Gators' Alexander to retire at end of the year
University of Florida men's golf coach Buddy Alexander announced Tuesday that he will retire after completing his 27th season.
Alexander is currently the longest-tenured coach in UF's athletics department.
Since arriving in Gainesville in January 1988, Alexander has guided the Gators to seven top-five finishes in the NCAA Tournament and eight Southeastern Conference titles. He is the architect for two of Florida's four national titles, claiming the first in 1993 and the second in 2001.
"Coaching is a young man's game and it is simply time for me to turn the reins over to someone else and allow this great university, athletic department and golf program to be everything it should be," said Alexander who will officially step down on June 30th. "I just thought it was a good time to do it."
"He's one of the all-time greats,'' Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley said. "He's had a heck of a run. There's no better Gator than Buddy Alexander."
The Gators finished as the national runner-up in 1990 and 2006. During his UF career, Alexander has coached an NCAA individual champion, a U.S. Amateur champion, 57 All-Americans, 10 SEC individual champions (including three two-time winners) and a Ben Hogan Award winner in Matt Every.
A two-time All-American as a collegiate golfer, Alexander graduated from Georgia Southern in 1975 and later collected several amateur titles. Two years after earning his bachelor's degree in recreation, he won the 1977 Eastern Amateur Championship and, then in 1986, won the U.S. Amateur Championship and was a member of the World Cup Team.
The following year, Alexander represented the U.S. in the Walker Cup. Success continued for Alexander in the 1990s, as he captured medalist honors at the Florida State Amateur. Alexander recently made highlights on ESPN with his ace at the Par-3 Tournament of the 2014 Masters, playing alongside former Gators and current PGA Tour members Billy Horschel and Matt Every.
Overall, Alexander has hauled in 19 Coach of the Year awards in his storied career, including an impressive 17 while at the helm of the Gators. He was inducted into the Golf Coaches' Association of America's Hall of Fame in 2001 and has received the GCAA Coach of the Year award three times, three NCAA District 3 Coach of the Year Awards, five NCAA District 3 South Coach of the Year awards and eight SEC Coach of the Year awards.
At Florida, Alexander has coached 31 members of the professional tour, including tournament winners Horschel, Every, Chris DiMarco, Dudley Hart and Camilo Villegas. During his career, he has mentored 38 professional tour members, and nine have been winners on the tour.
Alexander drove the Gators to success for 27 seasons, becoming one of just three Florida coaches in history - former track coach Percy Beard (1937-64) and former baseball coach Dave Fuller (1948-75) -- to reach the milestone.
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