'Ol' Ball Coach' will direct offense

Updated: November 29, 2004, 9:25 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Steve Spurrier brought some of his closest staffers -- and family members -- with him to South Carolina.

Spurrier said his son, Steve Spurrier Jr., would leave his position at Arizona and join his dad as South Carolina receivers coach, probably by Tuesday.

Mark Smith, with Spurrier at Florida and in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, will take over South Carolina's strength program. And Jamie Speronis, with Spurrier since his earliest days with the Gators, joins the Gamecocks as director of football operations.

"We're still talking to a lot of guys," Spurrier said Monday, sitting in his new office next to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Spurrier, who won a national title in 12 seasons at Florida, returned to college football last week when he was named as Lou Holtz's replacement at South Carolina. Last week, Spurrier said three of Holtz's staff members -- Rick Stockstill, David Reaves and Ron Cooper -- would remain with the Gamecocks.

Spurrier said Stockstill, one of the region's best and fiercest recruiters, would be South Carolina's recruiting coordinator. Positions were still in flux for Stockstill, last year's receivers coach, and Cooper, last year's secondary coach, Spurrier said.

But Reaves, the son of Spurrier's good friend and former Florida assistant John Reaves, would likely work as an assistant quarterbacks coach. "I'm usually the one working with the quarterbacks," Spurrier said, smiling.

Letters were sent to the rest of South Carolina's assistants, including quarterbacks coach Skip Holtz and defensive coordinator Rick Minter, informing them that they probably would not be retained. But Spurrier wouldn't rule out hiring other people from Lou Holtz's final staff, saying if they wanted to hang around and wait to see if they got a call from the new coach, that was OK.

Spurrier said he won't give out an offensive coordinator title, preferring to do most of the play-calling himself.

So the next big move appears to be defensive coordinator. Spurrier has talked Marshall assistant Jim Collins, Houston Texans assistant Jon Hoke and outgoing Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong about positions on his staff but wouldn't say which ones. All have worked with Spurrier in the past.

Spurrier said he wants to get a defensive coordinator in soon and let him have some input in the rest of the defensive assistants.

Spurrier will spend much of the next few weeks putting his staff together and swaying football recruits who might not have been interested in the Gamecocks before. "We got a lot of in home visits," Spurrier said. "We're getting a good response."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press