COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has told his players that he is retiring, effective immediately.

The person says the 70-year-old coach informed players of his decision Monday night, said a person close to the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because South Carolina has not publicly announced Spurrier's decision.

South Carolina has not named an interim coach but likely would announce someone to finish out the season by Wednesday, the person said.

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The Gamecocks are 2-4 and 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time in Spurrier's 23 seasons coaching in the league at Florida and South Carolina.

Spurrier, in the middle of his 11th season at South Carolina, did not return messages from the AP seeking comment.

Spurrier considered leaving the Gamecocks last December after the Gamecocks went 6-6. But the team defeated Miami in the Independence Bowl last December, a victory that seemed to re-energize him.

He said this summer he planned to coach two or three more years, then extended that to four or five years when several recruits who had committed to South Carolina backed away before signing day last February.

Spurrier held a defiant news conference in July, telling Gamecocks fans not to listen to ''enemies'' questioning his commitment level, or whether he could no longer effectively coach at his age.

But things quickly spiraled downward this season.

The Gamecocks lost to Kentucky at home in the season's second week, then were blown out by SEC Eastern Division rival Georgia, 52-20, a week later.

Losses at Missouri and No. 6 LSU last week guaranteed Spurrier no better than a break-even season. Spurrier had never had a losing season in 25 previous seasons coaching in college at Duke (1987-89), Florida (1990-2001) and South Carolina.

The Gamecocks play at home against Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday.