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Florida names former coach Steve Spurrier as ambassador

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The Old Ballcoach is back at his Old Ballfield.

The University of Florida has announced that Steve Spurrier, who won the school’s first Heisman and its first national title, will return to Florida as an ambassador and consultant. Spurrier won the Heisman for the Gators in 1966 and the national title in 1966.

“It’s a great day for the Gator Nation to be able to welcome back Coach Spurrier back home,” said athletic director Jeremy Foley. “He has served as a tremendous ambassador to the University and the athletic department for 50-plus years, and it’s only fitting that at this point in his career, he is back in Gainesville. Being a Gator has always meant so much to Coach Spurrier, but it means just as much for us to come home.”

Spurrier coached the Gators to their first six SEC titles.

“I look forward to visiting with him on a lot of occasions and picking his brain on a number of issues,” said Florida coach Jim McElwain. “More than anything I look forward to actually talking to him and being around him rather than just saying hello to his statue on my way to work every day.”

Spurrier seemed pleased to be reunited with the Gators.

“I will try my best to promote and assist in any way I can to help the Gators be one of the very best athletic programs in America,” Spurrier said. “I admire what Coach McElwain and his staff accomplished last year.”

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

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