Florida legend Steve Spurrier to coach Orlando's new pro football team
Orlando team intends to play at UCF's Spectrum Stadium, officials say
ORLANDO, Fla. – Steve Spurrier has officially been named head coach of the inaugural team of the Alliance of American Football, which is based in Orlando, according to CBS News.
The news became official Saturday morning during Spurrier's appearance on CBS Saturday.
Spurrier, known as one of the "winningest" coaches in the SEC, is no stranger to Florida. He was the starting quarterback at the University of Florida during his time as a player and later led the university to several wins during his time as head coach from 1990 to 2001, including six SEC championships and a national championship title, the network reported.
The well-known coach, who played in the National Football League after college, was also the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 2002 to 2003 and at South Carolina from 2005 to 2015.
According to CBS, Spurrier racked up more wins at Florida (122-27-1) and South Carolina (86-49) than any other coaches at the universities, earning him the second most wins of any SEC football coach in history, after Bear Bryant, who has 208 wins.
He's also a seven-time SEC Coach of the Year winner and is one of only four people to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a coach and player, CBS reports.
Spurrier retired from coaching in 2015 and later returned to Florida in 2016 to serve as an ambassador and consultant to the school's athletic department. The university's home field, officially known as the Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, was named after him that year, according to CBS. The field is often referred to as "The Swamp," which is a nickname he's credited for creating.
Charlie Ebersol and former NFL General Manager and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polianis, who co-founded the new professional league, said it just made sense to have the inaugural team play in Orlando.
“When reviewing markets for The Alliance, we focused on cities who were looking for more football,” Ebersol said. “Orlando has already proven to be a passionate, loyal and engaged fan base that loves the game, yet they don’t have a professional football team to call their own.”
Ebersol also said that naming Spurrier head coach of the Orlando-based team is also a decision in which he feels confident about.
“Well, we’re not just bringing professional football to town, we’re bringing the Head Ball Coach with us -- a true Florida legend," Ebersol said.
Polian agreed and expanded on Spurrier's success throughout the years.
“Steve’s resume speaks for itself. He has one of the sharpest minds in football,” Polian said. “He will bring an exciting brand of football to the city of Orlando and we can’t wait to see what this team can accomplish under his guidance.”
Spurrier said the position offers him a unique opportunity to get back into the coaching game while spending time in a city he loves.
“The fact I can do this in Orlando makes it that much sweeter," Spurrier said. "I’m fired up and ready to go."
League officials said Ssaturday that the Orlando team intends to play home games at the University of Central Florida's Spectrum Stadium.
Details on ticket prices and seating will be announced this summer, but officials with the league said The Alliance is committed to offering a limited number of sideline seats available for purchase at $35.
"These will be among the best seats in the house but will not be the least or most expensive available as there will be a ticket for every budget," Alliance officials said.
Season ticket seat deposits will be available for $50 on a first-come, first-served basis beginning April 17 at 4 p.m. on AAF.com, according to league officials.
The new league is set to debut Feb. 9, 2019, and will air on CBS.
Seven other teams are expected to be announced within the next 12 weeks, according to CBS.
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