Steve Spurrier was honored by the University of Florida prior to their season opener against UMass on Saturday as they renamed the field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. The Head Ball Coach joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and expressed extreme gratitude towards the school’s honorary gesture.
“It’s the biggest, the greatest most special honor I’ve ever had to have a name on the stadium next to Florida Field,” Spurrier said. “I tell people, also, it’s still going to be known as ‘The Swamp,’ though. It’s not going to be Steve Spurrier-Florida Field, that’s too hard to say. But it’s really nice, nice of my university, the president, athletic director, trustees, a lot of people to thank and really appreciate. It was a once in a lifetime event to have that happen.”
Along with his explosive offenses and iconic visors, Spurrier was also known for his witty quotes and clever insults throughout his 30-plus year coaching career. As for his favorite, the Head Ball Coach said his dig about how nice it was to play Georgia in the second game of the season because “you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended” is at the top.
“They asked the [Georgia] athletic director Greg McGarity, they said ‘What do you think about Spurrier’s wise ass comment about guys being suspended?’ He said ‘Well, it’s the truth. How can I get mad at him? It’s the truth,’” Spurrier laughed. “So they had a rule that you mess up there in the summer, get arrested or whatever, you have to have sit out 20-percent of the season. So usually the first two games, and that usually got a couple starters there for a while, but it helps us out a little bit, I think.”
As for regrets, Spurrier said at the top of his list was accepting the Washington Redskins head coaching job in 2002. He said it was an offer from team owner Dan Snyder that he couldn’t refuse at the time.
“I should have stayed at Florida a few more years. We really had a good team when I left,” Spurrier said about his biggest regret. “We were third in the nation and had Rex Grossman coming back, and Jabar Gaffney and a bunch of guys. But back in those days, we all thought if you coached till you’re 62-or-3, man, that’s about it. It’s time to retire, go to the beach, play golf or what have you. Of course now a days, coaches can coach up until their 70 or so as long as they’re winning. If you don’t win, you got to get out, and that’s basically what happened to me last year. But that was an offer I took. But anyways, after two years maybe, the NFL didn’t really fit as what I view as a coach or whatever, I don’t know, but it gave me a chance to go to South Carolina and really enjoyed those 10-plus years there.”
When asked what the 71-year-old will miss about coaching, Spurrier believes it will be working with the players and some of the X’s and O’s of the game.
“I probably miss more the designing the ball plays, you know, coaching the quarterbacks and receivers and designing plays, and designing plays against every team and doing that. That’s probably a part of it, what I miss a little bit,” Spurrier said. “But obviously, when you’ve done it as long as I have, being a head coach in college, now that’s not anything you want to do, but I have done it long enough.
“30 years plus as a head coach and like one writer wrote something, Spurrier is not a lifer coach, he’s not going to coach until he falls out and hits the grave, there’s other things in life he likes to do. I really believe that’s who I am. Hanging around the Gators, trying to help out a little bit within the University, it’s been fun thus far. Hopefully, that will keep going on.”
Spurrier is currently promoting the release of his new book, ‘Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football,’ which was released on August 30th.