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Frederick William "Fritz" Buchholz

Inducted 2001

Frederick William "Fritz" Buchholz, who died in 1965 at the age of 80, was instrumental in the founding of the Florida High School Athletic Association in 1920.

During his long career of public service, Buchholz was a teacher, coach, principal, author and member of the Florida House of Representatives, where he sponsored school-related legislation.

Known as "the father of football," Buchholz coached Gainesville High School's first football team in 1914, when GHS was located on West University Avenue, and serve as principal there from 1917 until 1951. He served the FHSAA as vice president from 1920 through 1923, again from 1925 through 1929, as president from 1929 through 1933, and as executive secretary – a precursor to the position of Commissioner – from 1933 through 1936.

When Gainesville High School opened the doors at its current location on Northwest 13th Street in 1955, the original GHS became F.W. Buchholz Junior High School, the first junior high school in Alachua County.

Buchholz was heavily involved in Gainesville High School's expansion from a small brick building housing first through 11th grade to a senior high school complete with science laboratories, an auditorium, a cafeteria and a library. He also had a hand in the development of the two new elementary schools, J.J. Finley and Sidney Lanier.

Upon its opening in 1971, Buchholz High School in west Gainesville remains his most visible mark on the community.

Buchholz's influence was felt in many other areas of the community besides education. A member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Rotary Club, he wrote the history of Alachua County in 1929.

Born in Hillsborough County in 1885, Buchholz attended graduated from the Florida State College (later named Florida State University) in 1905. He was the state of Florida's first Rhodes Scholar.