BIRMINGHAM, AL (WIAT) – For 15 years Alan Kaufman led the UAB men’s golf program, on Friday, the 76 year old decided it was time to come to the clubhouse. The veteran head coach is retiring after wrapping up his 15th season since assuming the reins in 1998.
Kaufman has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Blazers program. He will remain with the program as the Director of Golf, concentrating on fund-raising. Alan Murray, who has been assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s programs the past three years, will serve as UAB’s interim men’s head coach. Murray, from Bray, Ireland, was a standout player at the University of Toledo from 1998-2002 and earned all-conference honors with the Rockets. He played on the European Challenge Tour and the Europro Tours before coming to UAB.
Kaufman helped develop one of the world’s top pro golfers, Graeme McDowell. He was an All-American golfer with the Blazers in 2001 & 2002. McDowell also became the first golfer in UAB history to become No.1 in both major college polls under Kaufman’s tutelage.
“Alan has been an instrumental part of our Blazer family for a long time and we are extremely grateful to him for all the contributions he has made to UAB,” UAB Director of Athletics Brian Mackin said. “His accomplishments leading our golf program speak for themselves. He has taken the program to new heights and has served as a great example for the players he has coached, both on and off the golf course.”
“I’ve been thinking about this for about a year,” Kaufman said. “I realized that someday you had to stop, and I also realized with the progress that Alan Murray was making in coaching, it was obvious to me that he was going to take over for me or he was going to end up going somewhere else. He fits in great with the team, they have a lot of respect for him. It’s just a natural time to leave.”
During Kaufman’s tenure as coach, UAB has made seven NCAA Regional appearances, as well as four appearances in the NCAA Nationals. In the program’s first berth in the NCAA Championships, in 2001, the Blazers finished 12th in the final standings.
Information provided by UAB Sports Information Department.