USC Gamecocks Football

Steve Spurrier wins in coaching return with Orlando Apollos

The Head Ball Coach is back in the win column.

Former South Carolina and Florida coach Steve Spurrier was back on the sidelines Saturday night with the Orlando Apollos in the new Alliance of American Football League. Spurrier’s Apollos squad defeated the Georgia Legends 40-6 at Spectrum Field in Orlando.

“We played pretty well. I think we only had to punt in the second half,” Spurrier said during postgame interview on CBS. “Our defense was really super in the second half.”

It marked Spurrier’s first coaching win since Sept. 26, 2015, when the Gamecocks beat Central Florida. Spurrier resigned a few weeks later on Oct. 12, 2015, and hasn’t coached a game since.

Spurrier, who works as an ambassador for the University of Florida, got the itch to coach again, and the new league seems a perfect fit for him. The eight-team league made its debut Saturday with two games and was televised to a national audience on CBS.

The league has a few different tweaks and changes from the NFL such as no kickoffs or extra points and not as many commercials during the broadcast.

It looked like vintage Spurrier on the sidelines, minus his trademark visor. He was wearing a baseball hat instead because of steady rain. He became agitated early on when his headset didn’t work.

Spurrier calls the plays for Orlando and called a deep pass on the game’s first play.

At one point, Spurrier, who was mic’d up for the game, was calling in a play from the sideline and said over the headset to his receiver, “Tell him to catch it this time.”

“I think the fans had a good time tonight, didn’t they?” Spurrier said. “They saw enough good plays after the first quarter or so, and we finally put on a little bit of a show.”

Spurrier is one of two with South Carolina ties on Orlando. Elliott Fry, who played for Spurrier at USC, is the team’s kicker. Fry connected on both of his field-goal attempts in the game.

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The State and Island Packet. He has covered high school sports in South Carolina for 16 years and is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.