Florida Gators Football|
Born April 20, l945 in Miami Beach, Florida.
When Steve Spurrier was hired as head football coach at the University of Florida in 1990, even the most optimistic Gators couldn't have predicted the level of spectacular success Florida would attain. In 12 seasons at his beloved alma mater, the 1966 Heisman Trophy recipient led Florida to a national title, sustained excellence in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference, as evidenced by six league titles, and a highly deserved status as one of the nation's truly elite programs. On January 4, 2001, Spurrier resigned as Florida's coach, and is currently the head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Florida's success under Spurrier from 1990-2001 was so spectacular that it resulted in the Gator program being labeled a "dynasty" by the NCAA in its annual record book publication, a rare and elite honor bestowed upon only a few schools in the nation. UF's six consecutive 10-win seasons from 1993-98 ranks as the third longest streak in that category in major college history and it is one of only three schools in major college history (and the only SEC school) to win at least nine games for 12 consecutive seasons (1990-2001). Florida became just the sixth major college program in history to win 100 games in a decade (102-22-1 in 1990's) and its 73 SEC victories in the 1990's is the most during a decade in the storied history of the conference. Florida is one of only two schools to finish in the top 15 of the polls in each of the last 12 seasons and its 122 total wins since 1990 ranks as third best in the nation over the last 12 years.
On an individual level, he became the only major college coach in the 20th century to win 100 games in his first 10 years at a school, and at his resignation two years later, Spurrier was the only coach in major college history to post at least 120 wins in his first 12 seasons at a school. He was one of only five major college coaches in the 20th century to lead a school to 100 wins during a decade, with 102 in the 1990s. He was the only coach in SEC history, and one of only two coaches in major college history, to lead a team to at least 10 wins for six consecutive years (1993-98). He was one of only three major college coaches in history to win at least 10 games in a season seven times in his first 10 years at a school. In his final season at UF (2001), he passed the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama to become the only coach in SEC history to win at least nine games for 12 consecutive seasons (1990-2001). He is the only coach in SEC history to lead a school to nine straight January bowl games.
Prior to his arrival, no Florida team had captured an official Southeastern Conference championship in 56 years as a charter member of the league. Spurrier has now joined the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama as the only coaches in SEC history to win four straight outright league championships (1993-96). His six outright SEC titles (1991, '93-96, 2000) ranks tied for second best in league history, trailing only Bryant (11). Ole Miss' John Vaught also has six.
Spurrier, who led Florida to its first national championship in 1996 in his seventh year at the helm, has posted a tremendous 87-14 record in SEC games over the last 12 seasons, a winning percentage of .861 - by far the best mark in SEC history. Phil Fulmer at Tennessee was second at .818 at the time of Spurrier's resignation. Spurrier's overall win percentage of .817 (122-27-1) at Florida ranks third-best in SEC history.
Prior to 1990 only eight Gator teams had ever won nine games in a season and no UF team had ever won more than nine games. In 12 seasons, Spurrier-coached Gator teams have won at least nine games each year, surpassing that total nine times: 1991 (10 wins), 1993 (11), 1994 (10), 1995 (12), 1996 (12), 1997 (10), 1998 (10), 2000 (10) and 2001 (10). Spurrier left Florida as the school's all-time winningest coach, with 122 wins. Ray Goff, with 70, is a distant second.
The Gators were one of only two teams in the nation to finish each of Spurrier's 12 seasons (1990-2001) ranked in the AP Top 15 Poll and one of only two teams in the country, along with Nebraska, to win at least nine games in each season during that same time period. Prior to his arrival in 1990, Florida had finished a season ranked in the AP Top Ten Poll just three times. Spurrier coached Gator teams achieved that distinction 10 times.
Florida had the SEC's best record seven of the 12 seasons of Spurrier's tenure (6-1 in 1990, 7-0 in 1991, 8-1 in 1993, 8-1 in 1994, 9-0 in 1995, 9-0 in 1996 and 8-1 in 2000), producing 11 bowl appearances, including 10 January bowl appearances, highlighted by a 1995 national championship contest vs. Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl and the 1996 national championship victory over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. Florida was one of only two schools to play in a January bowl game in each of Spurrier's final nine seasons (1993-2001) and one of only five schools to go to a bowl game in each of Spurrier's last 11 years (1991-2001).
Florida won the SEC Eastern Division championship in seven of 10 years of league divisional play - 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2000, and its seven league championship game appearances was tops in the SEC when Spurrier resigned.
Spurrier's teams were ranked in the national polls in 202 of the 203 weeks he has been the Gator head coach, including the last 202 straight (an SEC record). They ranked in the Top 10 of the polls in 179 weeks and the top five 117 times. The streak has included a number one ranking in 29 weeks, including the final poll of the 1996 season after an impressive 52-20 win over No. 1 ranked Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.
