Update January 4, 2002
: Two days after leading Florida to a win in the Orange Bowl, Spurrier resigned in order to pursue an NFL coaching position. Will update this writeup as necessary...
Steve Spurrier has been synonymous with Florida Gators college football for the last decade. He's also one of the most loved and hated coaches in American sports.
As a quarterback at Florida, Spurrier (DOB: April 20, 1945; Miami Beach, Florida) won the Heisman Trophy in 1966, as college football's top player. In the 1967 NFL draft, he was drafted in the 1st round (and 3rd overall) by the San Francisco 49ers.
Spurrier played in the NFL for the next decade, followed by several years as an assistant coach for Florida, Georgia Tech and Duke.
His first head coaching experience came in the now-defunct USFL, where he coached the Tampa Bay Bandits from 1983-1985 (all 3 years, the Bandits had winning seasons). In 1987, he went back to Duke, this time as the head coach. In 1989, Spurrier led the hapless Blue Devils to their first ACC championship in 24 seasons.
This success drew the interest of his alma mater, Florida. In 1990, the Gators hired Spurrier to be their head coach.
In the 11 seasons (through 2000) since, Florida's won at least 9 games and finished the season in the Associated Press's top 15 every season. In addition, Spurrier's Gators appeared in bowl games every season except the first (when the team was on probation). Florida has become the dominant team in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), winning the league title in 1991, 1993-1996, and 2000. In 1996, Spurrier led Florida to their first ever national championship, trouncing rival Florida State 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl. The quarterback that year, Danny Wuerffel, won the Heisman, giving Spurrier the distinction of being the only Heisman winner to coach another.
Spurrier's teams rely on a wide-open passing scheme that's become known as the Fun 'N Gun, which is capable of producing alot of scoring in a hurry.
In addition to his tendency to run up the score (pushing for more points when the game's well out of reach), Spurrier's also quite outspoken. Both of these things, along with his tremendous success has made him hated by opponents and their fans, but loved by Florida's supporters (similar to the emotions evoked by Bobby Knight in college basketball).
Despite frequent rumors of him leaving to coach in the NFL, Spurrier remains on the sidelines at Florida. The university pays him royally (and rightfully so, as the success Spurrier has produced has led to millions in sports-related revenue for the school) and he's basically a god in this part of the state. Sometimes college success doesn't translate into pro success (like Spurrier's pro playing career, during which he was mostly a mediocre backup quarterback), so it would take alot of convincing for Spurrier to leave Florida.
As a part of Gator Nation, I hope he stays on for a long, long time...
Much of the factual info taken from biography in "Tales From the Swamp" (Florida's gameday football program)