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Claude "Coach" Stoutamire

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Claude "Coach" Stoutamire Obituary
Claude "Coach" Stoutamire

Claude "Coach" Stoutamire, born in 1924 and member of a 4th generation Leon County pioneer family, died October 7, 2013. He graduated from Leon High School in 1943 where he was a standout in basketball and track, holding the state records for many years in the high jump.

Following high school came three years of military service in the Army during WWII. His service to his county was one of his proudest accomplishments.

After his discharge in 1946, instead of returning to play basketball for the University of Florida, he chose to play for Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. While there he led the Gulf State Conference in scoring for three years and also made honorable mention All American. He also participated in one of the first true national tournaments held for intercollegiate basketball. In addition, he lettered four years in track and held the conference high jump record at 6'4" for many years. Due to his prowess on the basketball court and track, he was inducted into the Northwestern State University Hall of Fame in 1980. He graduated with a degree in Education in 1950 and then completed his Masters in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University. However, he was not done playing basketball, playing as a member of the two time US American Legion Basketball National Championship team.

After college, he coached one year in Louisiana and then returned home to Tallahassee to teach and coach at Leon High School. He is best known as the beloved head basketball coach from 1951-1973 where in the first five years he produced two conference championships. He was also a fearless drivers education teacher and loveably tormented P.E. teacher.

A well known animal lover, he enjoyed the company of his dogs, cats, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, donkey and deer.

He leaves behind his loving wife of 62 years, Barbara (née Richter) of Tallahassee; children, Barbara, Ric (and wife, Becky) and Chris, all of Monticello; grandchildren, John, Tori, Alex, Casey, and Jeff; and four great grandchildren including his beloved "Muff" Mary Catherine.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Big Bend Hospice of Jefferson County or Big Bend Hospice House. (1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308).

A service will be held on Tuesday, October 15th at 2:00pm at Culley's Chapel on Riggins Road.

Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Oct. 13, 2013
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