Josh Kendall

Steve Spurrier not eager for Williams-Brice return

Steve Spurrier still isn’t sure he’s ready to be honored at Williams-Brice Stadium this upcoming season, but he’ll be at Florida Field at least once in the fall for a ceremony.

Spurrier will be recognized in Gainesville, Fla., during the Gators season opener against UMass, he told The State on Monday. This season will be the 50th anniversary of Spurrier winning the Heisman Trophy as the Florida quarterback. He’ll also celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary this fall.

“Got a lot of 50s this year,” the former South Carolina and Florida coach said.

Spurrier was at Reynolds Lake Oconee on Monday for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge, a charity golf event. Spurrier and former Gamecocks wide receiver Sterling Sharpe will play in the main event alongside Alabama coach Nick Saban and former Crimson Tide player Chris Mohr on Tuesday. Spurrier is one of two former coaches representing their school. Former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer is playing as the Hokies representative.

Like Spurrier, Beamer gave up a long career last season and is trying to figure out his next step.

“I tell people, I never had a recruit that said, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to be there, so I’m not going to come,’ but I know they were being told that a lot by people recruiting against us,” Beamer said Monday. “You lose one or two kids that you should have gotten and you multiply that by four or five (recruiting classes), and then all of a sudden your program is not quite as good as it needs to be. We were good for a long time, and then we were average for a few too many years. It was the right thing for Virginia Tech, and I think it was the right thing for me.”

Spurrier resigned from South Carolina in mid-October as the Gamecocks’ winningest coach in history (86-49), and USC president Harris Pastides extended an invitation at the time for Spurrier to be recognized at a South Carolina game. Spurrier said then it was too soon, and he still seems to feel that way.

“We haven’t talked about it,” said Spurrier, who coached at Florida from 1990-2001 and at South Carolina from 2005-2015. “I don’t know if this year is a good time. Let coach (Will) Muschamp and his guys take over and so forth. A year or two from now might be good.”

Spurrier could spend a lot of time on the field at Florida this year. His 1966 team will be honored prior to the Presbyterian game in November, and this also is the 20th anniversary of the 1996 national championship season during which he was coach, although Spurrier said he hasn’t heard if there’s a plan to recognize that team this year.

Spurrier still is trying to figure out what his next job will be.

“I hope to be involved somehow, but not too much,” he said. “I don’t know if television is a possibility or not. I don’t know if some other semi-job. I know I’m finished coaching. I have no desire to coach or assistant coach or anything. I make just take a year off, too. I don’t know.”

He maintains his $100,000 ambassador position at South Carolina.

“I sort of check in with (university president Harris Pastides and athletics director Ray Tanner) a little bit and do whatever I can do,” he said. “I wear my Carolina visor all over the place, trying to spread some goodwill.”