COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Steve Spurrier says that he made the decision to resign as South Carolina’s head coach because the team was heading in the wrong direction.
He told a news conference Tuesday: “We’ve slipped. It’s my fault. I’m the head coach.”
Spurrier was in the middle of his 11th season. The Gamecocks were 2-4 overall and 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in Spurrier’s career.
He had never had a losing season in 25 previous seasons coach at Duke (1987-89), Florida (1990-2001) or South Carolina, where he has been since 2005.
South Carolina’s inconsistency on offense this season has surely frustrated Spurrier, a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida who played for San Francisco and Tampa Bay in the NFL. After beginning his coaching career in the USFL, and leading Duke, he returned to the Swamp and took the Gators to a national championship with a high-flying, Fun-n-Gun attack.
The Gamecocks are 11th in total offense in the SEC, averaging 341 yards a game.
The high-water mark of Spurrier’s 11 seasons at South Carolina was from 2011-13. The Gamecocks went 11-2 each season, led by quarterback Connor Shaw and top NFL draft picks like defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, receiver Alshon Jeffery and running back Marcus Lattimore.
The Gamecocks have used three starting quarterbacks through the first half of this season, including former walk-on Perry Orth and true freshman in Lorenzo Nunez.
South Carolina plays at home against Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday.
Spurrier is the winningest coach ever at South Carolina and Florida. During his tenure at Florida he led the Gators to six SEC titles and a national championship before leaving his alma mater to see what he could do in the NFL.
After two losing seasons with the Washington Redskins he returned to the SEC with South Carolina in 2005 and turned the perennially mediocre Gamecocks into championship contenders.
Spurrier, who was 35-21 with the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits from 1983-85, started his college head coaching career at Duke. He has a 228-89-2 career record with the Blue Devils, Gators and Gamecocks.