News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

April 4, 2007

Given to Fly: North grad in center of Gator celebrations

TERRE HAUTE — A member of Terre Haute North’s state-finalist golf teams in 1978 and 1979, University of Florida professor Greg Moreland doesn’t find time to hit the links nearly as often as he did in high school.

One reason is he’s too busy cheering on the football and basketball teams with the rest of Gator Nation.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Moreland said of Florida’s successful defense of its national basketball title on the heels of a football national title. “My wife and I are hard-core sports fans and boosters of the basketball program since 1994. I find it hard to put into words. I’ve just been walking around with a grin on my face for I don’t know how long.”

An avid sports fan before making a new home in Florida, Moreland has celebrated many Florida athletic triumphs over the years, including the Gators’ run to the Final Four under coach Lon Kruger in 1994.

Moreland, who graduated from North in 1980 and from Indiana State with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1985, has been in Gainesville, Fla., since then.

He finished his doctorate in spanish-american literature in 1996 at the University of Florida, which happens to be the same year Billy Donovan took over the Gators’ men’s basketball program.

Moreland teaches a class called “business and culture of sports in the spanish-speaking world.” At times, he finds that he and his students end up talking about Gator football and basketball.

The Gators are certainly the talk of the country right now after becoming the first starting five to win back-to-back titles.

“I’ve been trying to impress upon my students that they’re living unprecedented history,” Moreland said. “Your grandkids are going to be asking you, ‘What was it like when the Gators were winning all those national titles?’

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