GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was named one of the first four inductees into Florida's Ring of Honor on Friday night.
Spurrier, running back Emmitt Smith, quarterback Danny Wuerffel and defensive end Jack Youngblood were to be inducted into the Ring
on Saturday, before the fifth-ranked Gators host Alabama. Their
names will be displayed in the North end zone at Ben Hill Griffin
The surprise announcement came at Friday's "Gator Gala," a
fundraiser that was part of the school's 100 years of Florida
football celebration. The event raised more than $6 million for
Spurrier said his second trip to Gainesville this month -- this one came less than 24 hours after his Gamecocks nearly upset No. 2 Auburn -- shouldn't raise any questions about his loyalty to South
Carolina. Spurrier and his 1996 national championship team held a 10-year reunion and were recognized on the field before Florida's
season opener against Southern Mississippi.
"I spent about half my life in Gainesville, Florida," Spurrier
said. "I went to the University of Florida, and my wife and three
children have degrees from the University of Florida, and some of
my most fun times ever in my life -- championships, national
championships -- we celebrated down here in Gainesville, Florida."
"I don't think I'm supposed to forget about all those good times. The University of Florida has meant so much to me and my
family. Certainly Jerri and I are excited to be here. And when the
weekend's over, we're back being South Carolina Gamecocks."
Spurrier won Florida's first Heisman Trophy in 1966, returned as coach in 1990 and won 122 games in 12 seasons. He received
widespread credit for revolutionizing college football with his
innovative and wide-open passing attack -- the one that led the
Gators to their lone national title with a 52-20 victory against
rival Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.