He was the first coach in Florida history to defeat arch-rival Georgia more than four consecutive seasons (he won seven straight games vs. the Bulldogs from 1990-96) and was 11-1 overall vs. Georgia.
Spurrier was voted SEC Coach-of-the-Year five times, 1990, 1991,1994, 1995 and 1996, an honor he captured in the Atlantic Coast Conference as head coach at Duke University in 1988 and 1989.
His 15-year collegiate head coaching record of 142-40-2 (.777) is the third-highest win total in major college history for a coach in his first 15 seasons overall, behind only Barry Switzer and Tom Obsorne. He won his 100th collegiate game during the 1997 year in what was his 11th season, 9th game, an achievement that ranks among the sixth fastest time periods to reach the century mark in major college coaching history. He won his 100th game at UF in 1999 in what was the eighth game of his tenth Gator season, an accomplishment for quickness in that category unmatched by a major college coach at a school in the 20th century.
In Spurrier's initial season at the Gator helm in 1990, his team went 9-2, finished fifth in the nation on defense and 10th on offense while setting 14 single-season records.
In 1991, the Gators won 10 games for the first time, beating seven league foes by a margin of 226-74 and producing the best conference record in their history (7-0) and the best by any SEC school since 1977.
That team set seven new school records, three SEC marks and finished the season ranked ninth in the nation in total offense and fourth in passing. They led the SEC and were sixth in the nation in rushing defense. The Gators' 5,028 yards of total offense was a school record at that time.
They finished the regular season ranked third in the nation and dropped to seventh after losing to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.
In 1992, the young Gator team started the season 1-2 and bounced back to win seven of its last eight games to win the Eastern Division title and advance to the first-ever SEC Championship Game. A heartbreaking loss (28-21) to eventual national champion Alabama in that contest was followed by a 27-10 victory over N.C. State in the Gator Bowl for a final record of 9-4 and an AP ranking of 10th.
The 1993 offense set eight SEC records and 15 UF marks while ranking fourth in the nation in scoring (39.3) and passing yards (339.3 ypg). They were seventh in total offense (476.6 ypg) and averaged a TD once every 15 snaps. Defensively, UF was ninth in the nation in rushing defense.
The 1994 offense scored the most points (521) and touchdowns (69) of any team in SEC history, leading the conference, and finished second in the nation in scoring average (43.4 ppg). They were fourth in the nation in passing offense with 311 ypg and led the nation in TD passes with 43.
The 1995 season ranked as, then, the most glorious in school history as the Gators posted a 12-1 record (most wins in school history), played for the national championship vs. Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, finished the season ranked second in the final AP Poll (highest finish in UF history) and won their fourth SEC title in the past five years. Florida joined Alabama as the only school in SEC history to win three consecutive outright league championships (1993-95). The offense was even better than the record-breaking outfit of 1994 and was arguably the finest in the history of the SEC as it shattered the league record for average total offense per game (the Gators averaged 534 yards per game to break the league record held by the 1970 Auburn offense which averaged 485 yards a contest) while also scoring more TDs (74) and points (534) in league history.
Florida's 1996 team went one step further as it captured the school's first national championship and tied the school record for most wins in a season with its 12-1 mark. The squad captured the national crown with an impressive 52-20 victory over arch-rival Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. UF became only the second school in SEC history to capture a fourth consecutive SEC title and fifth in six seasons. The Gators became the first school in SEC history to win eight or more conference games for four consecutive seasons (1993-96). The 1996 offense ranked first in SEC history in average points per game (46.6), first in total touchdowns (76) and first in total points (559). Florida became the first school in the modern era (NCAA stats began in 1937) to register over 500 points in a season for four straight years (1993-96).
In 1997, the Gators posted a 10-2 overall record but failed to win the SEC title for the first time since 1992. The highlight of the year was a dramatic last-minute 32-29 victory over number one ranked Florida State. In 1998 Florida posted a 10-2 record (7-1 SEC), the ninth straight year of at least nine victories and the sixth straight year of at least 10 wins, an achievement unmatched in SEC history. His 1999 and 2000 teams won the SEC east title and appeared in the SEC Championship game for a league record sixth and seventh time with the Gators claiming their sixth league crown with a 28-6 win over Auburn in 2000.
In Spurrier's final season, Florida posted a 10-2 record that was highlighted by a 56-23 Orange Bowl victory over ACC champion Maryland and a No. 3 final national ranking. The Gators led the nation in passing TDs (43), passing offense (405.2 ypg) and pass efficiency (170.1) and were second in scoring offense (43.8 ppg) and total offense (527.6 ypg).
