If there ever were any hard feelings between Steve Spurrier and Bill Curry, they are gone now, Spurrier told The State on Friday.
“Bill Curry is a good guy,” Spurrier said. “He’s a good guy.”
Curry announced Thursday he will retire after this season at Georgia State. Curry previously coached at Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky. It was at Georgia Tech where his path crossed with Spurrier, who was on Pepper Rodgers’ coaching staff before Rodgers was fired. Curry was hired in 1980 to replace Rodgers, and Spurrier was not retained.
“He just didn’t keep me that year, which turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me to get a chance to go to Duke and be the offensive coordinator,” Spurrier said.
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Spurrier always seemed to take special pleasure in beating Curry’s teams at Georgia Tech and Kentucky in subsequent years, but Spurrier denied any personal resentment, at least any that lingers to this day.
“When you are young, you might say, ‘I really want to beat these guys,’ which we did,” he said. “We were 6-0 when I was there against Georgia Tech when I was at Duke as an assistant and the head coach, but that was just. but no Bill and I get along fine.”
Another of Spurrier’s former colleagues was in the news this week for other reasons. Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan was charged Thursday by the Securities and Exchange Commission with fraud, in what the SEC called an $80 million Ponzi scheme.
Several high profile college coaches – including former Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer – reportedly lost money in the deal, but Spurrier was never approached by Donnan, he said.
“Fortunately, I missed out on that,” said Spurrier, who added the scandal has been talked about “slightly” in college coaching circles.
FISH BACK IN RACE
Junior Patrick Fish, the only scholarship punter on the roster, is back in the race for the starting punting job, Spurrier said Friday during an appearance before the Columbia Touchdown Club. Fish is competing with walk-on Tyler Hull, Spurrier said.
Linebackers coach Kirk Botkin is happy he has another 10 days to work with freshman spur Jordan Diggs, who will be the only backup for senior DeVonte Holloman at the position for the first three games due to suspension and injury.
“He’s a freshman,” Botkin said. “Some plays are good, some plays are bad. Everyday it’s something different with him. For a freshman, he’s a really sharp kid and he wants to do good. He’s coming along.”
Senior cornerback Akeem Auguste, a projected starter, returned to practice Friday after missing a week due to a groin injury. Freshman tight end Kelvin Rainey also returned from a concussion but wore a yellow, no-contact jersey.
South Carolina will scrimmage at 10 a.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. It is closed to the public and the media.