By Stephen K. Lee
Steve Spurrier recently took the podium at an unscheduled press conference to formally announce his resignation as head coach at South Carolina. Tennessee head coach Butch Jones took a moment during his own press conference to acknowledge the great respect he has for the Head Ball Coach.
“He’s a legend. He’s a living legend,” Jones said. “He’s brought so much to the coaching profession. He’s brought so much to the game of football and he’s brought so much to the Southeastern Conference.”
Spurrier resigns at the age of 70 with a 228-89-2 career record in 25 seasons as a head coach. He is South Carolina’s winningest coach with an 86-49 record in Columbia and won the 1996 National Championship and six SEC titles with Florida.
A successful player in his own right, Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman Trophy and played in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’ve enjoyed the last couple years having the opportunity to compete against a legend,” said Jones of the nine-time SEC coach of the year winner. “I have the utmost respect for him. We’ve had some great conversations.”
Spurrier’s announcement comes ahead of Tennessee’s scheduled meeting with the Gamecocks on Nov. 7 at Neyland Stadium. That game was to be the third overall meeting between Jones and Spurrier.
“He’s meant so much to me from a personal note—really watching him—and then also from our profession as well,” Jones said. “We’re going to miss him.”