Steve Spurrier’s biting one-liners gave him a reputation as one of the wittiest and most candid coaches in all college football.
The “Head Ball Coach” made many enemies with his saucy jabs while leading the Florida and South Carolina football programs, including his take that Florida State was really known as “Free Shoes University,” or his snipe at Tennessee that “you can’t spell Citrus without UT.”
Spurrier divulged which of his zingers was his favorite while meeting with media ahead of the Orange and White game at Tennessee on Friday.
“They were asking me about all those things I said, the Citrus Bowl jokes and Free Shoes U stuff,” Spurrier said, via ESPN. “I told them I always thought the best one didn’t have anything to do with Tennessee or FSU. It’s the one I said about preferring to play Georgia the second week of the season because you could always count on them having two or three good players suspended every year. Everybody said, ‘Did you really say that?’ and I said, ‘Yes, because it’s true.'”
Spurrier, who grew up in Johnson City, Tenn., was honored with the Robert Neyland Award during the Vols’ spring game. Despite tormenting Tennessee fans for years, he wasn’t completely booed of the field, and received a large amount of applause.
When asked Friday if he was nervous about appearing in front of thousands of potentially hostile Tennessee fans, he was quick to make a jab at himself.
“Oh, I think I’ll be all right,” Spurrier said. “I haven’t had a win in about three years now and certainly haven’t beaten Tennessee, so they’ll probably take it easy on me.”
While at Florida, Spurrier amassed an 8-4 record against Tennessee. During his time at South Carolina, his record dipped to 5-5. He also split a pair of games at Neyland Stadium while coaching at Duke.
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