Former Florida Gators football player Bill McBride, best known for being the Democratic candidate for governor of the state of Florida in 2002, passed away Saturday at the age of 67.
McBride, whose football career with the Gators ended early due to a knee injury, suffered a heart attack while on a family vacation to Mount Airy, NC.
He made a great impact at the University of Florida, serving as treasurer of Florida Blue Key and getting inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame as a student who consistently “demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improving” the school. He most recently served on the board of directors for the Warrington College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
McBride began law school at UF but interrupted his studies in Gainesville, FL to volunteer for the Marine Corps, where he served from 1968-71. After earning a Bronze Star for valor and being discharged, he returned to the United States and taught future officers at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA.
He then finished law school and spent the majority of his career working for Holland & Knight in Tampa, FL, eventually becoming a partner in 1992 and staying in that role for nine years before retiring in 2001 to enter the political arena.
After losing the gubernatorial race to Jeb Bush in 2002, McBride returned to practicing law in Tampa. His wife, Alex Sink, wound up running for governor of Florida eight years later as the Democratic nominee in 2010.
“He was a wonderful guy and a great Floridian who knew a lot about this state and a lot about things things were important,” former state Senator and McBride’s gubernatorial running mate Tom Rossin told the Palm Beach Post. “He’ll be missed. He was a real part of this state and what it’s all about.”
OGGOA sends our deepest condolences to the McBride family.