- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 16, 2002

It's not called the "Fun N' Gun" offense for nothing. Washington Redskins fans, whose team ranked 28th in the NFL in offense this past season, will soon be witnessing the explosive power of one of the brightest offensive minds in college football history. For the princely sum of nearly $25 million guaranteed over five years, team owner Daniel Snyder has brought swashbuckling Steve Spurrier to town as the new coach of the Washington Redskins.
The Spurrier-Snyder era has begun. If Spurrier's 12-year record coaching the University of Florida Gators is any guide, fans, players and opponents can expect a weekly pyrotechnic extravaganza once he and the soon-to-be-named general manager assemble the players to fit Spurrier's "Fun N' Gun" operation. Make no mistake: It will happen. Having inherited coach Norv Turner, whom he fired before the end of his second season as owner, Snyder desperately wanted to hire Spurrier last year, before he signed Marty Schottenheimer to a four-year, $10-million contract. But Spurrier couldn't be swayed. Once he announced his surprise resignation from Florida earlier this month, however, Snyder became more determined than ever to land Spurrier, regardless of the cost, including the remaining $7.5 million owed Schottenheimer. Clearly, Snyder, who grew up worshipping the team he bought a few years ago for $800 million, has put his money where his heart is.
Spurrier's record speaks for itself. Before he took the coaching reins at Florida in 1990, the Gators had never won an official Southeastern Conference (SEC) title during their 56 years as a charter member, including 1966, the year Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy. In fact, Florida had never won more than nine games in any season. Under Spurrier, the Gators have won six SEC titles outright. And Spurrier became the first, and only, coach in major college history to win 100 games in his first 10 years at a school. Before his stint at Florida, moreover, Spurrier even managed to turn Duke University's football team into the bullies of the Atlantic Coast Conference, whose title Spurrier won in his third and final season in Durham.
Those who witnessed Florida's manhandling (56-23) of a very good Maryland football team in the Orange Bowl two weeks ago know the potential of Spurrier's offense, which rolled up 659 yards (456 passing and 203 rushing) during a game in which the Gators scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions. An extraordinary explosion, to be sure, but not unusual for Spurrier. After all, since 1990 his Florida teams have averaged more than 35 points per game and 460 yards total offense (310 passing and 150 rushing).Yes, the NFL landscape is littered with the carcasses of coaches who have excelled at the collegiate level and failed miserably in the pros, like Lou Holtz, John McKay, Bud Wilkinson, Frank Kush and Dennis Erickson. Here's betting Spurrier's name will not be added to that list five years from now.


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