Image Credit: AP
Most college football teams don’t have Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks or national championship winning coaches, but with Steve Spurrier being one in the same for the Florida Gators, any time he shows his face around the program is notable.
Now consider the fact that Spurrier has spent the last 11 seasons competing directly against Florida as the Head Ball Coach at South Carolina, and you understand how special it is for Spur Dog to not only be in Gainesville, Florida, but decide to check in with the Gators as they practice under head coach Jim McElwain.
“I’m glad his accountant’s here; it gave him a reason to come back to town,” explained McElwain on Thursday.
Whatever reason Spurrier was in Gainesville, he took in spring practice alongside an NFL coach and Oscar-winning actor. And he noticed some things, too.
Here was McElwain’s response when asked what Spurrier thought about Florida’s quarterbacks.
“He was excited to see we had some and that they threw the ball well,” McElwain joked. “He gave me a little good little critique about throwing the corner balls when we’re down in the low red [zone]. It’s something we definitely talked about in the staff meeting, makes a lot of sense. Like I said, having that guy there is pretty neat.”
He continued: “This guy and his wit, man, is awesome. What a great resource. Obviously what he’s done and what he did building here is something that every Gator out here should be really excited about.”
It’s been quite a while since the Gators have seen the sustained succeeds they did under Spurrier. Urban Meyer obviously won two national titles to Spurrier’s one, but while Meyer’s pit stop in Gainesville will get him on the Ring of Honor someday, he’ll never hold the same place in the hearts of Florida’s fans as the originator of the Fun ‘n Gun.
“Having arguably one of the best ever in Coach Spurrier come out there and see his former team, that’s something that’s pretty special just having that guy around,” McElwain said. “Just having him stop in on practice is something – as all the former Gators that are out there – that’s a lot of fun to see, and I think it’s really good for our team.
“It’s always great to talk to him. The guy meant so much to this program obviously not only as a player but what he did as a coach. Let’s face it: The guy’s a former Gator and that’s cool.”
Cool indeed. As long as Spurrier doesn’t head back to Columbia, South Carolina, and share some of what he saw with another ex-Florida coach in current USC head man Will Muschamp.