Big Names

In addition to storied rivalries, college football in Florida has a long and distinguished list of big names and familiar faces. Florida’s big time college football programs have produced legendary coaches: Bobby Bowden at FSU, Steve Spurrier at UF, Jake Gaither at FAMU, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer at UM. Successful players are too numerous to name. FSU alone produced several players in the 1950s and 60s that today are household names for football fans: Burt Reynolds, Lee Corso and Fred Biletnikoff, just to name a few.

Spessard Holland wearing a football uniform, later to become Governor of Florida, (1912)

Spessard Holland, later to become Governor of Florida, wearing a football uniform (1912)

Image Number: PT00214

General Note: Holland was a student and football player at Emory University.

Portrait of Kansas State Agricultural College student and Florida's future 46th Supreme Court Justice Harold "Tom" Sebring: Manhattan, Kansas (early 1920s)

Portrait of Kansas State Agricultural College student and Florida's future 46th Supreme Court Justice Harold "Tom" Sebring: Manhattan, Kansas (early 1920s)

Image Number: SC00177

General Note: Born in Olathe, Kansas on March 9, 1898. He fought in WWI and received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1919, having been awarded numerous military decorations by the United States and France. Sebring received a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1923. He was head coach of the University of Florida track, boxing and football teams while earning his law degree there. Sebring graduated with a bachelor of laws degree in 1928. He served as Florida Supreme Court Justice from 1943 until 1955.

Burt Reynolds: Tallahassee, Florida (1954)

Burt Reynolds: Tallahassee, Florida (1954)

Image Number: PR07242

General Note: Reynolds attended Florida State University on a college football scholarship, where he played halfback.

FSU team portrait: Tallahassee, Florida (1954 or 1955)

FSU team portrait: Tallahassee, Florida (1954 or 1955)

Image Number: PR76050

General Note: Front row: #56 Tom Feamster at left and third from left is #54 Al Pacifico. Second row: fourth from the right is #46 Burt "Buddy" Reynolds and seventh from the left is #44 William Leonard. Third row: fourth from the right is #15 Mike Norman and sixth from the right is #33 Gene Cox. Back row: seventh from the right is #11 Lee Corso.

Two football coaches struggle to grasp a trophy: Tallahassee, Florida (1961)

Two football coaches struggle to grasp a trophy: Tallahassee, Florida (1961)

Image Number: RC01472

General Note: Assistant coach for University of Florida Gene Ellenson and Florida State University coach Bill Peterson "fight" over the Governor's Cup after the 3-3 tie in Gainesville.

Robert "Bullet" Hayes running track: Tallahassee, Florida (1962)

Robert "Bullet" Hayes running track: Tallahassee, Florida (1962)

Image Number: RC02964

General Note: Hayes excelled at track and football at FAMU. "Hayes Will Try for World Mark--Florida A & M University's rapid Robert Hayes, who unofficially tied the world mark for the 100-yard dash at 9.2 just a month ago at Miami, tunes up on the track here and will be gunning to lower the official 9.2 record held by Villanova's Frank Budd. Hayes, 19, and a sophomore, will be running Saturday, Mar. 17, on the same track at University of Miami, where he ran his 9.2 and officials there say the track will be even faster as the measured straightway has been groomed daily."

UF football coach Graves testing portable telephone: Gainesville, Florida (1962)

UF football coach Graves testing portable telephone: Gainesville, Florida (1962)

Image Number: RC12044

General Note: "Graves Tests New Spotter's Signal--University of Florida's head coach Ray Graves is really wired for sound as he tests a new type of portable telephone designed to offer him more mobility while game spotters relay information to him on the bench or while he walks along the sideline. Florida opens their season against Mississippi State at Jackson, Saturday night. Man at right is an unidentified telephone engineer."

Coaching switch at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1969)

Coaching switch at the University of Florida: Gainesville, Florida (1969)

Image Number: PR13095

General Note: Coaching switch involving Ray Graves (left) and Doug Dickey (right) caused controversy in 1969 as President O'Connell announced appointment of University of Florida alumnus Dickey as head football coach immediately after his University of Tennessee volunteers had lost to Ray Graves' Florida Gators.

