Buddie new AD at Furman

Published 10:07 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mike Buddie of Advance left Wake Forest and became the athletics director at Furman on July 29. He had spent nine years in the athletics department at his alma mater, Wake.

“For me it was too good to pass up,” Buddie, 44, told the Winston-Salem Journal. “It’s been a goal of mine since a year or so since I retired from baseball and got my first taste of college athletics. It was something that I was intrigued with. I think my experience at Wake Forest put me in a really good position for a fit with somewhere like Furman.”

Buddie’s wife, Traci Tucker Buddie, is a Davie County native who graduated from Davie in 1991. They have two children, ages 14 and 11.

Buddie was a righthanded pitcher for three years at Wake (1990-92). In 1992 he set the school record for strikeouts in a season with 138, including 13 in one game against Florida State. Following his junior season of ‘92, he was drafted in the fourth round by the New York Yankees.

Buddie played five years in the major leagues (1998-2002), playing two years in New York and three with the Milwaukee Brewers and pitching in 87 games. He was a member of the Yankees’ 1998 World Series championship team. That year he went 4-1 with a 5.62 ERA in 24 games, two starts and 41 2/3 innings.

He retired at age 31. In five years, he went 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 131 innings.

Then Buddie returned to Wake to serve as director of Varsity Club. Then he became Associate Director of Athletics over baseball, women’s soccer and men’s golf. He also assisted in football and men’s basketball, learning his craft under Wake’s longtime AD, Ron Wellman.

Now the Buddies will move 160 or so miles to Greenville, S.C. to start their new life with the Furman Paladins.

“The people I got to meet during the process, I had a comfort level with them,” Buddie told the Journal. “It just felt like home to me. The people were supportive and bright and engaging and compassionate – the type of people that make you want to come to work every day. That’s from the student athletes to the coaches to the administration. It was the people, for sure, and then the great reputation of Furman University.

“When my wife and I came down and got to see what the city of Greenville had going, it was kind of the icing on the cake and made it a really exciting time to be apart of this.”