Buddy Alexander to retire after 27 years at Florida

By Adam Silverstein
April 22, 2014

The second-longest-tenured head coach in school history, Buddy Alexander has decided to retire after nearly three decades at the helm of the highly-successful Florida Gators’s men’s golf program.

Alexander, who will coach out his 27th and final season with the team, has led Florida to two national titles (1993, 2001), 11 top-10 finishes in the NCAA Championships and eight SEC Championships (1989, 1991-94, 1999, 2003, 2011). He is also a three-time GCAA National Coach of the Year and eight-time SEC Coach of the Year who was inducted into the GCAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001.

In short, Alexander is Gators golf.

“He’s one of the all-time greats,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley told Scott Carter of the school’s website as part of Alexander’s retirement announcement. “He’s had a heck of a run. There’s no better Gator than Buddy Alexander.”

A two-time All-American as a student-athlete at Georgia Southern, Alexander also won the 1986 U.S. Amateur title and played in The Masters that same year. He began his coaching career at GSU in 1977 and moved on to LSU before winding up at UF in 1988.

Now Alexander, 61, has decided to put an end to his distinguished career. Like most retirees, he will continue playing golf while spending time with his family. His son, Tyson Alexander, a former Gators golfer, is currently playing on the NGA Pro Golf Tour.

“I just thought it was a good time to [retire],” he said. “The competitor in me isn’t crazy about the fact this isn’t one of our better teams and you would like to fix the problem, but for me, it’s just time to go. I still have a heck of a lot of energy, but I probably don’t have the patience and the passion that I might have once had. It just felt like before the [SEC] Tournament was the right time.”

Alexander has sent numerous Florida players to the professional rankings including Chris DiMarco, Brian Gay, Billy Horschel and Camilo Villegas.

He plans to remain with the Gators as an advisor during the transition to a new coach, which Foley likely began when Alexander discussed his potential retirement with his long-time boss at the conclusion of the 2013 campaign. The plan is for the transition to be as smooth as possible while Alexander coaches Florida over the next month.

“Life and golf are so similar,” he said. “There are many ups and downs and highs and lows. Today is one of those days that stir all kinds of emotion, and it’s sad that my time has come, but I’m happy everything worked out so well. I am in a good place, as will our golf program in the future.”

Photo Credit: Tracy Wilcox/GolfWeek.com


  1. Dave Massey says:

    Another great Gator riding off into the sunset.

  2. Gator in Miami says:

    It will be tough to replace him. Do you think Foley has targets already?

  3. gatorhippy says:

    Have the pleasure of knowing Coach Alexander personally through my family’s years of support of Gator golf…

    Such a bittersweet time…celebration and sadness rolled into one…

    Thanks for the terrific and meaningful write up, Adam…

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