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Steve Spurrier weighs in on Jim McElwain, UF’s offense and more

By The State (TNS)
Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier says this season's offensive staff very occasionally would welcome his input and suggestions. [ANDRES LEIVA | Times]

The fact that Florida and coach Jim McElwain parted company abruptly Sunday was "not shocking but surprising," said the man who used to hold that job.

"The athletic director summed it up. I thought he did a good job of saying that this was not about wins and losses, it was about the whole thing, other things and so forth," Steve Spurrier said Monday. "That was just part of it, the wins and losses. He took into consideration everything I guess, and they thought it was time to make a change."

Spurrier — who coached the Gators for 12 seasons, including the 1996 national championship team —now serves as a consultant at Florida. He had a good relationship with McElwain’s offensive coaching staff and would occasionally share plays with coordinator Doug Nussmeier, he said.

"Oh yeah, I did that every week or so," Spurrier said, "just with Nussmeier and his staff and they look at it. He’s put some of them in. He’s put a few in. I’ll walk through there and give them a play every now then, one or two plays, say ‘What’d you think about this? This was good for us.’ Sometimes they actually use them, and sometimes it’s foreign to them. Our offense was so much different from what they do here.

"The offense has been so bad, everybody knows it. Did you see us play Georgia (a 42-7 loss)? Yeah, it was a sad, sad day, but anyway.

"Yeah, (Nussmeier) was okay. They didn’t call me up and say, ‘What’d you run against this coverage or that coverage?’ But when I took the job here they were open for suggestions a little bit so I did a little bit but not a lot. Very little."

Spurrier would not have considered being the interim coach if asked, he said.

"No, no, no. I am finished as a head coach," he said. "I said I may come back and coach high school ball, quarterbacks or something like that. In fact, Marcus Lattimore (his former star running back at South Carolina) called me up last week. He said, ‘Coach, I need a quarterback coach here at Heathwood Hall.’ I told him I live in Gainesville, Fla. That’s the only problem."

Spurrier said he will have very limited impact on Florida’s coaching search.

"I may throw some names at (athletic director Scott Stricklin)," Spurrier said. "I’m not on the selection committee. Remember when they used to have those selection committees?"