Florida Football Coach Steve Spurrier and Florida State's Bobby Bowden, Ready to Do Battle Again in the Sugar Bowl, Were Both Raised by Families Deeply Committed to the Christian Faith. but When It Comes to Spreading God's Word, Spurrier and Bowden Have . . . DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT

By Frenette, Gene | The Florida Times Union, December 25, 1996 | Go to article overview

Florida Football Coach Steve Spurrier and Florida State's Bobby Bowden, Ready to Do Battle Again in the Sugar Bowl, Were Both Raised by Families Deeply Committed to the Christian Faith. but When It Comes to Spreading God's Word, Spurrier and Bowden Have . . . DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT


Frenette, Gene, The Florida Times Union


It's not something that jumps out at visitors when they walk

into Steve Spurrier's office. You have to scan the bulletin

board with all the tacked-up papers, look for the one entitled

"30 Guidelines for a Good Ball Coach," and focus on No. 26.

That guideline reads: "Your priorities should be your God, your

family, then your team."

So the Florida Gators are third on Spurrier's priority list,

which just happens to be their current standing in the polls.

Family -- his wife, Jerri, and their four children -- gets

second billing.

The No. 1 vote goes to God, which should be no surprise, seeing

as how Spurrier is the son of a Presbyterian minister. And

eminently proud of his father, the Rev. John Graham Spurrier,

and everything he stands for.

But when it comes to spreading the word of God, to using his

position to trumpet his Christian beliefs, the Gators football

coach turns ultraconservative. He pulls back, mostly because

Spurrier has never felt comfortable espousing philosophy in

public that's unrelated to his professional calling.

The coach who will draw plays just about anywhere, who

admittedly draws strength from his faith in God, draws a line on

witnessing. And he believes it shouldn't be crossed.

"My profession is coaching," said Spurrier. "I leave the

preaching to the ministers."

Bobby Bowden takes a different route. Before the Florida State

head coach took his first job in 1953 as an assistant at Howard

(now Samford) University, his alma mater, he was already

preaching as the youth pastor at Ruhama Baptist Church in

Birmingham, Ala.

The son of a bank teller-turned-realtor, Bowden felt a duty to

be a witness for God long before he ever made a name for himself

in coaching. It was not only a part of his Southern Baptist

upbringing, but he had the gift -- the charismatic personality

-- to deliver that message effectively.

And once Bowden went to FSU in 1976 and rejuvenated a

floundering program, his platform magnified, to the point where

he's now recognized as one of coaching's leading proponents of

Christianity.

Unlike Spurrier, who is more low-key about his religious

beliefs, Bowden is totally at ease with a public image where

faith and football always seem to be intertwined.

When he's not coaching, Bowden is often preaching. Not just at

his Baptist church in Tallahassee, but in virtually any church

of any denomination -- Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran,

Presbyterian, Mormon -- or any Christian-based group that

invites him to talk.

To Bowden, it's not which church you go to that matters. Just

that you go.

"I speak in any church that asks me," said Bowden. "I hope I

don't say anything that offends people, but they keep inviting

me. All I know is what I believe, that God put us on this Earth

to be messengers of His word."

THE PREACHER'S KID

It would be the gospel truth to say that there's been no

greater male influence in Stephen Orr Spurrier's life than his

father. The Rev. Spurrier and his wife, Marjorie, gave their

last of three children the name Stephen, after the first

Christian to die for his religious beliefs.

But the impact that John Graham Spurrier had on the most famous

Gator in history extends far beyond instructions in the faith.

The Rev. Spurrier was also Steve's mentor on the field.

It was Dad who laid the foundation for Steve's fierce

competitive drive, reminding him over and over again that if it

didn't matter who won or lost, then why do they bother to keep

score? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Florida Football Coach Steve Spurrier and Florida State's Bobby Bowden, Ready to Do Battle Again in the Sugar Bowl, Were Both Raised by Families Deeply Committed to the Christian Faith. but When It Comes to Spreading God's Word, Spurrier and Bowden Have . . . DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.