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Steve Spurrier, the ‘Old Ballcoach’ is retiring immediately

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The Old Ballcoach is walking away from college football. Steve Spurrier is no longer in the profession.

Spurrier, 70, told his South Carolina team Monday night that he is leaving effective immediately.

Spurrier is the all-time winningest coach at South Carolina, but to those who live in Florida, he will always be remembered as a Gator. As a player, Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback. As a coach, he won the team’s first national championship and instilled the swagger that still defines the school. He won the 1996 National Championship — with Danny Wuerffel — and six SEC titles.

After finishing among the nation’s top 10 teams for three straight years, in which the Gamecocks won 11 games each year, Spurrier’s team dipped to 7-6 last year. This year, his team is 2-4 and 0-4 in the SEC.

Spurrier has a 228-89-2 record at Duke, Florida and South Carolina. He has never had a losing season at South Carolina, and his team has been bowl-eligible in all 10 of his first seasons.

There were times, when he was at Florida, that Spurrier seemed to delight in upsetting opposing fans. He referred to FSU as “Free Shoes University.” He suggested you couldn’t spell the Citrus Bowl with “UT.” He wondered aloud what happened to all of Georgia’s high-ranking recruits.

Spurrier also coached with the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Bandits.

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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