Spurrier's teams at Duke (1987-88-89) all led the Atlantic Coast Conference in total offense and passing and his Gator team in 1990 did the same. In 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996 Florida led the SEC in passing as well. Florida's 423 passing touchdowns from 1990-2001 was 93 more than the next closest school in the nation during that 12 year period.
Spurrier's offenses recorded the same results at the professional level in the USFL from 1983-85 with the Tampa Bay Bandits. The 1984 team was the first in pro history to produce a 4,000-yard passer and two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season. Quarterback John Reaves again passed for over 4,000 yards in 1985, one of only four QB's in pro history to accomplish this feat in back-to-back seasons.
The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner as Florida's quarterback, Spurrier started his coaching career as the Gators' quarterback coach in 1978. In 1979, he served as offensive coordinator and QB coach at Georgia Tech, and served in that same capacity at Duke from 1980-82 before moving to the USFL in his first head coaching job with the Bandits in 1983. He returned to Duke as head coach in 1987 and produced that school's first ACC championship in 24 years in 1989.
Spurrier became the only Heisman Trophy winner to coach another Heisman recipient when Danny Wuerffel claimed the nation's most prestigious award in 1996. Spurrier almost coached his second Heisman winner when Florida sophomore quarterback Rex Grossman finished second in 2001, receiving more votes than any sophomore in the history of Heisman balloting.
Spurrier was born on April 20, 1945 in Miami Beach, Fla., son of Presbyterian minister J. Graham Spurrier and his wife Marjorie. The family moved to Johnson City, Tennessee, when Steve was 12 years old.
At Science Hill H.S. in Johnson City, he as all-state in football, basketball and baseball and prep All-American in football in 1962. His baseball team won two straight state titles and in three seasons of pitching, he never lost a game.
At Florida, he guided the Gators to two major bowls in three seasons, eight come-from-behind wins in the final quarter and a glorious period still remembered fondly by Florida fans.
In the Sugar Bowl game following the 1965 season, Spurrier set six passing and total offense records and became the only player from the losing team to be voted the game's MVP.
The Auburn game in 1966 was the ultimate in Spurrier's knack of being in the right place at the right time under pressure. Heisman Trophy ballots had gone out the previous week and were due back in the week following. A record Florida Field press corps was in attendance.
Despite one of the greatest performances of his career (27 of 40 passing for 259 yards and one TD; five punts for an average of 46.9 yards per kick), the Gators remained tied with Auburn at 27-27 with just over two minutes remaining and had to attempt a field goal on fourth and long.
Spurrier took the responsibility for hitting the longer 40-yard effort, although he had not kicked a field goal since the opener that season against Northwestern. He kicked it through for a dramatic 30-27 victory.
Joe Durso of the New York Times called Spurrier a "Real-life Frank Merriwell." John Logue of the Atlanta Journal wrote, "Spurrier, with his hands tied behind his back and facing a firing squad, would be favored to escape."
He was the first round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 1967 and played 10 years in the NFL, nine with the 49ers and one with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Steve and Jerri Spurrier met while UF students and were married on September 14, just before his senior season in 1966 at Florida. They now have four children - daughters Mrs. Lisa King and Mrs. Amy Moody and sons Steve, Jr., who is an assistant coach under his father for the Washington Redskins, and Scotty. They also have four grandsons, Trey King, Davis Graham King, Jake Moody and Kyle Spurrier Moody.
FLORIDA SEASONAL NOTES
2001 Highlights: With a final national ranking of No. 3, the 2001 Gators finish in the top 3 for just the fourth time in school history. The Gators win at least nine games for the 12th straight year, making Spurrier the only coach to do so in SEC History. Florida also sets the conference record for most consecutive top-15 seasons, with 12. Florida posts a 10-2 record, including victories over the champions of three conferences: the ACC (Maryland), SEC (LSU) and MAC (Marshall). Nine of the teams on Florida's schedule were ranked in the top-25 at some point of the season. Seven of those teams were ranked in the final AP top 25. Spurrier's 122-win total stands as the highest total for a coach in his first 12 years at a school in major college history. The Gators lead the nation in passing TDs (43), passing offense (405.2 ypg) and pass efficiency (170.1) and are second in scoring offense (43.8 ppg) and total offense (527.6 ypg). The 405.2 ypg passing was the second-highest total in SEC history and the best ever at Florida. Florida's 423 touchdown passes in Spurrier's 12 seasons are 93 more than the next highest total in the nation during that time period. With a 56-23 victory over Maryland in the Orange Bowl, Florida extends its streak of January bowl games to an SEC record nine. After being ranked every week of the season, Florida extends its consecutive-ranking streak to 202 weeks, becoming one of only three teams in major college history to be nationally ranked for at least 200 weeks. Outscored opponents by an average margin of 27.6 points per game, and SEC opponents by an average of 26.1 points per game. At home, Florida outscored opponents by an average of 39.0 points per game. Along with national champion Miami, was one of two schools in the nation to rank in the top 10 in total offense and total defense. Florida passed for the most touchdowns (43) and allowed the fewest passing TDs (5) in the nation. QB Rex Grossman finishes 2nd in one of the closest Heisman Trophy races ever. He comes closer than any sophomore in the history of the Heisman to winning the award after throwing for a single-season UF record 3,896 yards, including nine straight games of 300+ yards. With a mark of 170.8, Grossman led the nation in pass efficiency, and he also set an NCAA mark for most TD passes in his combined freshman and sophomore seasons (55). Receivers Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell became just the second tandem at UF to post 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.
