Crowds of people gathered outside Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille at Celebration Pointe on Friday evening to celebrate and honor the UF Gator great who received his own street—Steve Spurrier Way.
The legacy of Head Ball Coach Spurrier has been honored in many ways— Heisman Trophy recipient, SEC Player of the Year, college football championship coach, top-100 restaurant, and three football fields in his name, to mention a few—and now he can say he has a street in Gainesville.
“This is very nice,” Spurrier said in an interview. “Gainesville is sort of my town. I lived here longer than anywhere else. It is nice to have my name on the street. It was never on my bucket list, so this is nice.”
The evening was a culmination of music, laughter, storytelling, and nostalgia for UF fans who attended the ceremony.
It featured his former players, the UF Gator Marching Band, family, friends, state and local officials, and individuals who had a lasting impact on his career and life.
Former NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel, who played for Spurrier on the 1996 UF national championship team, spoke highly of his college coach during the ceremony.
“I am here to represent the hundreds of thousands of players and fans whose lives have been touched by you,” Wuerffel said of Spurrier. “The legend of Steve Spurrier, the influence has impacted us all in one way or another.”
During his speech, Spurrier reflected on what it means to have former players and friends gather in one place after all the years that have passed since their time together on the football field.
“When I was coaching all of them, I told them, ‘Listen, fellas, if we win a championship, finish in the top 10, then we are going to have reunions,” Spurrier said. “We will always have something to celebrate for the rest of our lives and a school to come back to. It’s neat to see everyone back together.”
Spurrier led the Florida Gators to one national championship (1996), six SEC championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000), and seven SEC Eastern Division championship titles (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000), along with being named SEC Coach of the Year five times (1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996).
Before coaching college and professional football for a combined 38 years, Spurrier was a Gator football player, leading to his professional career in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He is credited for naming Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp” in 1992 when he told columnist Mike Bianchi, “The ‘Swamp’ is a place where only Gators get out alive.”
Over the last few years, he’s been focusing on business by developing a restaurant and museum, Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, with the official address of 4860 Steve Spurrier Way. The restaurant opened at Celebration Pointe in August 2021.