The Steve Spurrier known to college football today wasn't always revered as a legend. When he was trying to break into head coaching at the college level, he was desperate for an opportunity and willing to take whatever he got.
What he got, it turned out, was Duke football.
At the time -- and as was the case just a few years ago -- Duke was anything but a desirable coaching job. The program had endured decades of struggle, last reaching a bowl game in 1961. Its last conference championship had come in 1962.
When he was hired in 1987, Spurrier's first focus was on changing the mentality of his team. He set goals and convinced his team that they were reachable goals. In his first season, the program went 4-7, going 2-6 in its last eight games.
The next season, though, the Blue Devils started to turn things around. They jumped out to a 5-0 start before faltering in ACC play and ending the year 7-3-1.
The next year was an accomplishment Blue Devils fans are still waiting to match. After a brutal 1-3 start, Duke looked like it had come back to earth. But Spurrier led the team to six straight conference wins, starting with an upset of then-No. 7 Clemson. The winning streak gave Duke the ACC championship and a berth in the All-America bowl.
Here's a documentary promo in which Spurrier talks about the mindset he brought to Duke's program:
Along the way, Spurrier was named back-to-back ACC Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1989. The turnaround at Duke was so good that Spurrier became a hot coaching commodity, and his alma mater Florida lured him away after the 1989 season.
From there, Spurrier found even greater success, coaching Florida to the national championship in 1996. He led the Gators to six SEC championships. Between his time at Florida and his current tenure at South Carolina, Spurrier has been named the SEC Coach of the Year seven times.
While current Duke coach David Cutliffe has brought the program back to relevance, reaching the ACC championship game last season, Spurrier's 1989 season remains the standard of greatness at Duke.