clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steve Spurrier to be honored at Tennessee, despite all those mean things he said

New, comments

Spurrier raised hell in Tennessee, whether it was with his players or his words. Now, the Volunteers will honor him at their spring game.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

At Tennessee's spring game this April, the Knoxville Quarterback Club will honor a coach who beat the Volunteers in their own stadium six different times.

The club will award former Duke, Florida, and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier its Robert Neyland Award in the stadium named after Neyland. Spurrier was 14-9 against the Vols in his lifetime and beat UT in Knoxville with each of the three teams he helmed over the course a 26-year college coaching career.

The award is given "to an outstanding man who has contributed greatly to intercollegiate athletics," and the spring game presentation is a tradition.

This year's comes despite the Johnson City, Tenn., native having a fierce rivalry with the Vols, who were a frequent subject of Spurrier's many classic quotes.

The then-Florida head coach once quipped, "You can't spell Citrus without U-T." That referred to the mid-tier Citrus Bowl, where the Vols landed three times during a four-year stretch in the mid-1990s. He doubled down on that when he suggested the reason behind Peyton Manning's return for his senior season in 1997 was to be "a three-time star of the Citrus Bowl."

"I've coached there more than some of their head coaches," he said of Neyland Stadium in 2013, as the Vols were amidst coaching turmoil.

Spurrier retired this fall after spending more than 50 years in football as either a player or coach.

via CBS Sports