Steve Spurrier rejoining Florida Gators as ambassador, consultant
Steve Spurrier is returning to the Florida Gators.
The UF legend will join the athletic department as an ambassador and consultant, athletic director Jeremy Foley announced Friday morning.
"My wife, Jerri, and I are extremely thrilled to be returning home to our alma mater, and to Gainesville where we met on campus over 50 years ago," Spurrier said in a statement released by the school. "I'm very appreciative to Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, Head Coach Jim McElwain and Phil Pharr of Gator Boosters for their role in making this happen.
"I also want to say thanks to the University of South Carolina for allowing me to be their coach from 2005 to 2015. Also a special thanks to all of the Gamecock players, coaches and fans that allowed our teams to set so many school records. I will now pull for South Carolina to win every game but one, just as I did when I pulled for Florida to win every game but one as the Gamecock coach. I will try my best to promote and assist in any way I can to help the Gators to continue to be one of the very best athletic programs in America. I admire what Coach McElwain and his staff accomplished last year. I'm anxious to watch the Gator football team as they strive to be the best in the SEC and the nation in the years ahead."
Spurrier retired from coaching last season in the middle of South Carolina's 3-9 season. He remains one of the biggest names in Gators history. As a quarterback, he won the school's first Heisman Trophy in 1966. As a coach, he led UF to six SEC championships and the 1996 national title.
"It's a great day for the Gator Nation to be able to welcome Coach Spurrier back home," Foley said in a statement. "He has served as a tremendous ambassador to the University and the athletic department for 50-plus years and it's only fitting that at this point in his career, he is back in Gainesville. Being a Gator has always meant so much to Coach Spurrier, but it means just as much to us have him come home."
UF will rename its football field Steve Spurrier-Florida Field during the Sept. 3 season opener against UMass.
"I look forward to visiting with him on a lot of occasions and picking his brain on a number of issues," Gators coach Jim McElwain said in a statement. "It's a credit to Jeremy to get him back home where he belongs. More than anything I look forward to actually talking to him and being around him rather than just saying hello to his statue on my way to work every day."