Ran Henry

Spurrier: How the Ball Coach Taught the South to Play Football | Saturday, May 16, 3:20 - 4:10, Carolina Meeting Room A
Genre(s) Biography Nonfiction Sports

Ran Henry grew up rooting for “that Spurrier kid” his father revered three mountains over in Johnson City, and spent his life as a writer at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, the Florida Times-Union, the St. Petersburg Times and Tropic, the Sunday Magazine of the Miami Herald. Henry first officially interviewed Steve Spurrier in 1986 in Tampa and as a Miami Herald writer interviewed Spurrier in Gainesville in 1997 to begin work on this definitive biography. Henry divides his time between Charlottesville, Virginia, Columbia, South Carolina and a home in the mountains of West Virginia.

Book Title: Spurrier: How the Ball Coach Taught the South to Play Football

“We all like to prove people wrong who say we’re no good,” says the eternally driven Steve Spurrier, the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback who took off his helmet, put on his coaching visor, and turned three downtrodden universities into winners. Spurrier’s Fun ’N’ Gun offense at the University of Florida flummoxed defenses and rewrote playbooks across the Southeastern Conference, transforming SEC football into a modern phenomena. Spurrier tells the story of a preacher’s son from the Tennessee hills who has been overwhelming opponents with “ball plays” for nearly six decades.

The climax of his storied career is uplifting the University of South Carolina, a school that lost more football games than it won between 1892 and 2005, and was believed for over a century to be cursed. The only Heisman Trophy winner ever to coach another Heisman Trophy Winner, Spurrier dared to enter the “graveyard of coaches” at South Carolina, confronted his destiny, and turned the USC Gamecocks into an unlikely winner. Spurrier is the biography of the Ball Coach who has forever changed college football—and its impact on our culture.