Spurrier fires back at critics who say he’s past his prime

uscfoot-spurrierSouth Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier lashed out at his critics who say the game has passed him by and he should retire at the age of 70.

Spurrier referred to them his “enemies” at a news conference on Wednesday, adding that he still has plenty left in the tank to coach the Gamecocks.

“I got some enemies out there, I got some guys talking and writing and it’s all part of the game,” Spurrier said. “Some of our enemies out there want to make you think, ‘Spurrier’s getting old, he can’t do it anymore.’

“I’m smart enough to know when it’s time to let somebody else come in and do this, but I’m also smart enough to know that we’ve beaten Georgia four of the last five years, beaten Florida four of the last five years and beaten Clemson five of the last six years. We’re only 3-2 against Tennessee the last five years, and they won a couple of close ones against us, but they’ve lost 10 in a row to Florida. So I’d say we’ve done OK and have a lot more we’re going to do.”

The Gamecocks struggled to a 7-6 finish last year as the SEC East preseason favorite after winning 11 games and finishing in the top 10 in the national polls for three straight seasons. In 10 years as South Carolina coach, Spurrier has a 84-45 record.

“Nobody’s happy about what happened last year, but we did win a bowl game for the fourth straight year,” he said in a separate interview with ESPN.com. “You know, Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) lost to Mercer two years ago in the NCAA Tournament and came back and won a national championship last year.”

Spurrier told ESPN that he was depressed after last season and contemplated hanging it up.

“When you coach as long as I have, you’re always going to have those kind of thoughts when things don’t go the way you want them to, but I never said I was leaving,” Spurrier said. “It was just something to write about.

“We were 11-2 and ranked fourth in the country this time a year ago, and nobody said a damn word about my age. Now, a year later, I’m suddenly too old, and we’re on our way down.”

“I just want our fans to know that we’re going to have a good team and recognize that it’s our enemies saying these things about Spurrier being washed up and we’re not going to be heard from again. Gamecocks out there need to know that I’m going to be here five or six more years, and away we go.”

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