Steve Spurrier's coaching tree
His coaching tree may not reach out as far as Nick Saban’s illustrious group or Hal Mumme’s pass-happy Air Raid disciples, but several of Steve Spurrier’s former assistants have done quite well on their own after leaving his staff.
Spurrier’s coaching tree notables
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma (head coach, 1999-present)
Spurrier’s most notable former defensive coordinator in Gainesville, Stoops has transformed Oklahoma into a national power since taking over just before the turn of the century, winning eight Big XII championships along with a national title.
Stoops’ name has been tossed around for several major opening over the last several years, but he has chosen to stay in Norman in hopes of winning another championship with the Sooners.
Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee (head coach, 2006-present)
When he took the South Carolina job, Spurrier retained three coaches from Lou Holtz’s previous staff including Rick Stockstill as his recruiting coordinator. Stockstill helped land Sidney Rice for the Gamecocks in 2004 who became one of the program’s all-time best receivers.
Stockstill left after one year on Spurrier’s staff to become Middle Tennessee’s head coach in 2006. In nine years with the Blue Raiders, Stockstill is 57-55 overall with a bowl victory.
Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals (head coach, 2009-present)
After winning Super Bowl XXXV as the director of the Baltimore Ravens’ stout defense, Lewis became Spurrier’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach during a failed stint with the Washington Redskins in 2002, post-Florida and pre-South Carolina for the Head Ball Coach.
Lewis has led the Bengals to five double-digit win seasons, but the pressure’s mounting since the franchise is 0-6 in the playoffs under his watch.
Charlie Strong, Texas (head coach, 2014-present)
One of Spurrier’s go-to defensive assistants at Florida in the early 1990s, bounced from Notre Dame to South Carolina as a defensive coordinator before returning to the Gators for a seven-year stretch beginning in 2003.
Strong became the head coach at Louisville in 2010 and won 37 games in four seasons, including a memorable Sugar Bowl victory over Florida as a 14-point underdog. Strong parlayed that success into earning his first major gig at the head coach at the University of Texas in 2014. The Longhorns went 6-7 in his first season, losing to Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.
Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss (head coach, 2012)
A respected defensive mind in the SEC with nearly four decades of coaching experience, things have gone south for Johnson since departing from Spurrier’s staff at South Carolina after the 2011 season. Johnson lasted one season as head coach at Southern Miss following a winless season, the only FBS team to earn the dubious distinction in 2012.
Johnson’s recent stint at Auburn as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator was over after two seasons when he was replaced in December by Will Muschamp.