TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)-- It was all about Rattler pride. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University coaches, past and present, and alumni, both old and young, gathered to see the home of a former coach dedicated as a Florida historic landmark.
Alonzo "Jake" Gaither was FAMU's football coach from 1945-1969, earning a spot in a few hall of fames. He and his wife, Sadie lived at the 212 Young Street address in Tallahassee for almost 40 years. Friday it was recognized as a historic marker.
One man who grew up around the corner from Gaither's Young Street home, recalled his early interactions with the great coach.
Dexter Martin said, "I used to ride my bicycle up and down his street and Coach Gaither during his retirement, would call me up the hill and ask me questions. It's important for Tallahassee to recognize Coach Gaither for all the things he's done during segregation, meeting the mayor, etc.."
Even though Gaither won championships and helped shape FAMU Athletics many years ago, his legacy still resonates with those old and young. A volunteer at the marking ceremony explained the impact of the dedication.
Andrew Layer III said, "Even though I never met Jake Gaither, I know he's had big impacts on the community and FAMU as a whole. So I think it's good they made a landmark for the younger generations growing up."
Gaither held one of the best records in American College football, winning more than 200 games, coaching players to be what he called "mobile, agile, and hostile."