Lots of love for The Dog


When Steve Spurrier first arrived at Florida in 1990 and unleashed the Fun ‘n’ Gun on the run-dominated Southeastern Conference, he quickly became the most reviled head coach in the conference.

Fans and members of the media (outside of Florida), felt the same way about the Spur Dog. They thought he was cocky, they thought he was arrogant, they thought his offense would never fly, and they were certain that this brash, confident visor-wearer would be put in his place soon enough.

That didn’t happen, of course. Spurrier changed the way football was played in the SEC. His offense worked, so did his cocky, confident approach. And over the course of the many years (and many SEC championships), something somewhat strange happened. Fans and members of the media started liking Steve Spurrier. His honestly was refreshing. His confidence was admired.

Now, 21 years later, the grandfatherly Spurrier is easily the most-liked coach in the SEC. The media loves him now. Writers and broadcasters were almost giddy as they gathered around Spurrier at the SEC meetings on Wednesday afternoon, because it was obvious Spurrier had something to say. One writer even said to Spurrier, “Give me something good.”

And, of course, he did. Spurrier told us that he’d just proposed to the SEC that schools start paying football players $300 per game. Spurrier said he and six other coaches agreed the money would come from them if the proposal passes, which, of course, it won’t.

The SEC is not going to start paying players money — even (actually, especially) if it’s coming from the coaches.

But the fact it’s going to fail doesn’t matter. Spurrier gave everyone a story on a slow Wednesday. And he made many new friends in the SEC at the same time — the players at all 12 SEC schools. Those guys are going to love Spurrier for sticking up for them.

Steve Spurrier is the most popular guy in the SEC at the moment. Who could have imagined this happening 21 years ago?



  1. I got to know Steve and Jerri just a little bit from some Gator gatherings in Atlanta and Florida before my wife, children and I wound up in North Carolina. Then saw them here when Carl Franks was coaching Duke. He’s reviled by North Carolina Tar heel fans because of the pasting his Duke team gave the Heels in 1989 and a team photo he insisted be taken of him, his players and staff posing under the UNC scoreboard that afternoon. I enjoy every occasion when someone here bashes him, getting to tell them first hand what an upstanding, upfront and honest guy Steve Spurrier is. They shut their mouths. It’s pretty neat and I know many of them quietly wish he could be the UNC coach.

  2. SOS never backed down from a fight, nor did he compromise on what he believes in. The fact that he wins most of the time simply confirms that he’s usually on the right side of the issue. Love him or hate him, the “ole ball coach” is one of us and I’m glad. If everybody was as forthright on issues maybe we could tackle more substantive conflicts and make college football and the world a better place.

  3. Remember how Vince Dooley always whined about how tough his oppenent was going to be, even if it was an obvious cake walk for the Dogs? I admired Steve for telling the truth about upcoming opponents, good or bad. That was an indication of his honesty.

  4. Spurrier will be remembered longer because of the firsts he brought to UF — Heisman, SEC championship, national championship. He raised UF’s profile to national heights and Urban pushed it to among the top 5 (top 3?) of all universities.

  5. Spurrier is loved now because he’s not winning titles any more.
    Let USC go 12-1 a couple of years in a row and win some SEC and National Titles and you will see all this “love” evaporate.
    Everybody loves the guy they’re beating. Not so much they guy that’s whipping them.