How did Ernie Lanford die? Former FSU golf coach Cause of death and Obituary

Ernie Lanford, a former Dedman College of Hospitality professor and former FSU men’s golf director and coach, passed away in Las Vegas. Let’s see How did the Former FSU golf coach Ernie Lanford die and Ernie Lanford Cause of death in detail.


How did Ernie Lanford die?

Lanford, a former Dedman College of Hospitality professor and former FSU men’s golf director and coach, passed away on March 12, 2023 in Las Vegas. Lanford, who had been receiving hospice care and had been ill recently, was 85 years old.

“He was a lovely person who lived for Florida State,” 

said son Michael Lanford, 44, who now resides in Las Vegas and moved his parents from Tallahassee two years ago.


Ernie Lanford Cause of death

We’re sorry to have to inform you that Ernie Lanford has passed away. Ernie Lanford was regarded as having a friendly personality. Many people must be curious to know the Ernie Lanford cause of death in light of the recent news. Coach Ernie Lanford was identified as having stage 4 throat cancer in 2018. Coach had a stroke in December 2021, which made the situation worse. He also fell and broke his shoulder. In the end, Coach’s family understood that he and his wife Sandi could no longer care for one another because Mrs. Lanford also had serious health concerns as a result of the stroke and fall. Midway through 2022, Coach’s family relocated to Las Vegas so they could be closer to a hospital. Unfortunately, Coach Ernie Lanford passed away on March 12, 2023 in Las Vegas. Ernie Lanford cause of death has left the community inconsolable.


Who was Ernie Lanford?

In 1960, Ernie Lanford graduated from FSU with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. From 1963 through 1967, he assisted the Seminole baseball team’s head coach. He started his golfing career in Tallahassee and was the chief PGA Golf Professional at Breakers West Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida. He is a lifetime member of the PGA.

Lanford served in the U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division’s Special Forces Reserve from 1960 to 1968. He received an honourable discharge with the rank of captain. He then transferred to Brigham Young University to pursue an Ed. D. in kinesiology in 1971 after graduating from Michigan State University with a master’s degree in physical education. Top amateur and professional golfers began to view strength training differently after reading Lanford’s seminal dissertation, “The Effect of Strength Training on Distance and Accuracy in Golf”. Also, it helped Lanford land academic and athletic positions at the State University of New York at Cortland, Flagler College, Augusta State University, and Florida State University, where he won multiple conference coaching honors.

Early in the 1980s, Lanford was invited to lead the golf team at Augusta State University where he was an associate professor of kinesiology. Despite the university’s location in a city known for the illustrious Augusta National Golf Course, the site of the Master’s Golf Championship, the team had remained unremarkable. Between 1985 and 1991, the Augusta State University golf team won five Big South Conference titles under Lanford’s direction. Lanford went back to Florida State University in 1991 to work as the men’s head golf coach and director of golf. Five NCAA appearances were made by the Seminole golfers during his nine-year career. In 2000, Lanford resigned from his athletic post and took a job as the internship coordinator for the professional golf management program at the FSU Dedman School of Hospitality. He held the positions of director of player development and associate professor while on the Dedman faculty, earning the FSU University Teaching Excellence Award in 2006 and 2007.

Throughout Lanford’s nearly 60-year career, he has held a wide range of professional service positions, such as executive director of the Big Bend Junior Golf Association (1993-99) and chairman of the board of the Florida State University Varsity Club (2011–12).  Also, he wrote a golf column for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper and was involved at Florida State University teaching golf to numerous students, including veterans.


Tributes to Ernie Lanford

The passing of Ernie Lanford has sparked an outpouring of sympathy for the Lanford family from the Golf community and beyond.

Mike Martin, a former baseball coach at FSU, recalls playing numerous rounds of golf with Lanford, a lifetime PGA member,

“We called him ‘EZ Ernie,’ Golly, we had so much fun. I can still picture him on the course. He could move it (golf ball/shot selection), baby.”

A close friend Bill Woodyard, senior lecturer of legal studies and real estate in FSU’s College of Business said,

“He taught me more about golf and life and how to be a gentleman, I adored the guy. He ran that program for so many, many years. He would give everything of himself to (students). People like Ernie don’t come around often.”

Mary Jo wrote,

“Awww, rest in peace Coach🙏🏻



One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died. We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends. May he rest in peace.

Kindly use the comment box below to honor the death of Ernie Lanford by leaving a tribute.


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2 thoughts on “How did Ernie Lanford die? Former FSU golf coach Cause of death and Obituary”

  1. To my friend, EZ Erin many fond memories shared… few likely knew, in addition to his many talents, EZ was an outstanding singer of ballads…
    “Scotch and Soda” version was as good as they come. I feel blessed that our life lines crossed…rest in peace, brothers in the bond ‘58.
    Sam Durham, “Pappy”

  2. He was my freshman baseball coach in 1962. Helped me in many ways. We had a great group of ragged players that he molded into a team that would go on to the college World Series in 1963 and 1965. My first time back to FSU in 2015 was the 50th reunion of the 65 CWS team. He hadn’t changed a bit. I spent most of my work career in Massachusetts where I played took up golf on the weekends. Our golf pro hired two assistants from the FSU golf management program. They couldn’t say enough great things about Ernie. Two terrific young men. Ernie touched many lives in his long career. He will be missed.


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