Teaching Students About Steve Spurrier


In this article, we will discuss various ways educators can teach students about the life and career of legendary college football coach Steve Spurrier. As one of the most successful coaches in history, Spurrier’s story offers numerous valuable lessons, from hard work and perseverance to leadership and teamwork.

Early Life and Career Beginnings:

Begin your lesson by providing background information on Spurrier’s early life, starting with his birth in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1945. Discuss his high school football accomplishments at Science Hill High School in Tennessee before moving on to his time at the University of Florida, where he not only excelled as a student-athlete but also won the Heisman Trophy as a quarterback in 1966.

NFL Career and Transition to Coaching:

After discussing Spurrier’s collegiate accomplishments, delve into his decade-long NFL career, which started with being a first-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers. From there, move into his transition into coaching. Discuss how he began as a quarterbacks coach at various colleges before becoming an offensive coordinator at Duke University, where he helped lead the team to an ACC championship.

The “Head Ball Coach” Era:

Next, focus on what many consider the pinnacle of Spurrier’s coaching career – his time as head coach of the University of Florida Gators from 1990 to 2001. Highlight notable achievements during this period, including his innovative offensive strategies (known as the “Fun ‘n’ Gun”), six SEC championships, and leading Florida to their first-ever national championship.

Incorporate relevant anecdotes into your lesson that showcases Spurrier’s unique character and nickname as “Head Ball Coach”, embedding these stories richly throughout your curriculum.

Coaching Beyond Florida:

Broaden your students’ understanding by discussing Spurrier’s post-Florida coaching career. Include his two-year stint coaching the Washington Redskins in the NFL, followed by a successful tenure at the University of South Carolina. Emphasize his ability to rebuild the Gamecocks program and lead them to their highest win-total in school history.

End your lesson with Spurrier’s brief time coaching the Alliance of American Football’s Orlando Apollos team before the league folded

Legacy and Impact:

To wrap up your lesson on Steve Spurrier, discuss his lasting legacy and impact on the sport of American football. Show how his offensive creativity and innovations have influenced coaches at all levels of football. Beyond that, consider his reputation for humility and sportsmanship, which serves as a reminder to students about the importance of good character on and off the field.


By following this guide, educators can create an engaging and informative lesson plan to teach students about Steve Spurrier. His life story offers numerous opportunities to discuss valuable life lessons such as hard work, perseverance, innovation in one’s field, and humility. Through learning about Spurrier’s career, students can acquire a deeper appreciation for his contributions to American football and be inspired to pursue their own goals with passion and determination.

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