Joseph Lawrence "Hunk" Slay
Inducted 1991 (charter class)
To all who know him, he is simply, "Coach." To the hundreds he has coached, and the hundreds whose lives he has touched, he is simply, "Coach."
A graduate of Fort Pierce High School, Oglethorp University, and the University of Florida, Slay has served as football coach, athletic director and athletic coordinator in Georgia and Florida. his lifetime record is 100-40-7, with five conference championships. Slay was instrumental in the development of the Florida All-Star Football Game, and coached the South team in 1956.
During his tenure as a coach, Slay became active in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association and has held every elected office. He also served on the FHSAA Board of Directors representing the coaches association. In 1979, Slay received the Meritorious Service Award from the Florida Athletic Coaches Association as well as being inducted into the Florida Coaches Hall of Fame and was awarded a Life Membership in the Association.
During his years as coach and athletic director in St. Lucie County, he served the community as a member and officer of the St. Lucie County Recreation Board, and is still an active member. "Coach" was a driving force in the development of St. Lucie County Lawnwood Sports Complex which consists of baseball diamonds, tennis courts, fitness trail, track and Lawnwood Football Stadium, one of the finest football stadiums in Florida.
Slay retired in 1976, but was called out of retirement in 1979 to become Athletic Coordinator for the District. During this time he completed the first Athletic Policy and Procedures Handbook for St. Lucie County Schools. He was also instrumental in developing a covered play area for all of the elementary schools, which many school districts in Florida have adopted.
His philosophy has always been that "winning is awfully important, but you can't let it overshadow all other values, and that athletics and physical education must be educationally sound to be valuable."
He retired again in 1989, but continues to serve the community as a charter member of the St. Lucie County Hall of Fame Committee.
Slay was born October 14, 1916, in Biloxi, Mississippi, and resides in Fort Pierce with his wife, Barbara.