USC Coach Spurrier makes big changes in first day at the office - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

USC Coach Spurrier makes big changes in first day at the office

(Columbia-AP) Nov. 30, 2004 - Steve Spurrier brought some of his closest staffers and one family member with him to South Carolina.

Steve Spurrier, Junior, will leave his position at Arizona and join his dad as South Carolina receivers coach. That probably will happen by Tuesday. The younger Spurrier was also an assistant at Oklahoma and Florida. He also worked under his father as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins.

Mark Smith coached with Spurrier at Florida and in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. He will take over South Carolina's strength program. Smith was also the strength coach for the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Jamie Speronis was at Florida too and joins the Gamecocks as director of football operations.

Last week Coach Spurrier said he would keep wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill, assistant David Reaves and defensive backs coach Ron Cooper from the Gamecocks' coaching staff as he took over the program from Lou Holtz. He already has a plan for one of Holtz' staff members, "David Reaves is going to be my assistant with the quarterbacks."

Spurrier said Stockstill would still coordinate the recruiting efforts and coach somewhere on offense. Cooper's coaching responsibility would be determined at a later date.

The news wasn't as good for other assistants. Letters went out to Holtz's son Skip and defensive coordinator Rick Minter telling them they probably would not be retained.

Spurrier said a top priority would be to hire a defensive coordinator. "I've talked to several people about the job. A lot of folks are interested."

The leaving coaches elected not to talk with WIS News 10, but Spurrier summarized the reason for the cuts. He says that the ones he kept were, "The staff we're looking for, the kind of guys we're looking for. I think that was basically it."

Spurrier says he's still talking to a lot of guys. Spurrier says he hopes to have a full staff together by the first of next year. He says he will be looking to the NFL and coaches in bowl games to fill out the rest of his staff.

updated 7:36pm by Chantelle Janelle

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