Former Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn became the second coach to be terminated during the 2014 college football regular season on Monday, joining former Kansas HC Charlie Weis.
With a 3-4 (1-2 MAC) record and losses to Army and Eastern Michigan, the Bulls are seemingly packing it in by placing their efforts in the search for a candidate that will take the program to the next level.
Buffalo Athletic Director Danny White made a clear statement that he was going to “aim high” for someone with “attention-grabbing” credentials, and one of the first names that came to my mind was Steve Spurrier, Jr.
“The athletic department and the football program as a whole are way ahead of where they were in 2009-10. Do they have a long way to go? Yes,” said Buffalo’s sideline reporter Scott Wilson on a trendingbuffalo.com podcast. “But for the first time, there are plans to continue on and there are people doing that and they are well on their way.
“The right moves and right changes have been made and this becomes a very attractive rising position for young, upcoming coaches—which is what I think we’re in the market for—to want to come and make their name.”
Spurrier, Jr. is of course the son of one of the greatest college football coaches of all-time—current South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier, or also known as the Ol’ Ball Coach.
With a name like that, it’d be difficult not to make a few headlines.
Spurrier, Jr. has over 10 years of coaching experience (most of them under his father’s tenure), serving as an offensive assistant on two national championship teams and has helped USC to three straight 11-win seasons.
In addition to being co-offensive coordinator and the wide receivers coach, he’s also South Carolina’s recruiting coordinator. And you know what that means.
“[Spurrier, Jr.] is kind of the guy that gets [Jadeveon] Clowney,” said Wilson. “He’s got a real name.”
There are no real ties between Buffalo and Spurrier, Jr., but this is the kind of hire that White has been known for making over the last few years, the most prominent being former NCAA basketball star Bobby Hurley. And like Spurrier, Jr., Hurley had no prior head coaching experience.
White will have a lot of time to find the perfect candidate, and he has some ideal connections to help him along the way. He was the senior associate athletic director for three years at Ole Miss, showing his ties to the SEC. Oh, and his dad is the Athletic Director over at Duke.
Spurrier, Jr. played football at Duke and is a 1994 graduate.
“Buffalo media might be having fun with how similar Spurrier’s resume is to Hurley’s, but it could actually be worth a look,” wrote Patrick Vint of SB Nation. “Spurrier, Jr. has spent a decade with his father on the Gamecocks’ coaching staff, but it may be time for him to spread his wings and fly solo. South Carolina is struggling this year, relative to Spurrier’s other efforts, but the offense is still averaging 34.2 points per game, including 38 against a very strong Georgia defense.”
South Carolina has scored an average of at least 30 points per game over the last five seasons, and with the additional title as the “passing game coordinator” in 2009, the Gamecocks have four Top-5 finishes in the SEC with team quarterback ratings.
Steve Spurrier (69) has been coaching since 1978 and there’s no telling how much longer he wants to continue throwing headsets and visors into the ground while talking to reporters about sport jackets and his golf game. It is every father’s dream to coach alongside his son, and Spurrier, Jr. has lived it for longer than his dad could probably had ever hoped.
Will there be other opportunities? Yes. Is he going to succeed the ‘Ol Ball Coach at South Carolina in a few years? Doubtful.
If Buffalo becomes interested in Spurrier, Jr., he should accept the position with no hesitation—there likely won’t be a better starting point for his head coaching career anytime soon.