Florida adds Steve Spurrier's name to football field

The University of Florida is re-naming its football field in honor of legendary coach Steve Spurrier.

The Gainesville facility will now be known as Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The school is also changing the name of its basketball arena. The Stephen C. O'Connell Center, home of several athletic teams and community events, will be known as Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, the result of a $5.9 million sponsorship by orthopaedic device company Exactech.

Florida's Board of Trustees approved both namings Thursday.

"These two new names demonstrate how fortunate the university is to have both a tremendous legacy to honor with Steve Spurrier and a wonderful and long relationship with a locally based company like Exactech," school president Kent Fuchs said.

Director of Athletics Jeremy Foley called the football field naming "an appropriate way to commemorate one the most legendary figures in Gator athletics history. Coach Spurrier did more than win a Heisman Trophy, a national championship and a bunch of games. Coach Spurrier changed the culture of Florida athletics. We were an institution that always had a mantra of wait until next year and wouldn't it be great to just win one championship. Coach changed all of that. The Gators won, won big and won with swagger."

Spurrier said he was grateful for the recognition.

"I am humbled, honored, thankful and very appreciative that my alma mater, the University of Florida, believes that I am worthy and deserving to have my name placed on Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as 'The Swamp,'" he said. "The Swamp is a special place. Us coaches and players thoroughly enjoyed playing in front of our fans. We won a bunch of them there and only lost five and they were close ones.  I also met my wife, Jerri Starr, at the University of Florida. She has been a tremendous influence on everything I've done since. Again, I say thanks to all of those who made this honor possible and I consider this to be the biggest, most special honor I have ever received."

Florida will honor Spurrier at the season opener versus Massachusetts in a ceremony that will include the unveiling of his namesake on the stadium.