KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Even after Tennessee fired him in 2008, Phillip Fulmer always assumed he would coach again.
”I absolutely did,” Fulmer said. ”I totally did. That’s all I’d ever done, and I’d done it very well.”
Four years later, Fulmer still hasn’t returned to the sidelines.
Though he hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of a comeback, it seems less likely with each passing year. The latest signal of potential closure comes Tuesday when Fulmer is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, an honor that generally comes after an individual has completed his career.
Fulmer will join former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson, former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum and 14 former players in getting inducted at a National Football Foundation awards dinner in New York. Coaches must have served at least 10 seasons and 100 games while posting a winning percentage of at least .600 to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Coaches under the age of 70 must have been out of coaching for three years.
Fulmer, 62, says it hasn’t sunk in that he’s about to become a Hall of Famer. After all, he’s younger than most of the other Hall of Fame coaches were upon their induction.
”I’m graciously accepting it,” Fulmer said, ”but I’m too dang young.”
SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier has received a two-year contract extension that will keep him at South Carolina through 2017.
The university’s board of trustees unanimously approved the extension Monday. There was no salary increase in the deal. Spurrier is scheduled to again earn $3.3 million in 2013.
A year ago, trustees gave Spurrier two additional years on the contract after the football season, then voted him a raise of $475,000 this past February to his current salary.
Spurrier has led the Gamecocks to consecutive seasons with double-digit victories, a first in program history. No. 11 South Carolina finished 6-2 in the Southeastern Conference for a second straight year. Spurrier became the school’s all-time victories leader with his 65th win when the Gamecocks defeated Clemson on Nov. 24.
South Carolina (10-2) faces No. 19 Michigan (8-4) in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. Should the Gamecocks win, it would give Spurrier his third bowl win at the school - also tops in the program.