The Daily Gamecock

Commencement issue: Despite recent struggles, Spurrier resigns on top

The mood in the press room was dreamlike. Even just minutes before former head football coach Steve Spurrier took the stand to announce his resignation, it felt like the former Heisman Trophy winner was playing some sort of elaborate joke on the media.

It didn’t feel real.

Monday night, Oct. 12, 2015, Spurrier addressed the team to tell them his plan to resign as head football coach, effective immediately. He explained at his press conference on Tuesday afternoon that he had made the decision early Sunday morning and informed South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner later that afternoon.

“I was the right coach for this job 11 years ago,” Spurrier said. “But not today.”

Spurrier came to a school devoid of tradition. South Carolina had won just three bowl games in its history and fans were used to sitting through painful seasons. From 1998-1999, the Gamecocks lost 21 straight games. They were the laughingstock of the SEC.

Spurrier changed that. In Spurrier’s first season, South Carolina won five straight SEC contests for the first time in school history. In 2010, he led the Gamecocks to their first ever SEC East title. South Carolina then posted three straight 11-win seasons.

Spurrier took South Carolina to new heights and brought the school to national prominence. Despite a less-than-stellar final season and a half, Spurrier did more for the program than any other coach in school history. As he goes out, Spurrier has cemented his place in South Carolina football lore.

“It’s time for me to get out of the way,” Spurrier said.

It may be time for him to get out of the way, but it will be a long time before anyone knocks him out of the record books.

Read the full version of this story, published in 2015.