent All-Pro John Brodie in "four or five years", a situation which negatively affected his motivation.
Steve Spurrier had few opportunities to play and fewer to start early in his pro career, and he did not play very well when he got on the field.
Steve Spurrier attempted less than five passes over the entire season in three out of his first five years in the NFL, and he did not throw a touchdown pass until his third pro season.
Steve Spurrier's first extended opportunity came in 1972, when an injured ankle left Brodie unable to play for over a month.
Steve Spurrier next had an opportunity to start in the fifth game of the 1973 season, when he replaced a slumping Brodie against the Minnesota Vikings.
Steve Spurrier's lingering knee injury flared up after the game, so 49ers Coach Nolan decided to start third-stringer Joe Reed the following week, and Steve Spurrier played sparingly the remainder of the season.
Steve Spurrier had successful knee surgery in the offseason and, with his NFL contract expired, listened to offers from teams in the new World Football League.
However, Brodie had retired, and as the heir apparent to the 49ers' starting quarterback position in 1974, Steve Spurrier decided to re-sign with San Francisco.
Steve Spurrier played well in the preseason and had seemingly secured the starting job, but these plans were derailed when he suffered a badly dislocated shoulder in the final preseason game.
However, they lost their next four games, Steve Spurrier was sent back to the bench, and Coach Nolan was fired at the conclusion of the season.
The Buccaneers' new acquisition generated local excitement, as Steve Spurrier had been a college star at the nearby University of Florida.
Steve Spurrier won the job as team's first starting quarterback, a title that he later regretted, as the undermanned Bucs went on to suffer the first winless season in modern NFL history.
McKay insisted on employing a run-heavy attack similar to the offense he had used to win championships with the USC Trojans, while Steve Spurrier felt that the team did not have the right personnel to run the ball effectively and should employ a more pass-oriented offense.
Steve Spurrier signed with the Denver Broncos in July and was released after playing in several preseason games, then briefly signed with the Miami Dolphins but was released in the last round of cuts before the beginning of the 1977 regular season, at which point he decided to end his playing career.
Over 10 NFL seasons, Steve Spurrier played in 106 games, completing 597 passes in 1,151 attempts, for a total of 6,878 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 60 interceptions.
Steve Spurrier spent fall 1977 out of football, living in Gainesville with his young family and considering possible career choices.
Steve Spurrier expressed an interest in becoming Florida's next head coach but was not a serious candidate due to his lack of experience, and Clemson coach Charley Pell was hired soon after the conclusion of the season.
In later years, Steve Spurrier has repeatedly thanked Doug Dickey for giving him a chance to get into coaching with no prior experience.
Steve Spurrier, who had not been tasked with constructing a game plan and had seldom been allowed to call plays up to that point, asked Coach Rodgers for a larger role on the staff and was allowed to take control of the offense for the eighth game of the season, against Duke.
Steve Spurrier asked incoming head coach Bill Curry if he would be retained as Georgia Tech's quarterback coach and was told that he was one of "two or three" candidates for the job, prompting him to seek employment elsewhere.
In later years, Steve Spurrier repeatedly mentioned his perfect record against Curry's teams when they met as head coaches, often by very lopsided margins.
In 1980, Steve Spurrier was hired to be the offensive coordinator at Duke University by head coach Red Wilson, who had been impressed by Steve Spurrier's coaching abilities the previous season when Georgia Tech had upset Wilson's Duke squad.
Wilson gave the young coach free rein to design the offense, coach the quarterbacks, and call the plays, and Steve Spurrier met the challenge by developing a record-breaking offense that Duke fans nicknamed "Air Ball".
Duke earned two straight winning seasons in 1981 and 1982, a feat that the program had not achieved since 1970 and 1971 and would not achieve again until Steve Spurrier returned as the school's head football coach later in the decade.
In later years, Steve Spurrier has stated that his seasons working to get maximum production out of outmanned Duke squads were critical to his development as a coach and an offensive strategist.
In 1983, Steve Spurrier returned to Tampa to accept his first head coaching position with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the new United States Football League.
At 37 years old, Steve Spurrier was the youngest head coach in professional football at the time.
The Bandits' attendance was the highest in the USFL over its three-year run, and Steve Spurrier's offenses were consistently among the league's best.
Steve Spurrier spent 1986 out of football as the USFL's planned move to a fall schedule never took place.
When it became clear that the Bandits would not retake the field, Steve Spurrier began to seek new coaching opportunities.
