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Who is Steve Spurrier?

Steve Spurrier to coach Orlando AAF team
Steve Spurrier to coach Orlando team in new pro football league 07:05

Steve Spurrier has been announced as the head coach of the inaugural team of the Alliance of American Football, based in Orlando, Florida. The league is set to begin on February 9, 2019 and will air on CBS

The league was co-founded by Charlie Ebersol and former NFL GM & Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, and plans to announce seven other teams in the next 12 weeks. Former NFL stars Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Jared Allen will serve as player relations executives, while Justin Tuck joins the Player Engagement Board of Advisors.

As a player, Spurrier was the starting quarterback at the University of Florida in 1965 and 1966, where he won the Heisman Trophy and the Walter Camp Memorial Trophy as a senior. He then became the No. 3 pick in the 1967 NFL Draft. Spurrier spent eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, having regular play disrupted by injuries. In 1976, he was sent to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite being the starter for the season, he was cut in 1977 and retired from his playing career before the beginning of the season.

After his NFL career, Spurrier served as an assistant coach at Florida, Georgia Tech and Duke. In 1983, he became the head coach of the United States Football League's (USFL) Tampa Bay Bandits, until the team dissolved in 1985. He then returned to Duke as a head coach and offensive coordinator, where he was named the ACC Coach of the year in 1988 and 1989.

In 1990, Spurrier returned to Florida as the head coach from 1990-2001, where he led the Gators to six SEC championships and one national championship title in 1997. A five-time SEC coach of the year, he became the first Heisman Trophy winner to coach another Heisman Trophy winner in Danny Wuerffel.

SEC Championship
Coach Steve Spurrier of Florida celebrates with his team after defeating Alabama in the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 7, 1996. Matthew Stockman/Allsport via Getty

Spurrier was also the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 2002 to 2003, finishing with an 12-20 record. He resigned in December 2003 with three years and $15 million remaining on his contract.

Following his time in the NFL, Spurrier returned to college, where he became the head coach of South Carolina from 2005-2015. He led the Gamecocks to their first SEC Eastern Division championship game in 2010. Spurrier resigned following the 2015 season, careful to state he was not resigning and could coach again in the future.

South Carolina v Tennessee
Steve Spurrier the Head Coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks takes in the action during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Andy Lyons / Getty

The winningest coach at both Florida (122-27-1) and South Carolina (86-49), Spurrier has the second most SEC coaching wins in history behind Bear Bryant (292) with 208 wins. A seven-time SEC Coach of the Year winner, he was accepted into the College Football Hall of Fame, becoming one of four members to be inducted as both a coach and a player.

Since retiring from coaching in 2015, Spurrier returned to Florida in 2016 as an ambassador and consultant to the athletic department. In 2016, Florida changed the name of their home field to the Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, unofficially known as "The Swamp" -- a nickname he's credited as creating.

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