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Phillip Rountree

Inducted 2000

Phillip Rountree, 80, once a coach and athletic director at Chipley High School and administrator for the Florida Department of Education, enjoyed a career in education that spanned 46 years.

Rountree graduated from Chipley High School in 1941 and attended the University of Florida for one year before joining the Army. He served in the Phillipines and Japan from 1943 to 1945 during World War II and achieved the rank of captain. When he returned home, Rountree enrolled at Florida State University, where he was co-captain and quarterback of the Seminoles’ first football team in 1947 – completing the first pass in school history.

Rountree graduated from FSU in 1948 and returned to Chipley High School. There, he served as athletic director and coached the Tigers’ baseball, basketball and football teams from 1949 through 1953 – compiling a record of 37-10-3 in football and 75-35 in basketball. He served as principal of Kate M. Smith Elementary School in Chipley from 1954 to 1967 before being hired as a consultant by the Florida Department of Education. While working with DOE, Rountree supervised a model recreation program at Melrose Elementary School in Columbia County that received national recognition. He also wrote the concept for the Commissioner of Education Student Recognition Awards Program, which recognizes students’ achievements in total fitness, and served on the committee that developed the first Florida Coaches Manual produced by the Department of Education. He retired as DOE Program Administrator for Area I (Escambia to Taylor counties) in 1995.

Rountree has spent much of his life in leadership positions, many times laying a foundation for his successors. He was the first Student Body President at Chipley High School, where he lettered in football and baseball. He served as FSU Student Body President in 1947 and was a charter member of Gold Key Honorary.

Rountree is also involved in a number of community activities. He is an active member of First Baptist Church of Chipley, where he is a deacon, and the Chipley Quarterback Club - Tigers 100. He was elected to the Washington County School Board District II in 1992, re-elected in 1996, and ran unopposed in 2000.

Rountree married his high school sweetheart, Connie Coleman. She passed away in 2001. Rountree has one son, Redus, and two granddaughters.