Spurrier Says Goodbye to Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Saying simply that "12 years as head coach at a major university in the SEC is long enough," Steve Spurrier resigned on Friday as head coach at the University of Florida after a 12-year career during which he compiled a 122-27-1 record. Spurrier led the Gators to a national championship in 1996 and six SEC titles.

There are persistent reports that Spurrier is positioning to pursue an NFL job. He came close in 1995 to taking the job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a job that may become open if Tony Dungy, as has been rumored, replaces Dennis Green in Minnesota.

"I'm not burned out, stressed out or mentally fatigued from coaching," Spurrier said in a statement released by the university. "I just feel my career as a college head coach after 15 years is complete and if the opportunity and challenge of coaching a NFL team happens it is something I would like to pursue."

Seen as arrogant by many outsiders, Spurrier was a beloved figure in Gainesville, where he not only created a winner, but a winner with style. In last act as head coach, he led the Gators to a 56-23 victory over Maryland in the Orange Bowl.

"I believe that the University of Florida is the best place for a high school football player to get an education and play football in the best stadium, "The Swamp," before the best football fans in the world," Spurrier said in a statement. "Again, I thank the "Gator Nation" for the overwhelming support of our teams for 12 years. The seven SEC championships and the 1996 national championship are memories of a lifetime that we will all share together."

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