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Steve Spurrier resigns: Florida Gators great leaving South Carolina immediately

The Head Ball Coach is hanging up his visor. (Sort of.)

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who won Florida's first Heisman Trophy as a player and then led the Gators to their first national championship as a coach, is "resigning, not retiring — get that part straight" he announced at a news conference on Tuesday.

"It's time for me to get out of the way and let somebody else have a go at it," he said at his press conference, explaining that he chose to step aside now and allow Shawn Elliott to work as interim head coach because "I think the team needs to hear a new message," and stressing that he thinks his resignation is the "best thing" for South Carolina.

But don't think Spurrier's totally done. "I doubt I'll coach a college team again, but maybe a high school team," Spurrier said, as part of his reasoning for refuting reports he was "retiring" from coaching, before later affording that the idea of being a "consultant" had some appeal.

Reports first surfaced of Spurrier's plans to "retire" on Monday night, from a wide array of outlets. Spurrier had been thought likely to consider retirement soon, with his South Carolina team listing in 2014 and looking listless so far in 2015, compiling a 2-4 record and an 0-4 mark in SEC play.

The Gamecocks' lone loss by single digits this season was to Kentucky, and South Carolina did not lead after the first quarter in that contest.

Spurrier is beloved by Gators for his pioneering work as both player and coach, and revered far and wide in college football both for his inimitable wit (and his endlessly imitable Tennessee drawl) and his renegade's spirit. While Spurrier drew the ire of a more staid college football landscape in the 1990s while setting fire to the SEC with his explosive offenses and taking pride in doing so, he had aged into the wizened elder statesman of the game in his time at South Carolina, while also leading the Gamecocks to unparalleled heights, including their only SEC Championship Game in 2010.

Spurrier's hesitance to commit to several more years with the school after a third straight top-10 finish in 2013 became an anchor on the recruiting trail, however, and it is likely that Spurrier, now 70, passed the point of no return in terms of competing on the national stage with that misstep.

We're obviously somewhat limited in how much we can cover Spurrier's retirement during a week in which bigger news related to Florida exists, but feel free to leave whatever memories of Spurrier you have and cherish in the comments.