TOFN Podcast: Steve Spurrier: Why the time is right for me to return to coaching
(EDITOR'S NOTE: To access the podcast just connect to the following link:https://vokalnow.com/audio/1801 … or iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talk-of-fame-podcast/id1337217347?mt=2)
At 73 and three years removed from his last job, Steve Spurrier didn't figure to return to head coaching ... on any level.
Yet he will. And he has.
In case you missed it, Spurrier was the first coach hired by the fledgling Alliance of American Football League -- or "the Alliance," as it likes to be called -- a developmental loop that will begin play next spring.
Better yet, he'll coach the Orlando franchise.
It's a perfect fit -- Spurrier and anywhere in Florida -- but there's an obvious question here: Why this and why now? So we asked him on the latest Talk of Fame Network podcast, and he was more than willing to explain.
"If somebody had said, "Well, what would get you back into coaching?' " Spurrier said, "I would say, 'Maybe a league -- or an Alliance, as we call it -- where we work about four or five months a year … and it's just all coaching … you get a team, and you practice for about a month … and you play for, hopefully, 12 games and try to win the championship of the league.'
"So that's what we're trying to do. And, plus, when I heard about it, and J.K. McKay (the league's head of football operations) and (Alliance founder and CEO) Charlie Ebersol said, 'You can have the team in Orlando,' " I said, 'OK, now you're talking my kind of language.' "
I didn't get out of coaching because I got tired of coaching. I got out of coaching because I put together, really, a bad team with not a very good attitude. The coaches and players didn't like each other very well, and that was my fault as the head coach.
It's not Spurrier's first turn at pro coaching. The former Heisman Trophy winner led the USFL Tampa Bay Bandits (1983-85) before the league folded and, nearly two decades later, joined the Washington Redskins (2002-03). But he made his name at the collegiate level -- especially at his alma mater, the University of Florida, where the Gators were a perennial SEC champion and national power.
Later, he coached at the University of South Carolina, where he achieved remarkable success -- with three of the school's four 10-win seasons in history. But he resigned in the middle of the 2015 season, saying the program was going nowhere, and it was time "to fire myself."
So he returned to the University of Florida where he served as a consultant … until, that is, the Alliance summoned him. Now, he's back on the sidelines, and it's easy to understand when you listen to him.
"I didn't get out of coaching because I was tired of coaching," he said. "I got out of coaching because I put together, really, a bad team with not a very good attitude. The coaches and players didn't like each other very well, and that was my fault as the head coach.
"So this is sort of a chance to go back and coach like I did when I was here at Florida and Duke (where he was an assistant coach, 1980-82) … and maybe my early years at South Carolina. That's what I do in life. I really believe God gave me some ability to coach, and I should be using it.
"I love coaching. And this is what this is all about. This is not recruiting for nine months and trying to find players and this and that. And I really like the total concept of this Alliance."
To hear more from Steve Spurrier on his new job … and on some of his former players … connect to the following links: https://vokalnow.com/audio/1801 ) … or iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talk-of-fame-podcast/id1337217347?mt=2