Former UF player in need of kidney


Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Vince Kendrick, the first African-American captain of the football Gators, is facing a challenge far tougher than any Alabama, Georgia or Tennessee. At 54, one kidney is functioning at 8 percent and the 1971-73 fullback is applying for a transplant.

"My second family is the University of Florida," said Kendrick, whose brother Preston was a 1972-74 defensive end. "There were only four black players on coach Doug Dickey's team. We dealt with threats and a lot of tough times."

Vince's wife, Greta, died at 30 from a blood clot. "I raised our son, Vinny, and he turned out great, graduating from the Air Force Academy where he played football. At 31, he is a captain serving at Eglin."

Kendrick remarried in 1990 to Altermease, "a minister and a wonderful wife." He said, "I've had a good life. Altermease had three children before we married and they're 25, 33 and 36. We've been blessed."

He added, "We weren't ever SEC champions but I remember some good times, like the Gators winning at Auburn for the first time (Vince switched to tailback and was the leading rusher). Nat Moore was my roommate and an incredible talent who became a star with the Miami Dolphins."

Kendrick was a member of the UF coaching staff 1979-83 but then went into municipal recreation. Since 1999, he has been Deerfield Beach's parks director. "I'm eager to get on the transplant list, and I will be going into dialysis," he said. "This could take one to five years. I'm praying for as short a wait as possible."

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