CLAUDE T. PAXTON, J. S. CLARK HIGH SCHOOL

paxton 58-60

Claude T. Paxton (1919-1995)

Dedicated                  Demanding        Competitive          Commanding

Born in Smithfield, Virginia, reared in Long Branch, New Jersey and developed into a New Jersey High School Hall of Fame Track/Field athlete, he accepted a track scholarship to attend Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, coached by Ralph Metcalf, a former Olympian/gold medalist. Coach Paxton excelled in Track/field as a hurdler. long jumper, triple jumper and played football as a walk-on. His collegiate career was interrupted by military duty serving four years with the 761st  Tank Battalion, the first all-black unit to go into combat in World War II. He received a B.S. degree in Physical Education from Xavier University in 1945 and Master of Education from Southern University in 1971. He began his teaching /coaching career at Gaudet Prep High School. Later, he responded to an invitation by Mr. Isaac Tatum to apply in St. Landry Parish School System. Mr. Paxton became head track and field coach and assistant football coach at St. Landry Training School and J. S. Clark High School in Opelousas, Louisiana.

Coached:      Track and Field      Basketball

Officiated:        Football                 Basketball

Milestones:

Established first Negro Little League Baseball Program at North End City Park through sponsorships

Director of Summer Recreation Program North End City Park

Organized Central Coaches Officials Association (CCOA)

Creator/Organizer of St. Landry/ J. S. Clark Relay Carnival.

Five LIALO State Track/ Field Championships

Developed Olympic Champion Hurdler, Rodney Milburn

Created “Dime Method” for developing hurdlers

Interim Track Coach at Southern University

Assistant Principal at Opelousas High School

Head Track Coach at Southern University

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

“Our youth today are our citizens of tomorrow and our destiny lies in their hands. We must develop and guide them carefully.”

Claude T. Paxton

Circa 1956

Statistician           Leader          Loyal         Vocal