GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier says it “would be foolish” not to use retired coach Steve Spurrier as a resource.
Speaking at the team’s annual media day Wednesday, Nussmeier said he plans to tap into Spurrier’s offensive mind this season.
“How would you not?” Nussmeier said, adding that he walks by Spurrier’s Heisman Trophy statue on campus daily. “Just having watched Coach from a distance over time and what he’s been able to accomplish offensively and sit down and have the conversations that we’ve had and things. You talk about a great resource within the building, and to not use it to me would be foolish.”
The Gators hired Spurrier as ambassador and consultant for the school’s athletic department last week, reuniting him with his alma mater. He already has an office in the stadium and is planning to move back to Gainesville with his wife, Jerri, and split their time between the college town and nearby Crescent Beach, where they have a home.
Spurrier’s exact role is undefined, but he expects to work primarily as a fundraiser for the athletic department and help promote the Gators.
He also could be a valuable help in the football offices.
“If you’re trying to grow as a coach, you’re always reaching out to other people within your profession or people that you respect and asking opinions,” Nussmeier said. “And, `Hey, how do you do this?’ Or, `Hey, would you look at what we’re doing here and tell me if you might have a suggestion you think we could do better?’ Really excited to have that resource in the building.”
Spurrier was Florida’s first Heisman Trophy winner (1966) and the coach who led the Gators to their first national championship (1996). He is a member of the program’s exclusive ring of honor.
In June, the Gators renamed their football field after Spurrier, calling it Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida will honor Spurrier at the 2016 season opener against Massachusetts during a ceremony that will include the unveiling of his name on the stadium.
Spurrier already made headlines by saying Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio “seems to be the starter.”
Coach Jim McElwain, who has not publicly named a starter, joked Wednesday that Spurrier must have gleaned his information from a few spring practices.
“First of all, I’ve got to say this: I’m excited he’s on our team,” McElwain said. “But I guess those three practices he watched, he picked it, right?”
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