South Carolina kicker Elliott Fry should have known something was up when he walked into Williams-Brice Stadium on Monday and saw coach Steve Spurrier standing on the field and staring.
Fry in a Tweet said Spurrier saw him and said: “Field looks nice, Elliott.”
Later Monday evening Spurrier announced that he is retiring as Gamecocks coach without completing his 11th season.
“Nothing but respect for this man right here,” Fry said in a tweet about Spurrier.
Other players, school officials and media personalities sounded a similar theme on Monday night.
“I just want to say thank you coach for giving me the opportunity to play for you and being able to learn from you everyday,” star wide receiver Pharoh Cooper said in a tweet. “And yes, you can continue to call me “FAY-ROW” . . . I’m going to miss you coach!”
South Carolina trustee Chuck Allen, a former Gamecocks player in the 1980s, said he was “as surprised as anyone else is” about Spurrier’s retirement. “I thought that coach Spurrier had gotten somewhat frustrated about how the season had gone, but I’m caught off-guard a little bit.
“I would just reiterate, you know, my feelings about the job he’s done for us, and what I proposed naming the field after him, over the summer. We’ve had a heck of a run. Beyond that, we beat the arch rival (Clemson) five years in a row. He’s clearly the best coach in school history, and I tip my hat to him.”
USC basketball coach Frank Martin tweeted that he has always been huge fan of the HBC. Martin said he was lucky to call Steve Spurrier a friend.”
More local and national reaction: