Former Florida Gators athletic director Bill Arnsparger, a figure who made one of the most important decisions in school history, passed away Friday in Athens, Alabama, at the age of 88.
Following a storied coaching career, Arnsparger was named Florida’s athletic director in 1986; he was tasked with cleaning up the Gators athletic program following numerous NCAA sanctions for rules violations.
As such, he hired two new coaches for the school’s primary athletic programs, bringing on former Florida Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier in 1990 to coach the football team and Lon Kurger for basketball in 1991. Spurrier, of course, turned the Gators’ football team into perennial winners and national champions in 1996. Kruger led Florida basketball to its first Final Four (1994).