What Steve Spurrier did for South Carolina football …
Spurrier’s request to splash some paint around Williams-Brice Stadium was just the beginning. He realized USC was far behind in the SEC arms race and said more money needed to be spent on facilities. From the Dodie to the new track, USC has been transformed.
He won more games than anyone ever has at USC, and did it in much less time. Spurrier leaves with 86 victories, 22 more than former record-holder Rex Enright.
There was never a dull day with Spurrier in charge. He would always give his fans something to talk about, most of the time with a chuckle. He kept the Gamecocks in the national spotlight, since every major news outlet country-wide knew they could get a quick ratings boost with a Spurrier sound bite.
Spurrier’s work to make all of USC better didn’t go unnoticed. He attended other sporting events and often spoke of his admiration for other athletic programs. He and wife Jerri also contributed money to various campus causes.
5. Changed the culture
The Gamecocks had won a few games, even a conference title, but were always known as the little brother of college football. Spurrier changed that, telling his players that there was no reason why they couldn’t play in a major bowl game and challenge for conference titles.
6. Presented options
For years, high-ranking football talent in South Carolina had two choices – go to Clemson or go out of state. Spurrier made the Gamecocks attractive with a simple message: “Come be a part of the first-timers.”
The Gamecocks had rarely been a threat in the SEC from 1992-2004, boasting just two winning SEC seasons. Spurrier had five in 10 years, including the three best SEC seasons in program history.
8. Unified uniforms
USC was a hodge-podge of different apparel companies for its teams. With Spurrier an enthusiastic supporter of Under Armour, the entire athletic program eventually came around.
Spurrier was never shy about chiming in on non-football matters. He was one of the first athletic public figures calling for the removal of the Confederate flag.
10. Beat Clemson
Many fans grew up not caring about any other game on the schedule. If USC won that one, it was a good season. Spurrier beat the Tigers six times in 10 years, including an unprecedented five straight. The remarkable thing? He professed to not care that much about it, always putting his emphasis on conference games.
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