South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier stunned the college football world yesterday by abruptly announcing his retirement.

“The Head Ball Coach” was one of a kind. Innovative, demonstrative, calculating and bigger than life are a few ways to describe his colorful career.

And, when he was in the mood, all of those things could combine for a memorable quote.

Here are a few chart-toppers from Spurrier’s career:


On fire at Auburn football dorm that destroyed 20 books — “But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”

On playing Georgia early — “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

Jabbing Florida State — “You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University.”

A shot at Tennessee — “You can’t spell Citrus without U-T.”

And another —”In Knoxville they’re still doing cartwheels because they went 7-6 and won a bowl.”

Poking Peyton — “I know why Peyton came back for his senior year. He wanted to be a three-time star of the Citrus Bowl.”

A shot at Alabama — “In 12 years at Florida, I don’t think we ever signed a kid from the state of Alabama … Of course, we found out later that the scholarships they were giving out at Alabama were worth a whole lot more than ours.”

On illegal hits against Danny Wuerffel — “He’s like a New Testament person. He gets slapped up side the face, and turns the other cheek and says, ‘Lord, forgive them for they know not what they’re doing.’ I’m probably more of an Old Testament guy. You spear our guy in the earhole, we think we’re supposed to spear you in the earhole. That’s kind of where we’re a little different.”


On his age — “The Pope is 77 years old and he’s in charge of a billion people. All I have to do is put 11 on the field.”

On still coaching — “People ask me why are you still coaching? I forgot to get fired and I’m not going to cheat.”

On the Gamecocks’ matchup at Tennessee — “Will be the 14th time I’ve coached in Neyland Stadium. … I’ve coached there more than some of their head coaches.”

On Clemson — “The only thing I remind Dabo of is his comments three years ago of the real Carolina being in Chapel Hill and the real USC being in California. Sometimes he forgets he throws some stuff out there also. He wants to make people believe that I’m the only one that throws a little stuff out there.”

More on the Tigers — “We’ve never even been to (a BCS bowl). I’ll admit to that, although we beat them about every year. They get there and we don’t. That’s just the way it is. The SEC can only send two teams and the ACC sends two. We’ve got too many good teams going. That’s just the way it’s worked out. He’s correct. But would you call the Orange Bowl a BCS bowl? They won the national championship there in 1981. I asked Danny (Ford, Clemson’s former coach), ‘Have they completely forgotten about you and your team in ’81?’ He said, ‘I think they have.'”

About his future in July — “We were 11-2 and ranked fourth in the country this time a year ago, and nobody said a damn word about my age. Now, a year later, I’m suddenly too old, and we’re on our way down. I just want our fans to know that we’re going to have a good team and recognize that it’s our enemies saying these things about Spurrier being washed up and we’re not going to be heard from again. Gamecocks out there need to know that I’m going to be here five or six more years, and away we go.”