As UGA fans will painfully remember, not much ever went wrong for Steve Spurrier when he was Florida’s coach, and the Gators played the Bulldogs.
The legendary “Ol’ Ball Coach” was 11-1 versus UGA while at Florida. However, often what really bothered the Bulldog fans more were his constant flow of dismissive and demeaning comments about Georgia.
But it wasn’t always good news for Spurrier while going up against UGA.
Former Bulldogs great Champ Bailey was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame earlier this month. It was an intense recruiting battle out of high school for Bailey, who was from Folkston, Ga. Even though Bailey’s older brother was on UGA’s roster at the time, Florida had an excellent shot because its success under Spurrier and because Bailey lived much closer to Gainesville (90 miles) than Athens (260 miles).
Flash forward to this week: Bailey was profiled by DenverBroncos.com’s Aric DiLalla, and he shared this proud UGA moment, as told by former Georgia coach Jim Donnan.
“An interesting kind of scenario: We’re eating dinner there at the house (during our in-home recruiting visit by UGA), and he’s got this sister named Danielle — whose nickname is ‘Doll’ — and Boss Bailey, his other brother who ended up playing in the pros [but] was just a 10th grader, [who were both there and] the phone kept ringing. And sometimes coaches know you’re there and they try to disrupt the recruiting process a little bit, and it was [Florida] Coach [Steve] Spurrier. I didn’t know at the time, but ‘Doll’ would go over there and whisper to her mother. It rang about three times, and finally, the last time, Ms. Bailey picked up the phone and said, ‘Coach Spurrier, this is Ms. Bailey, and I just want to tell you you’re worrying me, and I’m going to tell you right now, Champ’s going to Georgia.’
“Well, that’s the first time I’ve heard that. So of course I jumped up and grabbed his hand and everything. That’s one of the best commitments I ever had, while Steve Spurrier is on the other line. The mother was just so strong from the standpoint of she was sold on Georgia because of the academics that her other son had been going through here and the support system. She was really strong academically. You know, you just don’t normally get three brothers from one family. It was just tremendous how they represented us.”
Take that, Coach Spurrier!
By the way, regarding Spurrier’s 11-1 record against UGA, he finished 17-9 overall as a player at Florida, an assistant coach at Florida, Duke and Georgia Tech, and as head coach at both Florida and South Carolina.
Got a favorite Spurrier story? If so, please share below.