cover image Spurrier: How the Ball Coach Taught the South to Play Football

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

Ran Henry. . Globe Pequot/Lyons, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7627-9184-2

With a national football championship, seven SEC titles, and nine Coach of the Year awards under his belt, Steve Spurrier is given the star treatment in a chatty, informative portrait. Henry, a writing professor at the universities of South Carolina and Virginia and a former Ralph McGill Scholar at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, chronicles the preacher's boy from Tennessee hill country who broke all passing records as a two-time All-American quarterback at the University of Florida, earning a Heisman Trophy in 1966. Spurrier, supremely confident in his skills and leadership, is depicted in colorful, glowing snapshots, occasionally with clever asides worthy of some ESPN commentators. His professional football career with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is dealt with economically, setting it in a future tense, but the bulk of the narrative holds true to Spurrier's college reign as the coach of the University of Florida where his celebrated "Fun N' Gun" offense dominated the Southeastern Conference. Committed to piercing the media-hyped myth of Spurrier, Henry has written a wise and honest biography of a man who has revamped the strategy of college football, making it more exciting for players and fans alike. (Sept.)