The women’s soccer coach on retirement, teams and, yes, those inevitable tears.
After 26 seasons as the only soccer coach Florida has ever known, Becky Burleigh coached her last match this spring.
She finished with 431 victories – the second most ever by a Division 1 coach – 14 SEC championships and 22 NCAA appearances. Oh, and that one amazing national title in 1998.
Burleigh was actively involved with her teams and with the campus community. We all feel fortunate that she is not going anywhere and will continue to live in Gainesville.
I have to say that she is high on my list of favorite coaches at Florida because she was always accessible, always had a smile and won at such a high rate.
Count this grizzled veteran among the many people who will miss her being on the pitch (see, I do know some soccer terms).
I hope this isn’t our last interview, but I decided to throw 14 questions at her – one for every SEC title she won at Florida.
It was more like I wanted to do some things that aren’t allowed in my rhythm of coaching because of the time restraints. COVID was saying, you better do them while you can.
That’s a hard one. I don’t know if I could pick one.
One of the things I loved was being in the Lem [Lemerand Center] because there was such a large group of coaches. The Lem had its own vibe. Everyone was jealous of it because we had more fun. I’m sad in a way, even though I’m happy soccer is getting a new building, but I’m happy I’m going out in the Lem.
It’s something I had volunteered my time to. It’s really cool, actually, because it’s coaching but it’s all sports. It keeps me involved in coaching in a different way and hopefully inspires a new generation of coaches.
I’m going to travel. I want to do some fall things. I want to go to the U.S. Open [tennis] and see a change of seasons.