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CBS: Spurrier will find plenty of ready, willing NCAA suitors


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Spurrier will find plenty of ready, willing NCAA suitors

Nov. 12, 2003

By Dennis Dodd

SportsLine.com Senior Writer


The question now seems to be not if, but when Steve Spurrier will return to college football.

Might the Gators want Steve Spurrier back?(AP)

Let's get past the how and why Spurrier has fallen out of favor with Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. The reality is The Old Ball Coach is a short-timer in Washington. And, c'mon, you don't really believe he's ready to put down the Fun-N-Gun?

So, let's get down to the bottom line because in the past week it seems everyone else has. Spurrier's name was matched with -- in no particular order -- Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Clemson and to a lesser degree even Oklahoma and LSU.

The underground murmurs surfaced last week when the daughter of Kentucky coach Rich Brooks admitted sending a series of e-mails to a Wildcats website denying her father's dissatisfaction in Lexington.

Spurrier's coaching record

Year Team/School Record


2003 Redskins 4-5-0

2002 Redskins 7-9-0


2001 Florida 10-2-0

2000 Florida 10-3-0

1999 Florida 9-4-0

1998 Florida 10-2-0

1997 Florida 10-2-0

1996 Florida 12-1-0

1995 Florida 12-1-0

1994 Florida 10-2-1

1993 Florida 11-2-0

1992 Florida 9-4-0

1991 Florida 10-2-0

1990 Florida 9-2-0

1989 Duke 8-4-0

1988 Duke 7-3-1

1987 Duke 5-6-0


1985 Tampa Bay 10-8-0

1984 Tampa Bay 14-4-0

1983 Tampa Bay 11-7-0

Totals 20 Seasons 169-67-2

Depending on which rumor you listened to Spurrier was "interested" if Brooks left Kentucky. The website reported Spurrier and the school already had talked.

Kerri Brooks weighed with an opening blast that said, "Brooks Loves Kentucky. Stop the Garbage!!!" The replies flowed in from there -- 177 as of last week, 16 of them from Kerri Brooks, who lives in Atlanta and works for CBS.

Rich Brooks is 4-5 in his first season with the Wildcats. There have been some curious decisions on the field but nothing tangible off it to suggest he is disenchanted already. Of course, when one of the best college coaches of the era could be available, all kinds of rumors can spread.

Spurrier's offenses have struggled at Washington. He didn't earn points earlier this season when he questioned the Redskins' effort.

There seem to be three options if Spurrier gets out after this season:

Retire or resign with a nice, comfy nest egg thanks to The Dan.

Retire or resign, sit out a year and come back to college in 2005 or some later point.

Jump right back into college with some intriguing possibilities.


Three sources told SportsLine.com last week Spurrier had "talked" to Texas. Take that with a grain of salt, because Mack Brown has jumped from a mildly warm (not quite hot) seat to being coach of a BCS top five team. Optimistic Orangebloods are hoping for Southern California, Ohio State and LSU losses so, gulp, their team could be matched against Oklahoma in a Sugar Bowl rematch.

In that case, Brown is not going anywhere. Few, if any coaches, have been fired after 11-2 seasons. He is one of the winningest coaches in the country since 1997, and his recruiting is legendary. But we know things can turn sour quickly in college football ...


Please. They hate Spurrier in Knoxville more than generic bourbon. But his name did come up even before the school issued a release two weeks ago, saying Phil Fulmer would not resign. A strange bit of university news, don't you think, considering the Vols are in the thick of the SEC race?


It's in the South, the job is going to be open, fans are starving for a winner. What else does Spurrier need? Clemson could pay him, and he could continue to torment Florida State and Miami as an ACC conference rival.

LSU and Oklahoma

Only because both current coaches, if they go anywhere, are headed where Spurrier is about to leave -- the NFL. Bob Stoops is as close to Spurrier as anyone, having been his defensive coordinator at Florida. If and when Stoops gets the itch, the only upward mobility left is the NFL.

The transition could be seamless for both. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione gets out of the way and is great to work for, having rewarded Stoops with several raises. Norman is where Steve Jr. worked before following his father to D.C.

The same for LSU's Nick Saban. If he wins another SEC title and/or a national title, there is little more for him to accomplish in college.

It would be sad if college football were deprived of Spurrier for good. He still has a few bullets left in his gun. Or as the man himself might put it, "We're still able to pitch it around a little bit."

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Spurrier ain't going nowhere and he shouldn't. I believe it when they say they're gonna stick this one out. Instant gratification aside, I think we need to be a little more farsighted. Spurrier's offensive stategies will work given the personnel. Admittedly his fault as a coach may be that everyone fits into his system, instead of taking what he has and working it, but I believe he is getting closer to what he needs. Maybe a good recieving tightend and a dazzling running back away. I think they are aware of this.

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