Patrick “Doc” Spurgeon played on the Emory & Henry football teams from 1949-51 after transferring in from Virginia Military Academy. He was a crushing blocker who played both offense and defense. During his time as a Wasp, the football squad won the Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship all three years and played twice in the Burley and Tangerine Bowls. He made First Team All-Conference as a fullback and linebacker, as well as All-Virginia Little Six, and his career record as a starter was 30-3-1. Spurgeon was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
In addition to football, Spurgeon was also a two-year letterman in baseball. Known on campus not only for his prowess in athletics, Spurgeon was a diligent and respected English major. In addition to his athletics accolades, he also won the Robertson Oratorical medal and the Collins Essay Medal.
Spurgeon went on the earn a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1963 and became an English professor at Georgia Southern University, where he also served as a football scout and kicking coach for the Georgia Southern football team. In 2014, Spurgeon was named to the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame as well. In addition to his years of coaching at Georgia Southern, Spurgeon also coached at Youngstown State and Ohio State University as a result of his ties to Coach Jim Tressel. During his career as an assistant coach, he earned nine national championship rings (4 at Georgia Southern, 4 at Youngstown State, and 1 at Ohio State) and coached three All-American punters and five All-American kickers. His career coaching record was 555-125.
Spurgeon’s passions for English and football truly came together in his ability to write scouting reports. He was known for scouting reports that were exceedingly accurate and well written.
A one-time Man of the Year by the Statesboro Georgia Civitan Club, Spurgeon is also a member of the Elizabethton High School Hall of Fame and of the Modern Language Association. He was given the title Professor Emeritus upon his retirement from Georgia Southern University. He continued coaching as a collegiate consultant as well as at the high school level for many years into his retirement.