GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – Buddy Alexander’s announcement Tuesday that he would retire as Florida men’s head coach at the end of the season surprised much of the college golf world, including the three commits from the Gators’ 2015 recruiting class.
But on Wednesday at Sage Valley Golf Club, two of the commits – Sam Horsfield of Davenport, Fla., and Jorge Garcia of Miami – said they don’t have plans to withdraw their commitments. The third commit, Kristian Caparros of Hollywood, Fla., is also playing in the Junior Invitational this week and plans to turn pro after he finishes high school.
“I didn’t find out until (Tuesday), so it was pretty shocking,” said Garcia, ranked ninth in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. “It doesn’t really change anything for me. I’m still committed with the school.
“As of right now, (assistant) coach (John) Handrigan is supposed to stay depending on who the new coach is and if he wants him there. When i find out who the coach is going to be, then I’ll talk to the coach and see if he likes me, and we’ll see what happens.”
Horsfield, Golfweek’s seventh-ranked junior, received an email from Alexander Tuesday asking him to call the Florida coach. Horsfield said he spoke with both Alexander and Handrigan Tuesday.
“We had a long talk and basically he said that he’s been coaching for 30-something years and he feels like it’s the right time to retire, and I respect his decision,” said Horsfield, who first committed to Florida on March 29. “Buddy was a big part of the reason why I picked Florida, but right now, I’m still going to Florida and haven’t made any other decisions yet.”
Horsfield’s father, Tony, said that he heard the school would pursue a new coach and likely keep Handrigan as an assistant while Alexander would stay on as a mentor. If that doesn’t happen, Horsfield is still unsure of whether he’d pursue other options.
“I really haven’t thought about it to be honest with you,” Horsfield said. “It just happened yesterday, but I’m going to talk to my parents and people around me when I get home and see what they think.”