Photo courtesy of UAA Communications and Te'a Startz

Investing in the future

How Cade Kurland is strengthening his future on and off the baseball field

Cade Kurland enrolled at Florida with the goal of being a professional baseball player one day, but he also wanted to have a backup plan in place.

Kurland grew up in Tampa where his parents stressed the importance of saving money and even taught him about the importance of investing. It turned into a passion for Kurland (BSBA ’26) and made finance an easy choice for his major when he enrolled at UF.

“Baseball has always been a main part of life, but I know there’s life after baseball,” Kurland said. “I wanted to pursue something that was meaningful. My dad taught me to save money and invest, and I’ve developed a passion for how money works.”

Kurland has been managing his investments for years with the help of his father, a lawyer in the Tampa area. The finance curriculum has played an important role in giving him deeper knowledge about investments.

That was especially clear to Kurland during his winter break. One of his father’s closest friends is a business mogul in Tampa, and Kurland and his father went to visit him for lunch at his new restaurant. As they spoke about the mogul’s businesses, Kurland saw how much he has learned about finance through his first three semesters at the UF Warrington College of Business.

“I realized how prepared I was because they were using finance terms that I knew and understood, and I was able to participate in the conversation,” Kurland said. “I was proud of that.”

Kurland’s college experience started earlier than most. He committed to play baseball at Florida early in his high school career, but he chose to skip his senior year at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa and enroll in college a full year early. He had to take the SAT and three English classes before enrolling during the fall of 2022.

“The first few weeks were surreal,” Kurland said. “It didn’t feel real and I couldn’t believe I was here. I had so many people supporting me here, and I’m so thankful for that. It helped me get settled in quick.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Despite being a year younger than most college freshmen, Kurland hit .297 while serving as the leadoff hitter for Florida most of the season. He also had 17 home runs, the most by a second baseman in a single season in UF history and the second-most all-time home runs by any Florida freshman.

Florida made it to the College World Series and was the national runner-up while Kurland was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball and Perfect Game. He also earned First Team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC honors.

He’s off to a strong start during his sophomore season as well, batting .290 and hitting five home runs as Florida is 6-3 in SEC play and ranked No. 6 in the country.

As the Gators continue through their season, the spring semester creates some unique challenges. Baseball players spend so much time on the road during the spring that most of them take online classes only. That often means players spend time during their road weekends watching lectures, working on projects or studying.

“Balancing both is a time commitment,” Kurland said. “Baseball is a big priority, so I have to make sure I get work I need in baseball and also make sure I’m putting in work to succeed in my classes.”

As he works towards his finance degree, Kurland is still deciding how he wants to use it. He plans to pursue baseball as long as he can, but whenever that comes to an end, he’ll have a strong finance background to use while pursuing the next stage of his life.

“There’s life after baseball,” Kurland said. “It won’t always be there, so you have to have something to plan for in the future.”