Jake Gaither with "Big Jim" Williams: Tallahassee, Florida (1972)

Jake Gaither with "Big Jim" Williams: Tallahassee, Florida (1972)

Image Number: PR12670

General Note: FAMU Athletic director Jake Gaither (left) appearing at the naming of "Big Jim" Williams as the new head football coach at FAMU.

University of Miami head football coach Howard Schnellenberger, right, posing with Don Works and the school mascot for group portrait: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1981)

University of Miami head football coach Howard Schnellenberger, right, posing with Don Works and the school mascot for group portrait: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1981)

Image Number: pr21473

General note: Schnellenberger was the head coach for the University of Miami from 1979 to 1983. In 1983 he coached Miami to a National Championship, defeating Nebraska in the 50th Orange Bowl.

Bobby Bowden and sons: Tallahassee, Florida (1982)

Bobby Bowden and sons: Tallahassee, Florida (1982)

Image Number: PR12936

General Note: (Standing L-R) Tommy, Jeff, Terry, and kneeling, Bobby.  Bobby Bowden coached the Florida State Seminoles football team from the 1976 to 2009 seasons. During his time at Florida State, Bowden led FSU to an Associated Press and Coaches Poll National Title in 1993 and a BCS National Championship in 1999, as well as twelve Atlantic Coast Conference championships since FSU joined the conference in 1991. His son Tommy Bowden later became head coach at Clemson University. Terry Bowden became the head coach at Auburn University, where he was the 1993 Coach of the Year. Jeff Bowden was the offensive coordinator at Florida State.

Coach Rudy Hubbard on the sidelines: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)

Coach Rudy Hubbard on the sidelines: Tallahassee, Florida (1984)

Image Number: FFL2355

General Note: Hubbard took the head coach position at Florida A&M University in 1974. He spent 12 seasons with the Rattlers, and posted an 83-48-3 (.631) overall record, the third most wins in school history.

FSU football player Deion Sanders in Tallahassee, Florida, Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2011 (late 1980s)

FSU football player Deion Sanders in Tallahassee, Florida, Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2011 (late 1980s)

Image Number: DND0942

General Note: At Florida State University, under head coach Bobby Bowden, Sanders was a two time consensus All-American cornerback in 1986 and 1987, and a third team All-American in 1988, intercepting 14 passes in his career, including three in bowl games, and managed to return one interception 100 yards for a touchdown breaking Fred Biletnikoff's interception return record by one yard. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988. He was also a standout punt returner for Florida State, leading the nation in 1988 with his punt return average, and breaking the school's record for career punt return yards. Based on those accolades, his jersey at Florida State, #2, was retired in 1995.

State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, getting an autograph from University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow during a visit to the Governor's Mansion: Tallahassee, Florida (2009)

State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, getting an autograph from University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow during a visit to the Governor's Mansion: Tallahassee, Florida (2009)

Image Number: PT11576

General Note: Accompanying note: "Gov. Charlie Crist invited Tebow, Coach Urban Meyer and some other players to the mansion to honor their 2008 national championship."

UF football coach Urban Meyer speaking during the "Gator Day" festivities at the Florida Legislature: Tallahassee, Florida (2009)

UF football coach Urban Meyer speaking during the "Gator Day" festivities at the Florida Legislature: Tallahassee, Florida (2009)

Image Number: PT11714

General Note: The coach, players and some university personnel were honored for their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football championship. Seated at the right with "F" on his jacket is linebacker and team captain Ryan Stamper. Seated next to Stamper and behind the coach is quarterback Tim Tebow. UF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley is sitting on the other side of Tebow behind the coach. At the far left is UF president Bernard Machen. Meyers was the head coach of the Florida Gators football team from 2005 – 2011. He coached the Florida Gators to two BCS National Championship Game victories during the 2006 and 2008 seasons.