Legendary FAMU Football Coach Leaves His Mark on Tallahassee
Alonzo S. “Jake” Gaither became head football coach of Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers in 1945 and served until his retirement in 1969, a time known as the “Gaither Era.” During his 25-year tenure, Gaither compiled a record 203 wins, 36 defeats, and 4 ties for a winning percentage of .844, the highest for any college coach of his time, with 200 victories.
Forty-two of “Jake’s Boys” went on to play in the National Football League including “Bullet” Bob Hayes, a star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys who also earned two gold medals for track during the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Recognizing the dynamic impact of his stellar coaching career, Gaither was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1975.
Today, visitors can attend events at the FAMU Jake Gaither Gymnasium, take in a round of golf or a tennis match at the public Jake Gaither Golf Course and Tennis Courts, or tour The Coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither Home, the private residence he shared for more than 40 years with his wife Sadie, now a museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jake Gaither was a devoted citizen who positively impacted FAMU, the people of Tallahassee, the State of Florida, the nation, and the world. A historic marker installed in the home’s hilltop yard heralds Gaither, who lived an epic life and left an enduring legacy as an American hero.
Golf weekend itineraries including a round at the Jake Gaither Course can be found here.
Content courtesy of www.jakegaitherstory.com