Photos and videos: Steve Spurrier Way unveiled at Celebration Pointe
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A host of dignitaries and key figures in Steve Spurrier’s career as the Head Ball Coach of the Florida Gators joined Spurrier and his family to unveil Steve Spurrier Way at Celebration Pointe on February 10.
A pep band from the University of Florida was available throughout the event to provide crowd-pleasing favorites and encourage cheers of “Go Gators!” on a football field complete with goal posts.
Jeff Cardozo was the emcee for the event, introducing the speakers and pointing out that Spurrier is the only living person in the College Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. Spurrier is also the winningest coach at Florida and also at the University of South Carolina. He was the SEC Coach of the Year seven times; he also won seven SEC Championships, and “he didn’t even lose seven games inside The Swamp in his coaching career.”
Svein Dyrkolbotn, a former Gators Basketball player and principal owner of Viking Companies, the developer of Celebration Pointe, said, “From the very beginning, it was my dream to create a place where Gators could come to celebrate, and as I look around today, that’s definitely come to fruition.”
Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel was up next, and he said Spurrier had coached his players “through life,” but Wuerffel had a road named after him in 1997, so “perhaps for the first time, I can share a few words of wisdom with the coach… Welcome to the club!”
Wuerffel said he represented all the fans and players that had been touched by Spurrier, “and in particular, the entire trajectory of my life was changed because I chose to come to this great university to play for this great man. And the success that we had as a team, the success that I had as an individual, has paved the way for me in my life’s mission to provide service and inspire service and unity in the world.” Wuerffel said his son Jonah is currently a freshman at UF. “The legend of Steve Spurrier, the influence, has impacted us all in one way or another, and that’s why we’re here.”
Alachua County Commission Chair Anna Prizzia pointed to the new Sports Event Center and said it would not have been possible without Spurrier’s support. “So we’re really grateful to you for all the work that you’ve done on that and everything that you’ve done for Gainesville and Alachua County.”
State Senator Keith Perry said he grew up watching Florida football and hasn’t missed a home game since 1979. “It was always–what’s the saying? ‘Wait ’til next year.’ And then what happened? Coach Spurrier came along, and wow, what a difference.” Perry thanked Spurrier for the “ripple effect” he’s had on the community: “We’re indebted to you.”
Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce and President and CEO of Enterprise Florida, said sports have an annual economic impact of $150 billion in Florida. “You have everything to do with that; this development has everything to do with that… Governor DeSantis is absolutely supportive of everything that we’re doing here, we’re in full support of Svein’s development, and we’re just absolutely thrilled to be here and celebrate you, the greatest ball coach of all time.”
Author Buddy Martin, who has written a book about Spurrier, said people get roads named after them when they “have good judgment and make a good decision, and then you go on and… do it enough times right, people are there to pay homage to you and what your life represents. Such is the life of Coach Steve Spurrier.”
Former Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said he had a front-row seat to watch “what he did for this university, what he meant to this university, and… up to that point, as we all know, it was ‘Wait ’til next year,’ sleeping giant, what if? We had pockets of success… but no consistent success, and obviously none in football. Literally none in football… Obviously, Steve changed all that. He came in here, and no excuses, nothing except being committed to success.”
Foley said Spurrier supported all the other sports, which led to broad success across the programs. “When the highest-profile, highest-marquis coach in the whole program cares that much, how can you not be successful? It all started right there, with that attitude, and all of us will always be indebted to you.”
Spurrier thanked Freddie Wehbe, the Managing Partner of Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, and also thanked his wife Jerri, saying, “If they had a Football Hall of Fame for head coaches’ wives, she would be on the first ballot, unanimously.” He said she never sat in the luxury suites; she sat down in the stadium with the other coaches’ wives and their children. “We had a wonderful run here… and I’m thankful for my name on the road here. Go Gators!”
After the speeches, Danny Wuerffel kicked a football through the goalposts, to cheers from the crowd.
Wuerffel followed up with a re-creation of his famous pass to Chris Doering in 1993.
The event ended with the unveiling of the “Steve Spurrier Way” sign.
Who cares? Why is UF allowed to waste taxpayer’s money by having their band play at this “event”? I bet the AC BOCC representative cheerleader was being paid overtime! What a crock! Does nothing for AC or GNV!
Danny Wuerffel Way is an actual stretch of road instead of a private drive inside a shopping center (unless I do not understand correctly).
Wueffel said it leads to a toll bridge, so he joked that at least Spurrier wouldn’t have to pay to drive on his road.
It’s both a free and taxpaying stretch of road. Sorry if that is alien to your kind.
You would lose that bet. The Chair of the BoCC is not paid extra to speak at events.
I could care less about football or coaches or former players but come on, it seems pretty harmless that these folks are celebrating something and someone they care about. I say good for them, there’s little enough happiness going round these days.
I see nothing wrong with this. Spurrier gave many hours to this area in and off the field. This was all done with private money, not City or county funds. Any cost to UF for the band being these likely amounts to gas and bus driver, band members don’t get paid. A great event and a good time!!! Thank you Head Ball Coach!
Sounds like we have some Semi’s making negative comments here.
We’re so fortunate to have this great ball coach and these incredible former players here in Gainesville.
So many great memories! Thank you!
Thank you, Ball Coach 🥳🥳
Thanks Steve Spurrier for all you gave to the Florida Gators.
THEY ALL LOOK AS USELESS AT A GROUP OF GOVT WORKERS, ALL STANDING AROUND WATCHING AN UNDOCUMENTED ILLEGAL ALIEN WORKING!!!
It is amazing what you can do when you have a vision don’t hesitate to be be different.
A Tennessee boy chose Florida and the rest is history!