Former FAMU head football coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither’s home was honored Friday as hundreds of supporters showed up to the unveiling of the landmark sign in the yard of the home.
Gaither has gained yet another honor to add to his collection with the official honoring of his old residence on Young Street right off of FAMU’s campus. Gaither and his wife Sadie lived there for 40 years as Gaither blazed his path to becoming a legend with a record of 204-36-4, and six black college national championships during his tenure as head Coach.
Andrew Martin, a Tallahassee native grew up in the neighborhood where Gaither resided was nostalgic when speaking on his interactions with the coach, and his impact on the community.
“It’s important for Tallahassee to recognize coach Gaither for all the things he’s done during segregation,” 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.”
Donte Fields a freshman physical therapy student from Tampa, Florida recognizes Gathers historical meaning to FAMU despite not being able to witness it.
“Although, I never met Gaither, I know he was of immense importance to FAMU,” Fields said. “He has a statue, golf course, and gymnasium named after him so his legacy will live on forever.”
Dante Green a senior business administration student from Plant City, Florida feels that Gaither helped create an opportunity for the current notoriety of the current black student-athlete.
“Without a doubt Jake Gaither is responsible for where the black student athletes are today,” Green said. “When FAMU was constantly beating white schools with black athletes he helped open the door to help end segregation in college sports changing the landscape forever.”
If you are interested in visiting the landmark the address is 212 Young Street Tallahassee, Florida 32301.