Coach Spurrier, 2012. Coach Spurrier, 2017?

Steve Spurrier scoffed at a recent Sporting News column that hinted at his retirement at the end of the upcoming season, saying, "I feel a good five more years, easy." After the press conference, I asked him if he could see himself here in ten years. He didn't say no. Read inside for how long Spurrier feels his coaching career at South Carolina could turn out to be.

Last year Steve Spurrier referenced his plans to be here when Stephen Garcia was a senior and so he wanted to redshirt the talented freshman. Thursday he made a similar statement about incoming freshman quarterback Aramis Hillary, stating he preferred to redshirt him because he plans to be here five years from now when he is a senior. By default, he just extended how long he is planning to stay at South Carolina another year with the statement.

So the question begged to be asked, how long could he stay? I asked Coach if he could see himself still here ten years from now. He smiled big, as he said, "Ten years? I read something the other day. Between 50 and 70, if you lift weights and work out, you don't lose any strength. But you've got to work out. You guys have to start working out." He looked straight at several reporters who were clearly overweight and out of shape, drawing laughter from all and nervous laughter from those who were directly addressed.

He deferred the chance to take a jab at Bobby Bowden when jokingly asked about his workout program.

Spurrier was an instant success when he took over at Florida, and the national media cites the struggles of his first three seasons at South Carolina when they suggest he might retire, such as the five game losing streak to end last season, the worst of his career. He wouldn't even let a reporter finish the question about the topic, saying, "Did you think there was a team here ready to win the SEC?" He let it be known he knew what he was getting into taking over the USC program, and is not surprised the program is not farther along yet, acknowledging it has been a gradual, step-by-step process.

As he has consistently, he points to his best recruiting class, the class of 2007 which are just now becoming sophomores and redshirt freshmen, and indicates he plans to stick around and watch them come fully into their own.

"I feel really good, I really do. I look forward to coaching this team. We know it's not easy. We know our schedule is more difficult than most teams around, but we look forward to it, playing Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, all those guys."

But as for his age and his health, he dismisses it as an issue. "I feel just as good as I did when I was in my 40s," he said. "Physically, I'm the same as I was in 1990 right before I coached my first year at Florida. ... That age thing's a funny thing. But I feel a good five more years easy. I really do. I don't know what else I'd do."

"I'm not trying to brag, but I shot the same number in Lake Tahoe in 1990 as I shot last Sunday," Spurrier said of his participation in last week's celebrity golf tournament." He qualified why he was in coaching and not retired and playing golf: "I don't like golf well enough to play year round.

He wasn't willing to put a date on it, but Spurrier made it clear that he still enjoys coaching and has a lot to do at South Carolina, and will be around at least five more years doing it. When I asked him about his goals, he said the primary goal at USC remains "to win an SEC Championship here."

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