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Steve Spurrier back at Florida as ambassador, consultant

(Photo: www.rollingstone.com)

Florida announced Friday that Steve Spurrier, a Heisman Trophy winner and national championship coach with the Gators, will join the athletic department as an ambassador and consultant.

After a 10-year run at South Carolina, Spurrier stepped down as coach of the Gamecocks in the middle of last season. Florida will rename its football field Steve Spurrier-Florida Field during the Sept. 3 season opener against UMass.

As a quarterback, Spurrier won the school’s first Heisman Trophy in 1966. As Florida’s coach, he led the team to six Southeastern Conference championships and the 1996 national title.

“My wife, Jerri, and I are extremely thrilled to be returning home to our alma mater, and to Gainesville where we met on campus over 50 years ago,” Spurrier said in a statement released by the school. “I’m very appreciative to Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, Head Coach Jim McElwain and Phil Pharr of Gator Boosters for their role in making this happen.

“I will try my best to promote and assist in any way I can to help the Gators to continue to be one of the very best athletic programs in America. I admire what Coach (Jim) McElwain and his staff accomplished last year.”

McElwain, going into his second season as Florida’s coach, said he welcomes the opportunity to have Spurrier close by. The Gators’ coach also showed a sense of humor about the legend’s return.

“More than anything I look forward to actually talking to him and being around him rather than just saying hello to his statue on my way to work every day,” he said.

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