Former Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier told Florida officials yesterday that he is interested in returning to coach his alma mater, and the school has given him two weeks to decide whether he wants the job, ESPN.com reported last night.
Spurrier, who guided the Gators to six Southeastern Conference championships and the 1996 national title during his 12-year tenure there, is clearly the top candidate to replace Ron Zook, who was fired Monday. A source close to Spurrier said last night that the coach wasn't sure if he wanted the job, but that "the job was his if he wanted it."
Another source who spoke to Spurrier this week said, "There's no question that Florida will pay whatever it takes to get him back, and there's no question that his family will want him to go back."
Florida President Bernard Machen has said a new coach wouldn't be hired until December, at the earliest.
Meantime, Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops, who was Spurrier's defensive coordinator during the national championship season, said that he isn't interested in returning to Florida.
"I have great respect for the people at Florida and a lot of good memories from my time there, but to end the speculation that is ongoing, I want to make it clear that I have no interest in the position that is currently available there," he said, in a statement.
-- Mark Schlabach