More than once Friday afternoon, Stephen Garcia wanted to scream.
“I see myself now definitely saying, ‘Do it the right way. Do it the way I’m asking you to do it. For the love of God, please do it,’ ” said the former South Carolina quarterback who is now a private quarterbacks coach. “ ‘Please just do what we’re asking you to do. Pleeeease.’ ”
Somewhere, Steve Spurrier is smiling. No one crossed Spurrier’s wires more consistently than Garcia while the two were starting the Gamecocks on their most successful football run in school history, and there was Garcia on the other side of the aisle on Friday trying to coax the best out of 25 youth quarterbacks at the Hammond School while cohosting a private camp with fellow former Gamecock Perry Orth.
Garcia’s coaching style differs from that of the Ol’ Ball Coach, he said, but he looked a lot like Spurrieras he coached the entire afternoon session shirtless and barefoot. Orth kept his shirt on but coached on bare feet so tan they look like they haven’t seen a pair of shoes since he left South Carolina after the 2016 season.
Both admitted that Spurrier’s impact on them runs deep.
“Once it seeps into your subconscious mind, you can’t get rid of it,” Orth said. “I showed (Garcia) when he walked in, ‘Look, man, look how I fold my papers up.’ It’s literally just like Coach used to do it.”
This weekend’s camp, which will conclude Saturday, followed another two-day camp the pair hosted in Charleston on Wednesday and Thursday through Orth’s company QB1 Athletics. Orth can see a day, he said, when the Columbia camp will require “10 to 15” additional coaches to work with all the campers, but Friday it was just he and Garcia working players from elementary to high school age through the same drills Spurrier used to put them through.
They are in many ways an odd coaching couple: Orth, the former walk-on who went from sixth string to starter, and Garcia, the former four-star prospect who is third in school history in passing yards and knocked off No. 1 Alabama but also was booted from the team.
“He’s more organized,” Garcia said in Orth’s approach. “I’m more of a chaos guy, and it kind of showed playing.”
Both have been coaching quarterbacks privately since their collegiate careers ended, with most of Garcia’s work being in his hometown of Tampa, Fla. This week is the first time they have joined forces.
While Garcia is tied almost exclusively with Spurrier, Orth hears several voices in his head when he’s on the field, he said, including former quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus and former offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.
“I think moreso Roper because I just got done playing for him, and he was a very, very big vocal guy, but honestly all three,” he said. “They made just an impact on my career that it was just one of those things. Once it gets in, you’ll never forget it.”
One day, there might be college quarterbacks out there saying the same thing about coach Garcia and coach Orth. Spurrier would have to get a kick out of that.