Spurrier steps down, takes blame for USC's slide
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Steve Spurrier told reporters Tuesday he is resigning as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks after the team's 0-4 conference start in the SEC.
"I'm stepping aside," Spurrier said. "I think it's the best thing for South Carolina football."
Spurrier said he felt it was time for someone else to "have a go" at rebuilding the program and leading the team. He said when the Gamecocks were 2-2 he "sensed" it may have been time for him to go, but he made the decision the Sunday morning after losing to LSU.
Spurrier said he and Athletic Director Ray Tanner discussed having him stay through the season, or through the upcoming home game against Vanderbilt after which USC would have a bye week.
"When something is inevitable, I think you do it right then," he said. "I said let's do it, let's get started in a new direction."
Shawn Elliott, the offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator, was introduced as the interim head coach.
The 70-year-old Spurrier spent 11 years at South Carolina and was the all-time winningest coach in the program's history. He led the Gamecocks to their first SEC East title in 2010, and USC had 11-win seasons through 2013 before going 7-6 in 2014. After the loss to LSU, South Carolina is at 2-4 with an 0-4 SEC record.
"We've slipped. It's my fault. I'm the head coach," Spurrier said Tuesday.
Spurrier made comments after the 2014 season that he was considering leaving in a few years, which hurt the team's ability to recruit. Today the Head Ball Coach said players committing to the program needed to know someone was going to be around for them the entire time.
Spurrier thanked the school, his coaching staff, his players and USC fans for their support during his time as head coach.
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