2000 Highlights: The Gators win their sixth SEC title since 1991 and win at least nine games for the 11th consecutive year, a total that ties Alabama and "Bear" Bryant (1971-81) for the longest streak in that category in league history. UFs 10-3 record comes against a schedule that both the NCAA and the Bowl Championship Series ranked as the nation's toughest. Florida appeared in the SEC Championship Game for the 7th time in the nine year history of the contest. Spurrier's 112 total wins at UF stands as the most for a major college coach in his first 11 years at a school in collegiate history. Sugar Bowl appearance gives UF an eight-consecutive January bowl game, a streak that ranks as the longest in that category in SEC history. Florida joins Florida State as the only schools in the nation to finish each of the last 11 seasons (1990-2000) ranked in the top 15 in the final polls. The Gators led the nation in defensive turnovers with 40 and its +19 turnover margin ranked second best in the nation for the season and ranked as the best mark in that category in school history.
1999 Highlights: Won nine games for a 10th straight year, the second longest streak in that category in SEC history. Won SEC East title and advanced to the SEC Championship Game for the sixth time - the most in league history. During the year he reached 100 career victories at Florida faster (10th season, 8th game) than any coach at a school in major college history and his 102 wins at UF in 10 seasons ranked as the most for a major college coach in his first 10 years at a school in collegiate history. Finished the decade in league history and 102 overall wins in the 1990s ranked as the second most during a decade in conference history. His 102 total wins in the 1990s made UF one of only six schools in major college to win 100 games during a decade. UF finished the year ranked 12th, making the Gators one of only two teams in each of the 10t years of the 1990s to complete the season ranked among the nation's top 15 teams.
1998 Highlights: Florida posts a 10-2 record (7-1 in SEC), its sixth straight 10-plus win season, a first in SEC history. Florida finished the season ranked fifth in the AP Poll and sixth in the Coaches Poll. UF finished the year ranked in the top 10 for eight straight seasons, one of only two schools to achieve that distinction from 1991-98. UF capped the year with a 31-10 win over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl, the Gators third consecutive bowl win (a first in school history). UF's only losses were to the two teams (Tennessee, a 20-17 OT loss in Knoxville, and a 23-12 loss to Florida State in Tallahassee) that played in the 1998 national championship game at the Fiesta Bowl. The Gators stretched their home win streak to 27, the longest mark in the collegiate game at the conclusion of the 1998 season. The Gator defense was the story of the year as it led the SEC in virtually all categories, including total defense and rushing defense and the Gators also ranked ninth and fourth, respectively, in those categories in final national stats.
1997 Highlights: Posted a 10 2 record but failed to advance to the SEC Championship Game for the first time in six seasons. Finished the season ranked fourth in AP Poll and fixth in Coaches Poll. Won nine games for the eighth straight season, something accomplished by only two other schools in the 1990's (Nebraska and Florida State) and finished the year ranked in top 10 polls for seventh straight year. Gators advanced to Citrus Bowl, a school record seventh straight bowl trip, where they defeated Penn State 21-6. Highlight of the year was beating number one ranked Florida State in a dramatic 32 29 contest in Gainesville. Posted 100th career collegiate victory with a 20 7 win over Vanderbilt, giving him his century win in his 11th season, 9th game--among the six fastest time periods for a coach to post 100 wins in collegiate history. Completed the year with 83 wins at UF, making him one of only two coaches in the 20th century to win that many games in his first eight years at a school. Over the course of the year UF stretched its SEC consecutive win streak to 25 straight, the second longest in conference history, and also set a SEC record with its 13 straight SEC victory at an opponent campus stadium.
