The following is a statement released by Florida Coach Steve Spurrier who retired from the Univ. of Florida today:
"I'm announcing my retirement today, Jan. 4, 2002 as Head Football Coach at the University of Florida. I simply believe that 12 years as head coach at a major university in the SEC is long enough.
I thank all the players, assistant coaches, support staff people and the greatest football fans in the world for the success we have shared the last 12 years. I also personally thank all the Gators that went to the Orange Bowl to support our team last Wednesday night in my final game.
I believe Jeremy Foley, who has a reputation of hiring outstanding coaches, will bring a coach to Florida that will do just as well or better in the years to come. I believe I'm certainly not the only coach to be able to win consistently at Florida.
Our football program is in excellent shape and the next coach will inherit a very talented team, just like I did from Galen Hall's program in l990. I've had a wonderful working relationship with all my bosses over the past 12 years.
I thank Bob Bryan for hiring me, and I thank Bill Arnsparger, Jeremy Foley, President John Lombardi and President Chuck Young for allowing me to run the football program.
I'm not burned out, stressed out or mentally fatigued from coaching. I just feel my career as a college head coach after 15 years is complete, and if the opportunity and challenge of coaching a NFL team happens it is something I would like to pursue.
I believe that the University of Florida is the best place for a high school football player to get an education and play football in the best stadium, 'The Swamp', before the best football fans in the world.
Again, I thank the 'Gator Nation' for the overwhelming support of our teams for 12 years. The seven SEC championships and the l996 National Championship are memories of a lifetime that we will all share together. I'm a Gator and will be for the rest of my life. "