University of South Carolina senior Amanda Matricciano of Charleston heard the news Monday night that head football coach Steve Spurrier was stepping down immediately. “I was shocked at first, especially mid-season,” she says, summing up the feelings of most USC students.
Then she watched Coach Spurrier’s news conference at noon Tuesday, when he explained his decision. “I think it makes sense. Me and my roommates were talking about it almost as like a breakup, like if things aren’t working it’s just not working, so I’m sure he’s smart enough to make the right move.”
Sophomore George Wassell also watched the news conference, and said afterward, “I’m sad to see him go. It was like, it’s kind of like an end of era, but if he thinks it’s time to go, it’s time to go for him.”
Senior Olivia Currey, of Irmo, said she was still positive about the future of USC’s football program but is sad. “Because he was such a big part of our school, and is a big part of our school and culture, and it’s a bit of a shock to see him leave. But at the same time, I have no doubt that he’s doing it for the right reasons.”
Junior Justin Hall put in perspective what it means for Coach Spurrier to have been there for 10-and-a-half years. “It’s different. It’s weird. I’ve only known Lou Holtz and now Steve, so it’s going to be interesting to see where the program goes from here.”
Joe Thomas, from Greenville, said he understands Coach Spurrier’s decision, but wishes he had finished the season. Still, he thinks the coach knows what’s best for the team and for himself. “He put South Carolina football on the map,” he said. “I mean, put us winning the SEC East. Everything he’s done at this university has been great for us. Can’t thank him enough.”