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Sunday November 21, 2004Former Coach Buster Bishop Passes Away at Age 84

Gainesville, FL

Long-time University of Florida men's golf coach, Bernays Emery 'Buster' Bishop, passed away on Nov. 19 at the age of 84.

Bishop, a three-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and an Honorary Letterwinner in the UF Athletic Hall of Fame, directed the school's golf program from 1964-78. In that stretch, his teams captured a pair of NCAA team championships (1968, 1973) and claimed three consecutive SEC crowns between 1973-75. In addition, Florida was the runner-up at NCAAs in both 1967 and 1974 and placed second at the league's event on seven occasions (1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1977, 1978).

Bishop guided Bob Murphy to the NCAA individual title in 1966 and helped the trio of Murphy (1965), Steve Melnyk (1969) and Fred Ridley (1975) to national amateur championships. During his 15 years in charge of the Gator golf program, 13 different student-athletes collected a total of 25 All-American honors. Gary Koch became the first four-time All-American golfer at the school under his tutelage from 1971-74.

A native of Gainesville, Bishop graduated from Gainesville High School in 1939 and earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in Physical Education from the University of Florida. Upon his graduation from UF, he went on to head the physical education program at Buchholz Junior High School. He later returned to GHS as the football coach and served as athletics director before taking a position in UF's College of Physical Education.

Surviving Bishop is his wife, JoAnn O'Donnell Bishop, and four children: Nancy, Martha, Ginny and Bernays Emery, Jr.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at First Baptist Church on 425 W. University Avenue in Gainesville.

Contributions in his name may be made to the Buster Bishop Endowment fund. For more information, please contact Gator Boosters at (352) 375-4683 x5000.

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