Steve Spurrier is returning to the University of Florida where he starred on the football field as the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner and later as a coach who led the Gators to their first national championship in 1996.
The school announced on Friday morning that Spurrier will rejoin the athletics department as an ambassador and consultant.
"It's a great day for the Gator Nation to be able to welcome Coach Spurrier back home," athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. "He has served as a tremendous ambassador to the University and the athletic department for 50-plus years and it's only fitting that at this point in his career, he is back in Gainesville. Being a Gator has always meant so much to Coach Spurrier, but it means just as much to us have him come home."
Spurrier resigned from his coaching position at South Carolina during the 2015 season. He has visited Florida multiple times since and is now back officially in this consultant role with the Gators. Spurrier noted in his statement that he was excited to return to Florida and that he would continue to pull for South Carolina in every game but one now that he was back with the Gators.
"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. 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 also want to say thanks to the University of South Carolina for allowing me to be their coach from 2005 to 2015. Also a special thanks to all of the Gamecock players, coaches and fans that allowed our teams to set so many school records. I will now pull for South Carolina to win every game but one, just as I did when I pulled for Florida to win every game but one as the Gamecock coach. 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 McElwain and his staff accomplished last year. I'm anxious to watch the Gator football team as they strive to be the best in the SEC and the nation in the years ahead."
Florida coach Jim McElwain, who is entering his second season in Gainesville, said he was excited to work with Spurrier and be able to "pick his brain on a number of issues." Having a coaching legend like Spurrier around to bounce ideas off of seems like a pretty good resource for McElwain and the Gators.
With so much change coming at Florida recently -- its two major-sport head coaches are entering their second years and Foley is departing after 25 years leading the athletic program in October -- Spurrier being in town will be a nice piece of stability for the Gators going forward.