South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier Retires

Steve Spurrier
The Associated Press

University of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier abruptly retired on Monday.

Sports Illustrated first reported the sideline fixture’s sudden departure.

The Gamecocks place a disappointing last in the SEC East standings with an 0-4 conference record. They fell to LSU on Saturday and boast just two wins on the season.

South Carolina tapped offensive line coach Shawn Elliott to serve as the interim head coach. He lacks head coaching experience, joining the staff at South Carolina in 2010 after working at his alma mater Appalachian State for many years.

Spurrier’s time in football dates back more than a half century. He won the Heisman Trophy as Florida’s quarterback in 1966 and spent a decade in the NFL playing for the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting the first game in the latter franchise’s history. In the professional ranks, he coached the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL and the Washington Redskins in the NFL, where his fun-‘n’-gun offense failed to pay dividends as it did in the college ranks. Bookended by stints at Duke and South Carolina, Spurrier’s college coaching career remains largely a story of his time at the University of Florida, where the team’s former quarterback inherited a squad on probation boasting not a single conference title in more than eight decades of competition. Spurrier led the Gators to the first SEC championships in school history and, in 1996, the school’s first national championship.

At 70, Spurrier’s tenure at South Carolina likely represents his last job leading a major football program. He ends his career with a 228-89-2 NCAA coaching record.