1996 Highlights: Consensus National Champions. Post a 12-1 overall record, only the second team in school history to win 12 games in a season. Won a fourth consecutive SEC title (1993-96), only the second school and coach in league history to achieve that distinction. SEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time, including the third consecutive season. Finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his seven years at UF. Set a league record by winning at least eight conference games for the fourth straight year (1993-96) and by winning at least six conference games for a seventh consecutive year (1990-96). Became the only school in conference history to post a perfect 9-0 record in league play in back-to-back seasons (1995-96). Stretched SEC unbeaten streak to 22 straight, the third longest win streak in league history. Squad was ranked number one in the polls for a school record 11 weeks over the course of the season, including the final polls after an impressive 52-20 win over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. Outscored opponents by a margin of 29.8 points per game, second best margin in the nation, and outscored its nine SEC foes by an average of 31.0 points per game. Florida was one of only two teams in the nation to rank in top 15 in the final NCAA stats in both total offense and total defense. Set SEC records for most total TDs (76), most points (559), average points per game (46.6) and led the nation in scoring (46.6 ppg), total TDs (76), passing TDs (42), average yards per play (7.1) and average yards per pass completion (17.1). Ranked second in the nation in total offense (503.9 ypg) and fifth in passing (333.9 ypg). Florida and BYU were the only schools in the nation to have at least 30 TD passes and 25 rushing TDS. Twenty-five (25) rushing TDs tied a school single-season record. Defeated Georgia for school-record and series tying seventh straight year. The Gator defense set a new school record with six defensive TDs and tied a NCAA seasonal record with four fumble returns for a TD. Individually, Danny Wuerffel led the nation in TD passes (39) and ranked second in pass efficiency. Reidel Anthony led the nation in TD catches with 18, a SEC single-season record, and set a NCAA Div. I-A record by catching at least one TD pass in 11 consecutive games. Florida players dominated the 1996 national awards. QB Danny Wuerffel not only won the Heisman Trophy but he also was recognized as the nation"s premier scholar-athlete as he received the Draddy Scholarship Trophy from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He became the first student-athlete to ever receive both the Heisman and the Draddy. In addition, he became just the second QB to receive the O"Brien National QB of the Year twice, received the Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and was named the SEC Player of the Year for the second straight year. On the academic front, in addition to the Draddy, he received the GTE Academic All-America of the Year Award for the second straight year and also received the Honda-Scholar-Athlete Award. Wuerffel, Anthony and Ike Hilliard were named first team All-America, while guard Donnie Young, center Jeff Mitchell, DB Anthone Lott and DB Fred Weary received All-America mention. Young and Mitchell were both semifinalists for the Outland Award as the nation's top interior linemen and Young received the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented to the league's top blocker. Anthony was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award and DB Lawrence Wright received the Thorpe Award as the nation's top DB. A league high 10 Gator players received first-team All-SEC honors. Sixteen Gator players were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
1995 Highlights: Florida posts its first perfect regular season (12 0) and advances to the national championship game in the Fiesta Bowl where it loses to Nebraska. It finishes the season ranked second in the AP Poll (best finish in UF history). The Gators play in the SEC Championship Game for a fourth straight year and win their fourth league title in Spurrier's six years at the helm. Spurrier once again is named SEC Coach of the Year, and a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors. Florida joins Alabama as the only school in SEC history to win three consecutive outright league titles and the Gators join the "92 Alabama team as the only squad in SEC history to win nine conference games in a season. Florida becomes the first SEC school to win eight or more conference games in a season for three straight years (1993-95) and is the first team in SEC history to win five league games on the road. The "95 Gators became the first team in school history to win 12 games and they set school records for most consecutive wins in a season (12) and most overall consecutive wins (12 - breaking the record of 11 straight wins set over the course of the 1927-28 seasons). Appearance in the Fiesta Bowl is UF's fifth straight postseason game, a mark that sets a new school record. Over the course of the year it sets school records for most consecutive SEC wins (13), most consecutive SEC wins away from Florida Field (13) and the best start to a season (12-0, no other UF squad had ever started a season with better than a 8-0 record). The squad posted three of the largest (by point margin) SEC road wins in school history (56 at South Carolina - a school record - and 35 at Georgia and at Kentucky). 62 points scored vs. Tennessee were the most scored by any team vs. the Vols since 1893 and in 52-17 win vs. Georgia the Gators scored more points vs. the Bulldogs than any opponent in Sanford Stadium history. The Gator '95 offense was arguably the best in SEC history as it set new seasonal marks for total offense (534.4 per game), yards per play (7.40), points (44.5 pg), TDs (74), passing yards (360.8 ypg), first downs (327) and passing TDs (48). It completed the year ranked first in the nation in passing TDs (48), second in passing offense, fourth in total offense and third in scoring. The defense completed the year ranked 20th in total defense and 13th in scoring defense in final NCAA rankings. Once again Gator players reaped national awards (QB Danny Wuerffel was named the SEC Player of the Year, finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting and was the recipient of the O'Brien National QB of the Year Award). WR Chris Doering, OT Jason Odom (who was one of the three finalists for the Outland Trophy and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy at the SEC's top blocker for the second straight year), DE Mark Campbell, OLB Ben Hanks and SS Lawrence Wright earned All-America honors.) Wuerffel led the nation in TD passes with 35 and his 178.4 efficiency rating was the best seasonal mark in college history. Doering set a SEC seasonal record with 17 TD catches and his 31 career TD catches also set a league mark. Wuerffel was one of 14 Gators to be named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and he was also honored as the GTE Football Academic All-American of the Year.
