It’s not just Steve Spurrier’s name that’s coming back to The Swamp. Florida announced Friday morning that Spurrier is rejoining the Gators program as an “ambassador and consultant” for Florida’s athletic department.
When Gators head coach Jim McElwain and Foley talked with him informally recently about an ambassador role, the idea intrigued him. It became a reality when talks turned serious over the past week.
"This was really something I wanted to do and I was really searching for the right time to do it and I think it's now,'' Spurrier said. "I'll try to help out any way I can there. I'm not coaching. I want to make it clear that in no way am I a coach. I'm just sort of a spectator.
"I will say this: Coach McElwain is not a big ego guy at all. He suggested that whenever I was done coaching to come around a little bit and see if I can help the Gators in all sports."
Spurrier had been serving as an ambassador for South Carolina since February, having remained with and around the school since retiring as the Gamecocks’ head coach last fall. That role was set to pay him $100,000 annually.
It’s a safe bet he will make at least that much with his beloved Gators. But it seems that once more being an official representative of the orange and blue was really what swayed Spurrier to return.
"I think it's important to be on a team,'' he said. "Since I was 7 years old, I have been on a team almost every year except some of my in-between coaching years. It's a wonderful feeling and certainly everyone that is a Gator, whether from attending the University of Florida or because they grew up simply loving the Gators, that's their team.
"It's really special to have a team. I am certainly looking forward to being on the big Gator team now and contributing any way I can. I think we all need a team to be on."
If there are any Florida fans who don’t want Steve Spurrier on their team, I don’t know them — nor do I wish to know them.