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Florida to name football field after former coach Steve Spurrier

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It was always his yard, really. From the time he was a player  at the University of Florida, winning the school’s first Heisman Trophy, until he was slinging his visor while coaching on the sidelines.

Now, it bears his name.

Are you ready for Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium?

Yeah, it’s a mouthful. But so, too, was Spurrier’s impact. Already, he is in the Ring of Honor and has a statue outside of the stadium. If the name is too long for you, just call it The Swamp. Spurrier came up with that one, too.

“I was stunned, really, when Jeremy called. I had no idea that was even being considered,” Spurrier said in a statement.

Spurrier was 127-22-1.

“We feel this was an appropriate way to commemorate one the most legendary figures in Gator athletics history,” UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. “Coach Spurrier did more than win a Heisman Trophy, a national championship and a bunch of games. Coach Spurrier changed the culture of Florida athletics. We were an institution that always had a mantra of wait until next year and wouldn’t it be great to just win one championship.

“Coach changed all of that. The Gators won, won big and won with swagger. As much as he impacted the football program, he changed the vibe in the entire athletic department.”

Spurrier is also the winningest coach at South Carolina.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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