Legendary Gaither Baseball Coach Passes Away

Panayiota Lalitois

On April 19, former Gaither baseball coach Frank Permuy died of brain cancer. His legacy at Gaither High School will continue for ages.

Permuy attended Plant High School, where he played baseball for three years. Permuy earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University of Tampa. He later attended Mississippi State University, where he got his master’s degree in physical education.

He started coaching in 1971 at Leto High School, coaching their baseball team and junior varsity football team. He coached at the University of Tampa and Tampa Catholic High School before coming to Gaither. 

Permuy spent 31 years coaching at Gaither. During his time coaching the Cowboys, Permuy led the team to eight district championships and six Western Conference championships. Permuy retired in 2014 with 610 high school wins and a state championship. Gaither’s baseball stadium was named “Frank Permuy Park” in his honor. 

Permuy was awarded the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) Lifetime Membership Award and was elected into the FACA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Permuy’s younger brother Glen told Tampa Bay Times, “I think he’s probably one of the first coaches that I can recall that said, ‘Hey, you guys come out here and do more than just put on your glove and your shoes and come out here and play. This is your park.”