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Steve Spurrier is known for a few unique things across all his college coaching stops: a near-photographic memory for scores, stats and game details; and his propensity to slip in a good-natured jab at a rival or opponent.
CBS once declared Spurrier as “college football’s most quotable coach.” Remember these gems?
“You can’t spell ‘Citrus’ without U-T.”
“You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University.”
“Smart people don’t believe everything they read, and they don’t believe hearsay. ... I guess Dabo believed it.”
Spurrier, 78, hasn’t changed.
A little more than eight years since he resigned as the South Carolina Gamecocks’ head coach, the university on Saturday recognized him and the 2010-13 football teams — the most successful stretch in program history.
The Ol’ Ball Coach spoke for about three and a half minutes during halftime of the win over Jacksonville State at Williams-Brice Stadium. He rattled off accomplishments and key players from those four teams — and managed to blend current events into his memories of the Gamecocks’ three bowl game wins during that stretch.
The 2012 season finished with a 33-28 South Carolina win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl, with quarterback Dylan Thompson hitting receiver Bruce Ellington for the game-winning touchdown.
“We made sure they weren’t getting our signals,” Spurrier joked of the Wolverines, a nod to the current sign-stealing scandal that has engulfed the Michigan program.
Those Spurrier-led teams were 42-11 over four years, including an SEC Eastern Division title in 2010 followed by three-straight 11-2 seasons. The Outback Bowl win over Michigan was sandwiched in between Capital One Bowl victories (over Nebraska, Wisconsin) by the Gamecocks.
The university honored those Gamecock teams Saturday at halftime of the Jacksonville State game, with about 40 former players and their families in attendance for the ceremony.
“Everybody asks, how’d you guys do it?” Spurrier, 78, said in a speech to the crowd at halftime. “I say, first of all we had talented players with the attitude, effort and leadership among the older guys passed through the team.”