GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Steve Spurrier took his visor, his Fun 'N' Gun and his swagger and left Florida in a stunning resignation Friday.
The 56-year-old man derided by his enemies as "Coach Superior" turned his back on a $2.1 million-a-year contract and a lifetime of job security at his alma mater to pursue a job in the NFL.
"I'm not burned out, stressed out or mentally fatigued from coaching," Spurrier said in a statement. "I just feel my career as a college head coach, after 15 years, is complete, and if the opportunity and challenge of coaching an NFL team happens, it is something I would like to pursue."
The Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers both have openings, although Spurrier has always been partial to the state he's called home since 1990. Tom Coughlin of Jacksonville and Tony Dungy of Tampa Bay have both been considered candidates to leave their jobs this season.
Before Friday, the closest Spurrier ever came to leaving was in 1995, when he almost signed with the Buccaneers, one of two NFL teams he played for after college.
Spurrier's confidante, sports information director Norm Carlson, said the coach had no specific job in mind. But surely suitors will come calling.
They have every year since he arrived in Gainesville 12 seasons ago, a former Heisman Trophy winner determined to make exciting champions out of the not-so-lovable losers they were for so many decades previous.
"I thought he was kidding," Carlson said of his reaction when Spurrier broke the news to him. "He told me to sit down. He probably thought I would faint."
Instead, it's the entire Gator Nation -- a fan base built on the cult of personality that Spurrier engendered -- that's in shock.
Spurrier went 122-27-1 with Florida, 142-40-2 counting the three seasons he spent at Duke. He led a program that had never won a Southeastern Conference title to six of them. He also led the Gators to their first and only national championship in 1996.
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