- Associated Press - Monday, May 16, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - One day earlier this year, Jerri Spurrier gathered all the class notes she had taken while earning a psychology degree from USC and spread them out in a room in the Elgin home she shares with husband Steve Spurrier.

“I showed them to Steve, and I said, ‘These are my trophies,’ ” Jerri Spurrier said.

The coach’s wife earned her third collegiate degree in December, completing course work she began in 2006, Steve’s second year as head coach at South Carolina. Jerri Spurrier took classes on campus each fall and online courses each spring. She recently hung up her new diploma alongside two she previously earned at the University of Florida - one in physiology and one in education.

She often took classes with her husband’s players during her time at USC.

“I would go to class and then I would go to the Russell House and make sure they were eating something green on their plate,” Spurrier said. “It was wonderful. I loved it. It’s the most gratifying thing to do when you get a degree.”

Spurrier chose psychology for her degree because of her interest in the country’s growing mental health crisis, she said.

“That’s where the work needs done with kids, with everybody,” she said. “You know last week in The State, there were four people who committed suicide, young, kids. It’s scary. It’s just so prevalent.”

At one time, Jerri Spurrier thought about walking in this month’s graduation or participating in a ceremony on the Horseshoe to recognize graduates, but she decided against it. She’s too busy thinking about what’s next.

“I always told my children, ‘When you go to bed every night you should have accomplished something. Every day should be a challenge,’ ” she said. “That’s why now is very hard. It’s very hard because I go home, go to bed, and what have I done? Zero. I want no zero days. No. None.”

She’s already thought about the possibility of a fourth degree.

“Maybe,” she said. “I’d like to go more into abnormal psychology. I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re doing.”

Steve Spurrier, who married his wife the fall of their senior years at Florida, hasn’t determined where or if he’ll be working this fall, he said. The couple is planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for later in the year, which is helping fill some of her time.

“(Steve) is all right,” Jerri Spurrier said. “I’m not mad at him because he’s home all the time. I’m mad at me because I’m home all the time.”

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Information from: The State, https://www.thestate.com


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