Steve Spurrier named Ambassador to UF Athletics

Former football coach will mentor UF coaches

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Former Florida Gators head football coach Steve Spurrier was named Ambassador and Consultant to the University of Florida Athletic Department on Friday.

Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said Spurrier's duties will include serving as a mentor to UF coaches and a representative at Gator Booster functions. He will also serve as a bridge between former players and the school, the Gators announced.

Spurrier, 71, stepped down as South Carolina's head coach last season. He said he feels it's important to be on a team and now he wants to share the lessons he's learned over the years.

"This was really something I wanted to do and I was really searching for the right time to do it and I think it's now,'' Spurrier said. "I'll try to help out any way I can there. I'm not coaching. I want to make it clear that in no way am I a coach. I'm just sort of a spectator."

The news comes less than two months after UF announced it's changing the name of its football field to Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Spurrier is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he was the starting quarterback from 1963-1966. He won the Heisman Trophy his senior year.

He later returned in 1990 to be the head coach, leading the football team to a national championship win in 1996.

He resigned in 2001 and became the head coach of the Washington Redskins in the NFL. He then returned to college football and coached the South Carolina Gamecocks from 2005-2015.

The Gators said Spurrier plans to visit UF over the weekend. His wife, Jerri, said this feels like coming home. The couple met at UF and they just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

"It really is home. It's hard for both of us not to be part of a team,'' Jerri Spurrier said. "And we've always been Gators wherever we've been. It's very exciting."