High School Coach Tried to Set Up a Steve Spurrier, Dabo Swinney Wrestling Match

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2014

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 30:  (L-R) Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers talks to head coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks before their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

And now, from the department of totally awesome things that will never happen.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spent the postseason lobbing potshots at one another, even though their respective teams were playing neutral Big Ten opponents.

So on Wednesday, when Spurrier and Swinney were both at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Ga., to check on different prospects, Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire came up with an awesome, playful fundraising idea: They should wrestle.

Here's Sphire's account of the story, via Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Dabo was in here first, and I was telling him how entertaining those two have been with their quotes back and forth, and their banter. You know, the first thing (Swinney) said was 'I really like him (Spurrier). We’re really good friends.' I will be darned if that wasn’t the first thing that Spurrier told me when I tried to stir it up. He said, ‘I really like Dabo. We’re really good friends.’

Anyways, Dabo was leaving out when Spurrier was coming in, and I stopped them and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a fundraising idea. There’s a 1,000 kids over there in the cafeteria right now for lunch. We’re going to go over and wrestle, and I’m going to charge admission.’

Sadly, the 68-year-old Spurrier and 44-year-old Swinney will never actually get in a ring, even if the money goes to a good cause. The curtain was pulled a bit on their actual relationship after the offer, when the coaches cracked smile, started to laugh and began to have a playful chat.

It appears they might actually like and respect each other.

That's hardly how it seemed after the Gamecocks beat Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl, when Spurrier declared that the win was nice but "that state championship ain't bad either." The Old Ball Coach, of course, was referring to November's 31-17 beatdown of in-state rival Clemson, South Carolina's fifth straight win in the annual series.

Swinney countered Spurrier in style after beating Ohio State in the Orange Bowl, reminding viewers that Clemson was "the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game!" What the jab lacked in subtlety it made up for in effectiveness—and with the College Football Playoff upon us, Clemson is the only team from South Carolina that will ever win a BCS bowl.

Though their public tete-a-tete is a pleasure to watch, few actually thought that Spurrier and Swinney hated each other. If Sphire had convinced them to wrestle, it would have been more WWE than UFC, more scripted and playful than intense.

But that might have been even better.

Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT