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Frank Rex Gourdouze

December 20, 1920 ~ December 26, 2017 (age 97)

Frank was born on December 20, 1920 in Bicknell, Indiana. He graduated from Bicknell High School in 1939. He played basketball, baseball, football and track and field. In 1939, he was chosen the basketball team captain and named to the first Southern Indiana All-Star Basketball Team. He attended Indiana State University on a baseball scholarship. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during WW II leaving with the rank on Ensign.

He started his coaching career at the Naval Training Station in Boston in both basketball and baseball where he lead the basketball team to the East Coast Service Team Championship. After WWII, Frank briefly resumed his athletic career as a professional baseball player with the Florida State League in Orlando, Florida. He then set out on his 23 year high school basketball coaching tenure in Indiana.

His first coaching position was in Worthington, Indiana where he met and married Grace Leola Dyer. His coaching took him to Beaver Dam, Fayetteville, Jasonville, Westfield (1961 County Tournament Champions), Switz City and Paoli (1968 and 1969 Sectional Tournament Champions), all of Indiana before moving to Alabama to teach and coach at Southern Union State Junior College in Wadley. In 1973 and 1978, Frank was named National Coach of the Year by the N.S.C.A.A. In 1978, the basketball team won the National Championship making history as the first national Championship in basketball in the state of Alabama and was formally recognized by the Alabama House of Representatives for this achievement. In his tenure at Southern Union, he coached in 10 national championships serving as the coach for the South All-Star Team in 1979 and 1980. He is the only coach in Alabama Junior College history to be honored with Conference Coach of the year in both basketball and baseball. He received induction into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Alabama Junior College Athletics.

Frank was interred at Wothington Cemetery Indiana next to his wife of 58 years. We want to thank all those who befriend our family over the years.

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