Florida Contacts Spurrier
Florida contacts Spurrier (ESPN)
University of Florida officials have contacted Steve Spurrier to gauge his interest in returning to coach the school’s football team, a source told ESPN college football analyst Jim Donnan on Tuesday. School officials want to know within the next few days whether Spurrier is interested in returning to Gainesville to replace the fired Ron Zook, the source said. On Tuesday night, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley denied a report from earlier in the day that a 24-hour deadline had been imposed for Spurrier’s response. “There’s absolutely no basis to that at all,” Foley said. “We’ve got a little time. Why would 24 hours make a difference?” “Our timetable has been communicated to Steve, and he’s fine with it,” he added. Foley also said that he has not been in contact with Spurrier.
Zook, who will finish out the season, was fired Monday after two-plus years, satisfying a growing groundswell for his ouster that began the day he replaced Spurrier. The Gators are 20-13 under Zook with four games left — that’s just 14 losses fewer than Spurrier had in 12 seasons. If Spurrier would return, the former Washington Redskins coach would be interested in having Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Bo Pellini on his staff, the source told Donnan. “We will discuss this job with a number of coaches, and obviously if Coach Spurrier is interested, we will sit down with him,” Foley said Monday.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Utah coach Urban Meyer and Louisville coach Bobby Petrino also could be possible replacements. Foley said he would not talk to any coaches with current jobs until after the season. “I’m not here to talk about other jobs, and I’m not going to,” Stoops said Tuesday. “There’s nothing to talk about. I’m the head coach at Oklahoma, and that’s enough said. I’ve got a great job.” Spurrier’s defensive coordinator for three seasons at Florida, Stoops said he and Spurrier had talked recently enough to know he shot a 73 during his charity round.
Given that the Florida job was his for the asking when Spurrier left three years ago, I can’t imagine Stoops would be interested now. Spurrier and Florida would seem the obvious match-up.
The only job I could see that would even been of comparable interest would be the Miami Dolphins, which will almost certainly fire Dave Wannstedt at season’s end (if not before). Still, Spurrier’s rude awakening about the differences between the college game and the NFL should preclude him from going down that road again.