1994 Highlights: Florida wins back to back SEC championships for the first time in school history and its third league title overall and appears in the Sugar Bowl for the third time in four seasons. UF's 8 1 SEC mark ties the 1993 team for the most seasonal wins in SEC games. The Gators reach the 10 win plateau for just the third time in school history and its 10 1 1 record ranks as the school's best mark after 12 games. UF establishes SEC records in four categories: touchdowns (69), passing touchdowns (43), points (521), and PATs (65). Florida also sets school records for average points per game (43.4), blocked punts (five), and rushing defense (84.5 yards per game). The Gators were ranked #1 in the preseason AP and USA Today/CNN Coaches Poll for the first time in school history. UF held that top AP ranking in seven of the first nine polls of the season. UF became the first team in school and SEC history to score 70 points in back to back games (70 21 win over New Mexico State and 73 7 win over Kentucky in season's first two games). The Gators beat Tennessee 31 0 in Knoxville, the largest SEC shutout on the road in school history and the Vols' first shutout loss at home in 14 years. The Gators defeated Georgia for a school record fifth straight season. UF's 52 14 win over the Bulldogs was the largest margin of victory (38 points) vs. Georgia in the long history of the rivalry. The Gators ranked eighth in the nation in total offense (462.8 ypg), fourth in passing offense (311.7 ypg), second in scoring offense (43.4 ppg), 19th in total defense (305.3 ypg), fifth in rushing defense (84.6 ypg), and 16th in scoring defense (17.1 ppg). Jack Jackson, one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, sets an SEC and school seasonal record with his 15 TD receptions. Quarterbacks Terry Dean and Danny Wuerffel finish second and fourth in the nation, respectively in passing efficiency ratings (155.7 and 151.2). Nineteen (19) players, the most ever in UF and SEC history, were named to the 1994 SEC Academic Honor Roll. A school record five Gators (Dean, Gilmore, Swain, Wright and Wuerffel) qualified for nomination for Academic All America consideration.
1993 Highlights: Florida captures the SEC title for the second time in school history and the second time in the last three years, posting an 8 1 league record the most conference wins in a season in school history. Team wins first Sugar Bowl title with an impressive 41 7 win over undefeated West Virginia. Squad posts an 11 2 overall record, the first time in school history that UF wins more than 10 games in a season. UF wins nine or more games for a school record fourth straight year. Squad finishes season ranked fifth in the final AP Poll and fourth in the USA Today/CNN Coaches Poll, just the third time in school history that a Gator contingent has finished the year ranked among the nation's five best teams. 1993 marks UF's third consecutive year in which it completes the season ranked among the nation's 10 best in the final AP Poll. Squad stretches its home unbeaten streak to a school record 23 straight. Squad establishes 11 school records and seven SEC records headlined by the most total yards (5,719), most passing yards (4,072), most passing TDs (41), most points (472), and most first downs (298) in Southeastern Conference history. UF is one of only two teams in the nation to throw for over 3,800 yards and have a back rush for 1,200 yards. It becomes just the second offensive unit in Div. I-A history to have a 2,000 yard passer, another QB who throws for over 1,000 yards and a back rush for 1,000 yards. The Gator defense finishes the year ranked ninth in the country in rushing defense, yielding an average of just 111.2 ypg. Judd Davis is named the recipient of the Lou Groza National Place Kicker of the Year Award, while Errict Rhett, the first player in college history to rush for 4,100 yards and catch 140 or more passes, was one of eight finalists for the Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Award. Rhett led the SEC in rushing with 1,289 yards. Jack Jackson's 11 TD catches ties for the top spot in the SEC and UF is the only conference school to have three receivers (Jack Jackson 51, Willie Jackson 49, Chris Doering 43) to catch 40 or more passes. Danny Wuerffel's 22 TD passes sets a new NCAA Div. I-A record for most TD passes by a freshman QB. A school record 13 Gator players earn All America recognition and a school record 13 players are also named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. DB Michael Gilmore is the state of Florida's lone Rhodes Scholar nominee and he is named to the Hitachi/CFA Scholar Athlete Team as well as the GTE Academic All America Squad.
