Steve Spurrier, who has coached over 400 games, a national championship team, won seven conference titles, garnered nine conference Coach of the Year awards, and won over 72 percent of the college games in which he has coached, stepped down in his 11th season as head coach at the University of South Carolina. Coach Spurrier was introduced as Carolina’s 32nd head coach on Nov. 23, 2004 and resigned on Oct. 13, 2015.
Coach Spurrier compiled a 228-89-2 (.718) won-loss record in 25-plus seasons as a major college head coach, including an 86-49 mark (.637) at Carolina. He became the 71st collegiate coach (all divisions) and the 22nd in Division I to record 200 career victories when he defeated UAB on Sept. 15, 2012 and logged his 250th all-time coaching win (including his stints in the pros) against Georgia in 2012.
Coach Spurrier surpassed Rex Enright’s school record for wins when he logged number 65 at Clemson in the 2012 season finale. In doing so, he joined the great Bear Bryant as the only coaches to boast the most coaching victories at two different SEC schools.
He led Duke to the 1989 Atlantic Coast Conference championship before returning to his alma mater, the University of Florida, as head coach in 1990. During his 12 seasons with the Gators, Spurrier’s teams won six Southeastern Conference championships, one national title and finished ranked in the nation’s top 10 nine times. His record at Florida was an amazing 122-27-1 (.817). Spurrier, who won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback for the Gators, was also head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He returned to the college ranks in 2005 after a one-year absence from the sidelines.
In his first season at South Carolina, Coach Spurrier led the Gamecocks to a 7-5 record and a second-place finish in the SEC Eastern Division. In doing so, he posted a five-game winning streak, the 15th-consecutive year in which he has had a five-game winning streak, something no other coach in college history has accomplished. He was honored as the SEC Coach of the Year by the Associated Press after leading the Gamecocks to a school-record five straight SEC wins, their first win ever at Tennessee and their first win over Florida since the 1930s.
He came back with an 8-5 record in 2006, just the ninth time in school history that the Gamecocks posted eight or more wins in a season. The season was capped with a Liberty Bowl win over C-USA champion Houston.
In his third season with the Garnet & Black, Spurrier’s squad raced out to a 6-1 record and moved as high as No. 6 in the BCS rankings, before finishing the campaign with a 6-6 record. With 21 wins, he set the Carolina record for coaching victories after three seasons at the helm.
With a 7-6 record in 2008, Carolina returned to a New Year’s Day bowl game for the first time since the 2001 season. The Gamecocks followed that up with another 7-6 record in 2009, their sixth-consecutive non-losing season, the longest stretch in school history since 1928-34. The 2009 season included a win over No. 4 Ole Miss, only the second time in school history that Carolina had defeated a top-five team.
His 2010 Gamecock squad posted several milestones en route to a 9-5 season, the biggest of which was the school’s first SEC Eastern Division title and first appearance in the SEC Championship. The Gamecocks also defeated the nation’s No. 1 team, Alabama, for the first time in school history, and finished the season ranked 22nd in both major national polls. He was named SEC Coach of the Year for the seventh time, his ninth overall Coach of the Year honor.
The Gamecocks continued to make history in 2011, winning a school-record 11 games and finishing in the top-10 in the final A.P. poll for the first time. The squad also won a school-record six SEC games and defeated each of their Eastern Division rivals in the same season for the first time. Carolina capped the regular season with a win over Clemson, its third-straight over its Palmetto State rival, the first time that has been accomplished since 1968-70, then defeated Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl by a convincing 30-13 margin.
The 2012 season was another success, as the Gamecocks rolled up 11 wins for the second-straight season and logged double-digits in wins for just the third time in school history, capped off by a 33-28 win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. They defeated four teams that finished among the nation’s top 25 in Georgia, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Michigan. The Gamecocks defeated in-state rival Clemson for a fourth-straight year, the first time that had been accomplished since the 1950s. It’s No. 8/7 final ranking was the best in school history at that time.
The success continued in 2013. Carolina posted its third-straight 11-2 campaign, finishing fourth in both major polls, the highest national finish in school history. The team defeated five teams that finished in the Top-25, including three in the Top-10. It also defeated six teams that won their bowl games, including two BCS winners. The Gamecocks won their final six games of the season, including a school-record fifth-straight win over Clemson, and a Capital One Bowl win over Wisconsin, the third-straight New Year’s Day bowl win.
In 2014, the Head Ball Coach logged his 400th career game as a head coach, including stints with Tampa Bay in the USFL, Duke, Florida, Washington in the NFL and South Carolina. He also led the Gamecocks to a school-record fourth-consecutive bowl victory with a win over Miami in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
He became the fourth coach to record 100 or more wins as an SEC coach against SEC competition (he also has three wins against SEC teams while coaching at Duke). Only Paul “Bear” Bryant (159) has won more SEC conference games than Coach Spurrier’s 131. Spurrier passed John Vaught (106) and Vince Dooley (105) during the 2010 campaign.