Claude L. Stoutamire

January 18, 1924October 7, 2013
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Claude “Coach" Stoutamire, born in 1924 and member of the 4th generation Leon County pioneer family, died October 7, 2013. He graduated from Leon High School where he was a standout in basketball and track, holding the state records for many years in the high jump. After high school, he joined the Army and left for basic training at Camp Blanding on June 24, 1943. He served proudly until his honorable discharge in 1946. His service to his country 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 was a standout player on the court and participated in one of the first true national tournaments held for intercollegiate basketball. He was the leading scorer on the team three years and also made honorable mention All American. He also lettered four years in track and holds the conference high jump record at 6'4". 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 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 and in the first five years he produced two conference championships. He was also a fearless drivers education teacher and loveably tormented P.E. teacher. As an active part of the Big Bend community, he was a founding member of the Soapstone Hunting Club of Gadsden County.

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 their families; and his great grandchild "Muff" Mary Catherine. A well know animal lover, he also leaves behind his beloved dogs, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, and deer.

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.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Claude L. Stoutamire

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Bill Palmer

October 19, 2013

I am sorry for your loss. Coach was mentor to me and many other young men. He had a unique way of communicating. I can only remember snippits of our conversations but one in particular comes to mind. On one occasion, all he said to me was, "well?" This particular discussion occurred after I had surgical correction of a break of the 5th metatarsal on my right hand, suffered during practice in the old gym prior to the '64-'65 season. "Well?", Coach said. I haven't thought about it in years. Now, it hits me like Bill Stanfield. This was a teachable moment. Coach did a lot of that. Coach did not lecture me about my anger and my temper tantrums. He subtly gave me the message, which I learned. I continue to learn from his lessons. If I can be half the man Coach Stoutamire was, I'll do fine.

Ruth Godfrey

October 17, 2013

I'm so sorry to learn of your loss, and glad I had the chance to see at least some of you recently. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Godspeed to a beloved friend. Time passes but does not dull the memories of such good times.

Nellie Godfrey Baumgarten

October 16, 2013

There are so many wonderful memories of our Dog Island extended family. Coach Stoutamire also took me from study hall to get papers for my driving test and due to a new state law I came back with my license. Mother was a grey lady in the clinic that year and in shock. Much love to the family and prayers that you will be comforted by your memories. He was such a kind and gentle man.

Walter Rowell

October 15, 2013

Sometimes you are blessed to meet a true gentleman that leave a lasting impression. Mr. Stoutamire was one of those men.

Clayton Neal Ryan

October 15, 2013

I was saddened to learn of your passing and I've had a heavy heart since then. You were someone I've always admire and patterned a portion of my life after. I was always pleased to call you cousin and often bragged to my friends about my favorite college basketball player who was an All-American and proved my point when Northwestern came to Mobile to play Spring Hill and won -- one of the best nights of my growing up years. My love to Barbara and your family

Carol Price

October 14, 2013

Dear Ric, Becky and family,

I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Cathy Van Atta

October 14, 2013

Casey, I'm sorry for your loss. I know how special your Grandfather was to you and your family.

Judy Laster

October 14, 2013

Coach you will be missed by all who were blessed to have known you. I am glad God allowed our paths to cross all those years ago. To your family I send my deepest sympathy.

Debi Lischer Mullenioux

October 14, 2013

Uncle Claude, always kind, patient and generous. I have beautiful memories of time with him on Dog Island and he always made us feel welcome and loved. He was one of those from the Greatest generation of our country and our family. We will miss him always.

Carol Nunn Midler

October 14, 2013

Coach Stoutamire was a true gentleman and made this world a better place.