Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Spurrier ponders a 'need'


Gun-to-head poll: Choose your man  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Gun-to-head poll: Choose your man

    • Ray Rhodes
    • Joe Bugel
    • Art Shell

Recommended Posts



Spurrier ponders a 'need'

By Peter Kerasotis


He sounded like he was on a golf course, with an early morning wind blowing into his cell phone. But I didn't ask. Whenever you get Steve Spurrier on the line, you don't waste questions. You get right to the heart of the matter. You try to find out what caused him to walk away from being the Washington Redskins head coach and what his future is, and could it be coaching the Florida Gators again.

"I'm hearing that you're taking a year off," I said. "Is that accurate?"

"Yeah," Spurrier replied. "I'm going to take one to two off, and maybe all of them off. I've been a head coach 20 years. It's time for a little break. What we were doing up there (in Washington) wasn't working very well. So they needed a new coach, a new coaching staff. It seemed like the right thing to do to ease on out and let somebody else take over up there."

"If you do get back into coaching, do you see it back in the NFL, or back in college?"

"I don't see anything right now, Peter," Spurrier said, laughing. "I don't see anything but a guy that's coached 20 years as a head coach who is off. I don't like to use the word 'retire.' I'm just off for a while. I may be off all the time. If something hits me in a couple of years, then maybe that would be something that I would feel like I have to do, or need to do."

"I and other people couldn't picture you coaching college any other place but Florida. Could you see yourself coaching college somewhere other than Florida?

"I'm not very good at answering all the questions, you know what I mean? I think you don't ever say definitely what your plans are. The immediate plans are to watch Scotty (his youngest child) finish up in high school. He's got his senior year. And we're probably going to stay between Leesburg (Virginia), where he wants to finish school, and the St. Augustine Beach area."

"When people say you can't coach in the NFL, and that you quit, do any of those criticisms particularly bother you?"

"I've gotten to where criticism hopefully doesn't affect me. Yeah, we weren't successful at Washington. A person would have to draw his own conclusions as to why. That's not for me to say why. We didn't do it and that's all you can say, and everybody can give their opinion as to why."

"One of the opinions is that nobody can win with that owner, Daniel Snyder."

"Naw, actually the owner went out and got the players we thought were going to help develop us into a contender. Some of them worked out, some didn't. But most of the players he went after; players that our coaching staff and personnel department really thought would help us. Ain't no problem with the owner. It wasn't his fault we didn't do very well. It was the whole team, and I was the head coach, so you have to blame me more than anybody else. OK? You need anything else? Did you go to the Outback Bowl?"

"No, I went to the Orange Bowl," I replied.

"You had to cover that one, huh? I tell you, that was a sad one for Oklahoma, wasn't it? Poor ol' Bobby (Stoops) said that, 'At one time we had the best team in the history of college football, and we didn't win anything.' "

"When you watch games like that, a national championship game at the Sugar Bowl, does it get your coaching juices flowing, or can you look at it like a spectator?"

"Aw, I'm just spectating right now," he said. "Yeah, I'm just spectating."


Well, a couple of things struck me. When Spurrier talked about getting back into coaching, he said it would have to be something "I would feel like I have to do, or need to do."

I still think he wants to -- maybe even needs to -- prove that he can coach in the NFL. That he wouldn't blast Redskins owner Daniel Snyder -- and those close to him say the situation in Washington had become unworkable with Snyder -- might add credence to the latest rumors that there was a buyout and that he didn't exactly walk away from $15 million.

I also think Spurrier learned a lot in his two NFL years, and that he is no longer monomaniac about his offensive philosophy and that he would like to take his knowledge and newfound experience and try the NFL again, perhaps in Miami if Dave Wannstedt doesn't get it done and there is an opening there next year.

I also think that if Ron Zook has another five-loss season at Florida, and is shown the door under intense booster pressure, then that might be a situation that would fit into a coaching job that Spurrier felt he would "need to do" -- i.e. rescue his alma mater again. I also think that's why he couldn't -- or should we say, didn't want to? -- answer the question as to whether he would coach again at another college other than Florida.

How could he answer that question without causing a minor furor? I think the answer is no, that he wouldn't want to coach at another college, not at this stage of his life, pushing 60. But if he says Florida is the only college he'd ever coach at again, then it puts more pressure on UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and his handpicked successor to Spurrier, Ron Zook, who has now had two 8-5 seasons and back-to-back losses at a second-tier bowl.

Think of the headlines: Spurrier Says the Only Place He'd Coach College Again is at Florida.

Already, there is a web site www.BringSteveBack.com that is campaigning for Spurrier's return. Up less than a week, it is at 5,000 hits and counting.

"I'd like to see him come back to Florida," said Fred Hamilton, a big Gator fan who owns ProQuest Pest Control in Brevard County. "I think Florida is where Spurrier belongs, absolutely. I'm not a big Zook guy. Yeah, he's a good recruiter, that's obvious. And the players love him. But they're losing five games a season, and that's not acceptable."

Florida fans admit that the thought of Spurrier coaching Zook's recruits is tantalizing.

"It definitely creates some mixed emotions," said Robin Fisher, a former Satellite High and Florida Gator standout who owns a State Farm insurance agency in Titusville. "With Coach Zook, there's one part of you that feels sorry for him and believes he should get another couple of years to see what he can do with his recruits. But then you have to figure that if Coach Spurrier goes there we'd probably be back in the hunt quicker. We know Coach Spurrier is fond of that place, and he wants nothing but the best for the Gators."

Scott Miller, the director of sales and marketing for the Viera Company, is a big Gator fan, and he too has mixed emotions.

"I think Coach Spurrier made a choice to go to the NFL and pursue his desire to coach there," Miller said. "For him to come back now . . . well, I think Coach Zook has earned the right for another year. But I don't know if Ron Zook is able to do better than what he's done. Maybe four- and five-loss seasons, where you win some big games and lose to Ole Miss at home and never quite put it all together, is what we're going to get. If that's the case, then I'd like to see Coach Spurrier come back. I would welcome Steve Spurrier back, absolutely."

It'll be interesting. And it'll be a topic that won't go away. As long as Spurrier is out there, saying he might like to coach again, with a house he still owns five miles from Florida Field . . . well, stay tuned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, no surprise there considering where the article comes from. Wishful thinking can certainly cloud the vision of the mind's eye. And as for turing the page and letting him go....uh..yeah..believe that when I see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...