USC Gamecocks Football

Spurrier defends son as recruiting coordinator, says ‘sickening’ attitude overtook USC

When former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier takes to the airwaves, he often doesn’t hold back on things.

On Tuesday he was on 107.5 The Game to talk about his new restaurant venture. But things couldn’t help but get back to the struggles at the end of his tenure. He said he saw issues with players and staff, but defended the role of his son, Steve Spurrier Jr., who ascended to recruiting coordinator late in that era.

“A lot of people think, well the recruiting coordinator sucked,” Spurrier Sr. said. “He recruited his area and brought in some pretty good wide receivers. The recruiting coordinator is nothing more than the secretary, ‘You’re out this week. You two guys are in.’ Because we can only send seven of nine out for some reason.

“Every assistant coach is responsible for his position and his area. We did a lousy job.”

Spurrier Jr. has since coached at Western Kentucky and Washington State, plus been an offensive analyst at Oklahoma. His final few classes at USC included Deebo Samuel, Pharoh Cooper and blue chip pass catcher Shaq Davidson, but also players such as D.J. Neal and Christian Owens who failed to develop (stars further back under Spurrier Jr. included Alshon Jeffery, Bruce Ellington, Kenny McKinley, and Ace Sanders).

Spurrier Sr. also lamented the way he let more things go and allowed the culture to go in a bad direction. He spoke about being even less involved with the defense then before and a certain kind of concerning injuries in practice.

“It was sickening to watch some guys run into guys legs and act like they didn’t care,” Spurrier Sr. said. “We had a bad attitude on the team. Blame the head coach.”

He departed when the team fell to 2-4 in 2015 before the Gamecocks finished up at 3-9. He resurfaced on the sideline this year, going 7-1 in the short-lived AAF, leading the Orlando team.

Spurrier Sr. also said he mishandled the coaching staff. He noted the Jon Hoke-Lorenzo Ward co-defensive coordinator pairing “didn’t work out worth a dang,” and added things behind the scenes might have grown problematic.

“We had a few disgruntled coaches,” Spurrier Sr. said. “If I had it to do over again, I would probably let one or two of those guys go. It was time for somebody to move on, and I thought it was me who should move on.”