1992 Highlights: Florida captures the SEC Eastern Division title and advances to the first ever SEC Championship Game where it suffers a heartbreaking 28 21 loss to Alabama, the eventual national champion . The Gators bounced back from a 1 2 start to win seven of its last eight regular season games to advance to the first ever SEC Playoff. UF won seven straight games during the course of the season, only the fifth time in school history that a Gator team has won seven or more straight games in a season. It finished the season with a 9 4 slates, including a 27 10 win over North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl, and a 10th place ranking in the AP Poll, the third consecutive year under Coach Spurrier that UF completed the season ranked among the nation's top 15 teams. Squad was just the third in school history to post six or more conference wins in a season and became the first Gator unit since the 1961 63 seasons to post three consecutive wins over Georgia. 1992 marked just the second time in school history that UF won nine or more games in three straight years. UF broke five school and three SEC offensive records; most passing yards (3,240), and most total offensive plays (926) first downs passing (170). It ranked first in the SEC and ninth in the nation in passing with an average of 286.7 yards per game. Florida was the only offensive unit in Div. I-A to have a 3,000 yard passer and a runningback who rushed for 900 or more yards. Florida was one of only two schools in the nation to have a QB (Shane Matthews) who threw for over 3,200 yards and two players (Willie Jackson and Errict Rhett) who caught at least 55 passes. Shane Matthews threw for a SEC record 3,205 yards while breaking the SEC career records for passing yardage (9287) and TD passes (74). WR Willie Jackson led the SEC in total catches with 62 and TD catches with eight. RB Errict Rhett rushed for 900 yards and set a school record for most catches by back with 55 (most in the nation in '92 for a RB). Eleven players were named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
1991 Highlights: Spurrier is named "SEC Coach of the Year" and one of four finalists for the "Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year" Award as Florida posts a 10 2 record, the first 10-win season in school history, and finishes the regular season ranked third in the national polls, just the fourth time in UF history that the Gators have finished a regular season ranked in the top 10. 10 1 record was best regular season mark in school history. The Gators post a 7 0 conference record, and win the first outright SEC title in school history. Florida closed out the regular season with a eight game win streak, the second longest seasonal win streak in school history. The 1991 team was the first SEC team since 1977 to win seven SEC games in a season and the first since 1983 to post a unbeaten and untied league record. It was the first team in school history to win seven SEC games in a season and the first to post a unbeaten and untied conference record. Over the course of the year the 1991 team accomplished many additional firsts; beating Alabama in Gainesville, beating Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee in the same season, scoring the most points vs. Georgia (45), beating Auburn and Georgia on back to back weeks for the second consecutive years, and beating Georgia in back to back years for the first time since 1962 63. In posting a perfect 7 0 SEC record it registered one of the most dominating seasons in SEC play as it outscored its seven SEC foes by an average margin of 22.5 points (36.5 to 14.0). The Gator offense established seven new school records and 3 SEC records (most passing TDs 32, most passing yards with 3,393 and best average passing yards per game with 308.5). The Gators rolled up a school record 5,028 yards in total offense (457.1 per game), only the second team in SEC history to register over 5,000 yards in total offense during a season. Florida ranked fourth in the nation in passing offense (308.5 ypg) and 9th in total offense (457.1 ypg game). QB Shane Matthews passed for 3,130 yards, the second top total in SEC history, with 28 TD passes, the best in league history. He set or tied 14 school records (2 career, 10 season and 2 game) and 5 SEC records (1 career, 3 season and 1 game). Florida was one of only two teams in the nation to have both a 3,000 yard passes (Shane Matthews) and a 1,000 yard rusher (Errict Rhett). UF had the SEC's top passer in Matthews and leading rusher with Rhett. Matthews was named "SEC Player of the Year" for the second straight year. Rhett became the first back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards and catch 40 passes in a season. WR Willie Jackson caught 51 passes (second best in the SEC), the top total for a Gator wide receiver since 1969, and led the SEC in TD receptions with 10. Three Gator receivers (Willie Jackson 10, Harrison Houston 8 and Tre Everett 6) ranked 1,2,3 in the SEC in TD catches. The Gator defense led the SEC and ranked sixth in the nation in rushing defense (100.3 ypg) and was the first Gator squad since 1972 to post two shutouts vs. SEC opponents. UF yielded an average of just 10.3 points per game vs. 7 SEC opponents. Florida had 11 players earn first team All SEC honor in 1991, the top single season total in the history. Eleven players also earned some type of All America honors, the most in a season school history. 1991 was also one of the most successful in school history in the classroom. UF had 12 players selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the largest seasonal total in school history, and along with Nebraska it was the only school in the nation to have two players (Brad Culpepper and Cal Dixon) selected to the CFA Scholar Athlete Team. Culpepper became the most honored football scholar athlete in the nation for the 1991 season.
