Share This Obituary

STRAUB, PAUL FERDINAND, “Coach”, 95, went to be with the Lord on June 6, 2017, from the James Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Paul was born on June 8th, 1921 in Morgantown, West Virginia. He was the second of three boys from the union of John and Eva (Stromberg) Straub. He was preceded in death by his parents, both brothers Theodore and Conrad, and his wife Betty.

Betty (Wellacott) and Paul married May 4, 1946, after meeting each other while attending the University of Tampa. They're loving relationship blessed them with three children. Paul, as he was described in local newspapers, was an all American boy; good looking, intelligent, and an exceptional athlete.

From an early age, Paul was provided the foundation he would later need to overcome adversity, which he credited to the Ursuline Nuns at St. Francis High School in Morgantown, WV. After High School, Paul came to Tampa on an Athletic Scholarship, to play football. First at Stetson University, and then after their athletic program had been de-emphasized, transferring to University of Tampa. He lettered at UT in football, baseball, and basketball. On the football field he was given the nickname by the media of “Bullet”! An imposing running back, center, and kicker, he received Little All-American honors.

Paul enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1942 to serve our Country. Upon completion of basic training (the 6th Division Marine Unit), was deployed to Guadalcanal Island in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Tragically, during a training mission a shell exploded which wounded him so seriously, it required both legs to be amputated below the knee. Later he would say, “He felt lucky to have lived, when so many of his friends and fellow soldiers had lost their lives during the war”. That ever positive attitude, his faith in God, and perseverance would be the cast he would leave on countless young men he would coach, teach, and mentor over the next 50 years.

Post WWII, Paul was instrumental in re-establishing the football program at University of Tampa, serving as the new Head Coach. Later he would become the Director of the West Tampa Boys Club, and after earning his diploma from University of Tampa in 1948, was hired the following year by Jesuit High School. His responsibilities would include teaching history, sociology, science, physical education, and coach. He coached practically every sport during his career with Jesuit, football, baseball, basketball, track, swimming, helping many athletes reach their full potential. He had tremendous successes too, including undefeated seasons, state championships, awards and recognition, but most importantly in his own words; “imagine what it must feel like to see a man who has found glory and success in life, and to know that you influenced him and help shape his character”. His career generated many titles: Business Manager of Athletics, Teacher, Athletic Director, Alumni Relations Director, but he was best known as Coach!

The awards of his lifetime are immeasurable. He is listed in the Who’s Who in Universities and Colleges of America, the Hall of Fame at every institution where he played or coached, Florida High School Coaches Hall of Fame, Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, and hundreds more. He once said he was most proud of the Sertoma Club Humanitarian Award for Significant and Meritorious Service.

Paul is survived by daughter, Sharon Hansen (Steve Hansen), son Steven Straub, daughter Susan Lee (Clyde Arnold Lee), granddaughter Dawn Jordan (Shane Jordan), great grandchildren Caitlin and Hunter Jordan, two step grandchildren, two step great grandchildren, and two step great-great grandchildren, many nephews, many friends, and MANY STUDENTS and ATHLETES.

The family would like to thank the nurses of the James Haley VA 5 West Wing, and the wonderful staff of Arden Court of Carrollwood where Paul enjoyed living in recent years.

Visitation will be Monday, June 12, 2017 from 2:00PM-4:00PM and 6:00PM - 8:00PM @ Blount & Curry Terrace Oaks Chapel, 12690 North 56th Street, Temple Terrace, Fl. 33617. Funeral reception and Mass will be Tuesday June 13, 2017 @ Jesuit Gym starting at 4:30PM – 5:30PM Reception followed my Mass at 6PM. Graveside Service will be Wednesday June 14, 2017 (Flag Day ) 11:00 AM at Garden of Memories Cemetery with Full Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the COACH PAUL F. STRAUB ENDOWMENT FUND @ JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL, OR Shriners Hospitals for Children of Tampa, Attention Leigh Dittman