Willie T. Smith, The Greenville News
COLUMBIA - With a new contract in hand and his entire coaching staff apparently returning in tact for the first time, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier appeared relaxed following his halftime appearance at the Colonial Life Arena Saturday.
With eight starters returning on offense and talented linebackers on defense, the Head Ball Coach is excited about the future.
"I didn't plan to still be coaching right now," said Spurrier. "But things are going pretty well. Obviously, I can remember everybody's name. I think my memory is OK. People tell me it's OK, so I can still call the plays, so why stop."
That is a change from what Spurrier said a decade ago. With the program in the midst of the best stretch in school history, there are no plans of stepping down.
"I think I said I couldn't see myself coaching into my 60s when I was 45," said the 68-year old Spurrier. "When I was 45, I figured 15 or 16 (more) years. I'm not trying to brag about being a workout guy, but that's what I do.
"I've got to believe everything I read in the health magazines. That those people who work out regularly and routinely have a chance to live healthier lives. That's sort of what I do and I encourage everyone else to do it."
On Friday, Spurrier got an increase from $3.3 million to $4 million per season. The contract was also extended a year to 2018.
His assistant coaches also received healthy raises. He also has a strong relationship with USC president Harris Pastides and athletic director Ray Tanner.
"I've always gotten along with all our AD's and presidents," said Spurrier. "But these two guys are special. ... They're just super to work for."
South Carolina hosted its biggest recruiting weekend of the season with 16 committed players and a few more who are either uncommitted or committed to other schools in town.
Spurrier thinks the last three years have helped the team lure players that would not have been interested in the school in the past.
Spurrier no longer plans to put a limit on how long he will continue to coach.
"I don't plan on it," Spurrier said when asked if he could coach into his 80s. "I don't plan on doing any more than three or four years in a row and then, all of a sudden, three or four pass by and I feel like I did five to ten years ago."