1990 Highlights: Spurrier is named "SEC Coach of the Year" after leading Florida to a 9 2 record and the best record in the SEC (a 6 1 ledger) in his first year at the helm. Also named one of four final nominees for the Football Writers Association "Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year". Squad's 9 1 record after 10 games was the best start for a Gator team in school history. Florida's six wins in the SEC was the most in a single season in school history. Squad's nine wins marked just the fourth time in school history that UF won nine games in the regular season. Spurrier's first Gator offensive squad set 14 single season school records, including most points (387), most total yards (4978), most passing yards (3197), most TDs (49), most passing TDs (25), and most 300 yard passing games (5). Squad also set two single game UF records and one SEC seasonal record (most first downs with 273) while registering the second most productive offense in league history with 4,978 yards. Florida ranked 10th in the nation in total offense and ninth in passing offense with an average of 290.6 yards per game, a figure that ranked second best in the history of the SEC. Florida was the only team in the nation to throw for over 3,000 yards, have three receivers with at least 35 catches and two RBs who each rushed for over 600 yards. QB Shane Matthews in the first year as a starter, was named "SEC Player of the Year" after establishing 11 single season UF records including most passing yards with 2,952, a figure that also ranked as the second best in the history of the SEC. He set a conference record for best completion percentage (minimum of 200 completion) with a 60.6% figure. TE Kirk Kirkpatrick led the SEC with 55 catches, a figure that set a UF single season mark for a tight end. WR Ernie Mills led the SEC in TD receptions with 10. Florida scored more points against Auburn (48) and Georgia (38) than any Gator team in history against those two long time rivals. Over the last five games of the season, traditionally the strongest part of UF's schedule, the Gators averaged 44.4 points per game and 508.2 yards a game. Florida had nine players earn first team All SEC honors, the most for a single season in school history. Defensively, Florida ranked fifth in the nation in total defense and fifth in rushing defense. The Gator defense set a new school record for rushing defense, yielding an average of just 85.5 yards per game. 1990 marked the third straight year that UF ranked among the nation's top five teams in total defense.
1989 Highlights: Spurrier is named ACC Coach of the Year after compiling 8 3 record. Squad's 8 wins is most for Duke since 1962. Blue Devils finish first in the ACC standings, Duke's first conference title since 1962. School accepts bid to play in the All American Bowl, Duke's first post season bowl appearance since the 1960 season. Duke set ACC record for total offense with an average of 501.7 yards per game. Duke finishes fourth in the nation in both passing and total offense. WR Clarkson Hines was named ACC Player of the Year and became Duke's first consensus All American selection since 1971. Hines completed his career as the ACC leader in virtually every pass receiving category and his 38 career TD receptions set a new NCAA record. Hines became just the second receiver in collegiate history to register three 1,000 yard seasons. RB Randy Cuthbert became just the second back in Duke history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. He rushed for a school record 234 yards vs. Georgia Tech. Duke scored 356 points on the season, just 10 points shy of the ACC all time record for most points in a year.
1987 Highlights: Led the ACC in total offense (4,609 yards), passing (3,443 yards) and scoring (27.4 ppg). OB Steve Slayden led the ACC in total offense, RB Roger Boone led the league catches (62) and WR Clarkston Hines led the conference in receiving yards (1,093) and TD catches (11).
1988 Highlights: Spurrier is named "ACC Coach of the Year". Squad's 7 wins is most for Duke since 1962. Squad sets ACC single season records for total offense (5,111) and passing offense (3,868 yards). Duke averaged 351.6 yards passing per game, best in ACC history and a figure that ranked third best in the nation in 1988. OB Anthony Dilweg, in his first year as a starter, set ACC records for total offense (3,713 yards) passing (3,824 yards), passing TDs (26). He was named ACC Player of the Year. He also set a ACC record for most passing yards in a game (475). RB Roger Boone led the league in catches (73) and WR Clarkson Hines led the league in receiving yards (1,067) and TD receptions (10).
DUKE UNIVERSITY (1987 89)
TAMPA BAY BANDITS OF USFL (1983 85)
ASSISTANT COACHING CAREER