Go back three short years and you might remember Steve Spurrier moping his way through his SEC Media Days session like a man who’d just had to put his favorite pet to sleep. It was 2010 and the Gamecocks were coming off a 7-6 season. They’d been thumped by Connecticut in the PapaJohns.com Bowl their last time out.
That next summer in front of the SEC media, Spurrier looked miserable. No cracking wise. No smiling. No barbs. No “here’s what I believe” speeches.
But as Carolina has improved on the football field — going from 7-6 to 9-5 to 11-2 each of the last two years — the Ol’ Ballcoach has been revived off it. Today he said that he’d now like to spend as many as 13 years coaching in Columbia. He just finished Year Eight. If he keeps coaching for five more seasons he’ll be 73.
So will he really put on his visor and coach for five more seasons? Yes.
If he’s winning.
Over the past few years — as Carolina improved — Spurrier’s mood has improved. It’s clear he’s simply enjoying the USC job more now than he was then.
Now, you can be sure all coaches ride an emotional roller-coaster propelled by wins and losses. But none seem to rise quite so high or fall quite so low as Spurrier. Today he stepped to the podium in Birmingham and literally tried to out-Slive Mike Slive with his own “State of the Union” message. Only Spurrier’s covered the gamut of college sports, even branching outside the SEC to Notre Dame. Why is anyone’s guess.
It wasn’t the most polished talk you’ll ever hear. But what it lacked in rhyme and reason it made up for in confidence and mirth. Spurrier was relishing his time behind the podium, in front of the cameras. The man loves being the center of attention. “Hell, yeah, I can make those media folks talk about any subject I want.”
When Spurrier first arrived at Carolina in 2005, how many folks truly believed that the coach would ever have this much fun? For that matter, who would have predicted such an outcome following Spurrier’s nadir at Media Days 2010?
If his Gamecocks continue to win big under Spurrier, we at MrSEC.com suspect the coach will indeed keep right on calling “ballplays” until he’s 73. Or 83. Or 93.
And if they should falter, well, that’s another story.