Redskins quickly hire Spurrier to replace fired Schottenheimer

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

ASHBURN, Va. -- Steve Spurrier became the highest-paid coach in the NFL on Monday, signing a $25 million, five-year deal with the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins announced the signing of Spurrier a day after firing Marty Schottenheimer. Spurrier, who abruptly left Florida on Jan. 4 after a successful 12-year run, will be introduced Tuesday at a news conference at Redskin Park.

"Steve Spurrier will bring a supercharged, exciting and dynamic brand of football to our great fans," owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. "His ability to energize players and teams is unprecedented. The Redskins deserve to be back at the Super Bowl, and I am immensely confident that Steve is the coach to get us there."

The size of the contract, confirmed by a team source speaking on condition of anonymity, makes Spurrier the highest-paid coach. The previous high was $4 million a year for Seattle's Mike Holmgren as coach and general manager.

Spurrier will be the coach and only the coach, eliminating the possibility of the type of conflict that led Snyder to dismiss Schottenheimer, who was also the director of football operations.

The Redskins went 8-8 in his only season.

Spurrier became the country's most-wanted coach after he suddenly quit Florida and declared himself ready to take on the NFL. A colorful sideline presence and a mastermind at offensive game-planning, Spurrier won six Southeastern Conference titles and one national championship, and went 122-27-1 with the Gators.

His hiring would represent the type of high-profile signing preferred by Snyder, whose players have included Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Jeff George.

Spurrier's offense would offer a stark contrast from the conservative approach used by Schottenheimer.

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