Steve Spurrier interviewed to be the head coach at Mississippi State, but was passed over in favor of Rockey Felker.
Steve Spurrier sought to be the head coach at LSU, but was passed over in favor of Mike Archer.
Finally, Steve Spurrier returned to Duke University as the Blue Devils' new head coach and offensive coordinator in 1987.
Steve Spurrier proceeded to raise the Blue Devils to levels of success that the program had not realized in over twenty-five years.
Steve Spurrier's offenses broke numerous school and conference records for scoring, passing yards, and total yards, many of which had been set during his tenure as Duke's offensive coordinator.
Steve Spurrier asked to delay an official announcement until both Florida and Duke had played in their respective bowl games.
Steve Spurrier was officially announced as Florida's new football coach on December 31,1989.
Steve Spurrier inherited a team under NCAA investigation for the second time in five years.
Steve Spurrier successfully steered the program away from the previous scandals and led the Gators to the best record in the SEC in his first year, though they were declared ineligible for the league title due to NCAA probation handed down during the season.
Steve Spurrier used a two-quarterback offense, rotating quarterbacks Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise in and out of the game, confusing the Florida State defense and its veteran coordinator, Mickey Andrews, and giving Steve Spurrier more time to counsel his quarterbacks on the sidelines without having to use time-outs.
Significantly, Steve Spurrier is credited with changing the way the SEC played football.
Steve Spurrier employed a pass-oriented offense in contrast to the ball-control, rush-oriented offenses that were traditionally played in the SEC.
Steve Spurrier is credited with creating the nickname "The Swamp" for Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the Gators' home field.
Largely due to the formidable home-field advantage Steve Spurrier built, he is by far the winningest coach in Florida history as his 122 wins are 52 more than runner-up Graves.
At both appearances, Steve Spurrier received standing ovations from the crowd.
Steve Spurrier retains a deep affection and loyalty for his alma mater, and sometimes still accidentally says "we" when referring to the University of Florida.
Steve Spurrier has not let his affection for the University of Florida get in the way of a budding Florida-South Carolina rivalry, however.
Ten days after Steve Spurrier resigned his position at the University of Florida, he became head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
Steve Spurrier resigned on December 30,2003, choosing to walk away from $15 million still owed to him over the remaining three years of his contract.
Snyder pushed for the drafting of Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey in the 2002 NFL Draft, and though Steve Spurrier said that he would not play Ramsey very much during his rookie season, the coach was pressured to use him by team officials, and Ramsey was starting by game 4.
Steve Spurrier later said that he "knew it was over" when he "wasn't allowed to pick the backup quarterback".
Steve Spurrier spoke about his NFL coaching experience during SEC Media Days in 2014.
The next day, months of rumors were put to rest as Steve Spurrier was introduced as South Carolina's new head coach.
Spurrier had signed a seven-year deal that paid him $1.25 million per year and the Steve Spurrier era began for the Gamecocks.
In 2005, his first season as the Gamecocks' new head coach, Steve Spurrier led his South Carolina Gamecocks with newfound humility.
Two days prior to South Carolina's 2006 season opener, Steve Spurrier announced that he would kick off the athletics department's capital campaign with a $250,000 donation over five years.
On December 2,2006, amid speculation he was a candidate for head coaching jobs at Miami and Alabama, Steve Spurrier received a contract extension through 2012 and a raise from $1.25 million to $1.75 million annually.
Steve Spurrier became the first head coach in Gamecock football history to take a team to a bowl game in each of his first two seasons.
The Gamecocks have been bowl eligible every year Steve Spurrier has been their head coach, a feat no other Carolina coach has accomplished.
Steve Spurrier publicly confirmed his intentions at a press conference the following day.
Steve Spurrier reiterated that he was not officially retiring, but added he would probably never coach again.
In July 2016, Steve Spurrier returned to the University of Florida to serve as an ambassador and consultant for the athletic program.
On July 22,2021, Steve Spurrier was inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.
Since retiring from coaching, Steve Spurrier has been a frequent contributor to sports talk shows on TV, radio, and podcasts, including his own show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, co-hosting shows on WRUF radio in Gainesville, and appearing on many other shows.
In 2021, Steve Spurrier opened Steve Spurrier's Gridiron Grill in the Celebration Point entertainment complex in Gainesville.
Steve Spurrier married his college sweetheart, the former Jerri Starr, on September 14,1966, during his senior year at the University of Florida.