Columbia, SC. (WJBF) — After 11 seasons, Steve Spurrier officially announced his retirement as South Carolina’s head football coach Tuesday afternoon. Spurrier said it was not a knee-jerk reaction, as he knew this day had been coming, but Sunday he decided he needed to step down from the position.
“I was probably the best coach for this job 11 years ago, but I’m not today,” Spurrier said.
The possibility of Spurrier retiring had been discussed the past several years, so it’s not the decision that’s surprising, but the timing was unexpected. Spurrier felt there was no reason to delay the inevitable though and believed his age made him a liability in recruiting.
“The recruits want to know that the [coach] going to be there five, ten years from now, and with a new coach here, I think it’s going to really pick up recruiting,” Spurrier said.
Co-offensive coordinator and offensive linemen coach Shawn Elliott takes over the the Gamecocks interim head coach.
Another, more obvious, reason for Spurrier’s resignation was the recent lack of success.
“As long as we keep winning — keep winning these bowl games, everybody’s happy,” the Head Ball Coach said. “We’re ranked, life’s pretty good — I guess I can go several more years. But, if it starts going south, starts going bad, then I need to get out. You just can’t keep a head coach that’s done it as long as I have when it’s heading in the wrong direction.”
However, Spurrier did make it clear he was not retiring today.
“I’m resigning, I’m not retiring,” he said. “Get that part straight. I doubt if I’ll ever be a head coach again but maybe coaching a high school team or something, so don’t say I’ve retired completely from coaching — who knows what will come in the future.”
Steve Spurrier is the winningest coach in South Carolina football history and is second all-time in FBS wins (228).