QB | Senior | University of Florida
Spurrier established himself as one of the best passers in SEC history on his way to winning Florida’s first Heisman Trophy in 1966.
Born in Miami, Fla., Spurrier attended Science Hill High in Johnson City, Tenn., where he was a three-sport letterman starring in high school football, basketball and baseball. In three years as the starting pitcher for Science Hill, he never lost a game and led his team to two consecutive state baseball championships. He was an all-state selection in football, basketball and baseball, and a high school All-American quarterback in 1962.
Spurrier was recruited by several top college programs but he was not seriously recruited by Tennessee because the Volunteers ran a wing-T offense that featured a running quarterback while Spurrier was an excellent passer. He ultimately chose to accept a scholarship offer from Florida in 1963 because of “the passing, the SEC, the weather, and coach Ray Graves.”
The 6-2, 203-pound, Spurrier became the Gators’ starting quarterback in 1964 and he had a solid debut season by throwing for 943 yards and six touchdowns while leading Florida to a 7-3 record. As a 1965 junior, he passed for 1,893 yards and 14 touchdowns as the Gators went 7-4. Spurrier finished ninth in that year’s Heisman vote.
His senior year was a special one. Spurrier threw for 2,012 yards and 16 touchdowns as Florida finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and a No. 11 ranking in the polls. Spurrier closed out his three-year, thirty-one-game college career with 4,848 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, breaking numerous school and conference records. In addition to winning the Heisman Trophy and the Walter Camp Award as a senior, he was also a unanimous All-American.
Spurrier was the third overall pick in the 1967 draft by the San Francisco 49ers, where he played for nine years, spelling John Brodie as quarterback in 1972 and leading the ‘49ers to a third-consecutive NFC West Title.
A head coach at the collegiate level since 1987, he was 20-13-1 at Duke and won the ACC Championship in 1989. While head coach at Florida, his team won the SEC Championship in 1990, ’91, ’93-’96, 2000 and the National Championship in 1996. He became the first Heisman winner to coach another Heisman winner when Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel won the award in 1996. After Florida, he coached the Washignton Redskins in the NFL before returning to coach South Carolina.
Spurrier is a member of the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1986.