The Home of The Legendary Alonzo "Jake" Gaither

This brick house was the home of legendary Florida A&M University (FAMU) football coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither and his wife, Sadie, a FAMU English professor. The couple regularly hosted sports and public figures from the 1950s-1960s, including Florida governors. The Gaither residence also served as a second home for many FAMU football players.

Jake Gaither’s career at FAMU spanned 1937-1973, with 24 years (1945-1969) as head football coach. He held one of the best records in the history of American college football with 203 wins, 36 losses, and 4 ties. Gaither, in his own words, conditioned his players to be “mobile, agile, and hostile.” He and his loyal coaching staff produced 36 All-Americans and 42 of “Jake’s Boys” played in the National Football League.

He was a coach, teacher, mentor, father figure, and friend to his players and students. Using sports to champion civil rights, Gaither advised state and local leaders on racial matters. The award-winning coach was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. In Tallahassee, a gymnasium, golf course, recreational center, and neighborhood are named in his honor. Gaither’s epic life and legacy enshrined forever in this home, makes him an American hero.


About The Legendary Coach Alonzo "Jake" Gaither

 
 

Jake Gaither was a coach, teacher, mentor, father figure, and friend to his players and students.  Gaither was a champion of civil rights who used sports as a conduit to address racial issues plaguing our country.  Gaither frequently engaged state and local leaders concerning the most significant moral issue of the time – civil rights. 
The award-winning coach was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. In Tallahassee, a gymnasium, golf course, recreational center, and neighborhood are named in his honor. Gaither’s epic life and legacy is enshrined forever in this home.  He is truly an American hero.

Jake Gaither’s career at FAMU spanned 1937-1973, with 24 years (1945-1969) as head football coach. He held one of the best records in the history of American college football with 203 wins, 36 losses, and 4 ties. Gaither, in his own words, conditioned his players to be “mobile, agile, and hostile.” He and his loyal coaching staff produced 36 All-Americans and 42 of “Jake’s Boys” played in the National Football League. Visit JGH to be a part of the legacy.

Six Black College National Football Championships

1950, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961

National College Coach of the Year

1961, 1962, 1969


About The Jake Gaither Memorial House Foundation, Inc.

 
 

The Gaither House was the home of Jake Gaither from 1954 until his death in 1994; he shared the home with his wife, Sadie Gaither who was a long-time FAMU English professor.

The home features personal memorabilia belonging to the Gaithers, including awards, footballs, photographs, programs and trophies from Gaither’s storied tenure as one of the most prolific coaches in college football history.

Cornelius and Reché Jones purchased the house in January 2014, and since then, they have worked with several community members and partners to restore the house.  The house is now recognized as a historic landmark by the National Registry. 
The Jake Gaither Memorial House Foundation, Inc. was born out of the revitalization effort, and now the 501c (3) organization is dedicated to moving forward to advance its mission.

Our Foundation's Mission

  1. To acquire and perform extensive renovation to his home.
  2. To develop his home into a historic site dedicated to celebrating the life and accomplishments of Coach Jake Gaither, with a museum showcasing his home, personal artifacts and philosophies of this legendary coach.
  3. To provide scholarships, stipends, and grants-in- aid to post-secondary students based on their need and merit.
  4. To support institutions of higher learning in their academic and athletic endeavors.