The former Gators quarterback and coach has been trying to beat his alma mater since he became South Carolina's head coach in 2005.
But Spurrier's legacy and popularity live on in the Sunshine State. On Thursday, he returned to the Swamp - a place he nicknamed back in 1992 and lost just five games in 12 seasons as a coach - to accept the Great Floridian award from Gov. Rick Scott.
"Good things have happened to me ever since I came to the University of Florida way back in 1963," said Spurrier, who hails from Johnson City , Tenn.
Spurrier would win the 1966 Heisman Trophy and meet his wife of 47 years, Jerri, in Gainesville. In 1990, he returned to coach the Gators and put the football program on the map using his Fun n' Gun offense to win a national title in 1996 and six SEC titles at a school that had never won one.
"He's an inspiration," Scott said. "Here's an individual who worked very hard his whole life, one to be a great football player and he did it, winning the Heisman Trophy, and one to be a great coach, and he brought the national championship to Florida.
"He's done it across the country and he started right here in this great state. So you want to give it to people who have done the right thing with their lives and they are an inspiration to others."
Spurrier, 68, is the 71st recipient of the award, established in 1971 to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the state. Former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow received the award in May.
Spurrier likely had to wait his turn because of his decision to leave for the NFL and later return to coaching at an SEC East school, South Carolina, where he is 3-5 against Florida.
During this week's SEC meetings in Destin, Spurrier was asked if he planned to stay in coaching long enough to challenge Bear Bryant's SEC record of 292 wins. The Ol' Ball Coach is 188-64-1 in the SEC.
"If I was going to do that, go after those records, I would have stayed at Florida," Spurrier joked.
A large piece of Spurrier, who owns a beach home in Crescent Beach, never left.
"Florida is a place I plan to continue to living in," Spurrier said. "I live a little bit here now, but later on, hopefully a lot more. But South Carolina is my home now. And I'm always going to be from East Tennessee, but I've lived in the state Florida longer than any other place."