Friday, July 4, 2008

Gloria Satterfield

Gloria Ann Satterfield was born on March 8, 1939 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to George and Nancy Jane Satterfield. She was a graduate of Tulsa Daniel Webster High School in 1957. She graduated in 1961 from the Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha, Oklahoma (now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.) In 1962, she moved to Miami, Florida to pursue a career as a teacher and coach. She spent 15 years teaching and coaching at Riviera Junior High School and another 17 years teaching and coaching at Southridge High School. Both schools were in the Miami-Dade School District, the fourth largest school district in the United States.

In 1989, she coached her 200th victory as a softball coach at Southridge High School. It only took her 13 years at Southridge, as the schools first softball coach, to record 200 wins versus 64 losses, a 76% winning percentage. A no-nonsense perfectionist, Satterfield was honored as the Miami News Class AAAA-AAA softball High School Coach of the Year in 1983 after compiling a 22-6 record and the Greater Miami Athletic Conference, District 16AAAA and Region 8AAAA titles. She repeated Coach of the Year honors in 1987. Known to have her teams peaking at playoff time, Satterfield led Southridge to the State championship five times: 1983, ’84, ’86, ’87 and ‘88. She won three Regionals; 1984, ’86, and ’87; and two Sectionals: ’84 and ’87. In 1989, Southridge moved into the competitive Florida High School Athletic Association Fast Pitch division. Satterfield’s teams quickly adapted to the new style of softball. Her Southridge teams reached the State tournament in 1991’ and ‘92, finishing as runner-up in 1992. Her state tournament record was 3 wins and 1 loss. Her finals record was 1-1. Her overall record was 288 and 93 for a 76% winning percentage. Her teams averaged 17 wins versus 5 losses a year during her 17-year coaching reign at Southridge.

On her coaching success following her 200th victory, Satterfield had this to say:

“I am relieved that the pressure is off; 200 games seem to be a big number. I like the challenges and accomplishments of the team and I enjoy working with young people. This not only applies to softball but also to responsibilities and maturity as well.”

Satterfield’s influence was felt far beyond the athletic field as she helped mold and shape the character of thousands of students in her illustrious teaching career. Besides coaching, she taught Health and Driver Education at Southridge. Her steady and calm demeanor and compassion for the welfare of her students continued far beyond their playing careers. Many former students and players were proud to consider “Coach Satt” their friend for life. The special rapport Satterfield had with her players was never more demonstrated than the evening of her 200th career victory. Armed with 200 rolls of toilet paper (representing one roll for each 200 wins) and shoe polish, 17 of Satterfield’s players decorated the yard of her Miami home.

An active athlete who had a zest for life, Satterfield enjoyed riding her motorcycle, playing tennis, scuba diving and snorkeling, fishing and captaining her boat in the calming waters off nearby Flamingo Park. She also loved to read and enjoyed playing her guitar. She was always eager to entertain visiting relatives in her Miami home and was always proud to show off the local sites from Parrot Jungle, Miami Sea Aquarium, Miami Jai Lai, and Crandon Beach to her favorite Cuban restaurant. She also had a great devotion and love for animals including her beloved Pomeranians (of which she had many including: Dunny, Dannnielle and Spartan) and her beloved cats.

She was just as strong a role model for her family. Although she moved to Miami in 1961, she never lost touch with her family in Oklahoma. She was ever so generous and never missed a birthday, Christmas or funeral. In fact, the highlight of all of her nieces and nephews was always when the packages from Aunt Gloria arrived from Florida. Many presents were reflective of her passionate love for her beloved Southridge Spartans, Miami Dolphins, University of Miami Hurricane and Miami Heat. This tradition continued in her later life for two more generations of great nieces and nephews.

Satterfield was stricken by a massive stroke in 2003 while in Oklahoma visiting her sister Melvarain for her 75th birthday. After a brief rehabilitation and eventual return to Miami, Satterfield would move back to Oklahoma in 2006 to live her remaining years in her native Oklahoma. In the spring of 2007, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and, after a brief illness, eventually succumbed to this disease minutes before sunrise on Saturday, June 28 at her home surrounded by her loving family listening to her favorite Reba McEntire songs. Ironically, Satterfield’s final home was located in Jenks, Oklahoma a short distance from Jenks High School home of the Trojan football teams who are perennial state champions. Jenks has won 12 Oklahoma Class 6-A state football titles, the last two coming in 2006 and 07.’ A fitting, final home town for a champion.

She is survived by her sister Melvarain Hail; brother and sister-in-law Otha and Kay Wilburn; nieces Dubbie Rogers and Nancy Gamble; nieces Donna, Gloria, Carrie and Debbie daughters of George Richard Satterfield; nephew G.W. Hail, Jr.; great nieces Jacoba Ann Long, Amber Dawn Fisher, Dion Rogers and Lucy Louise SiHui Hail and great nephew Zachary Rogers; her beloved Pomeranian “Spartan” and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her mother Nancy Jane Richards; father George Satterfield; brothers, George Richard and Billy Jean Satterfield; and C.C. and Lewis Edward Kuykendall.

Once A Spartan…

A tribute to our greatness resounding loud and clear. It claims and reclaims our glory started that First year.

“All Hail thee Mighty Spartans”

Like our namesake warriors who were disciplined and brave. We earn our fame and distinction by every road we pave.

“Together we will stand"

In word which are familiar we’ve all become defined. Along the paths we’ve chosen is how we are aligned

“We’ll show our pride and spirit”

Yes, we wear red, black and silver because we can be proud. And in enthusiastic locality, our voices ring out loud

“For all throughout the land”

Twenty-eight years of merit denotes just who we are. Our loyal bonds of kinship are known both near and far

“With hopes to last forever.”

Although nothing lasts forever like the time spent at the “Ridge”. The memories live within us when crossing that next bridge

“As many years go by’

Years come and go but upon our deep reflection. The faces from the past we remember with affection

“We’ll be forever faithful”

These words still hold their meaning which time cannot erase. Although some pioneers have gone and others claimed their place

“All hail to Southridge High”

And hail to you mighty Spartans both now and in the past. The once formed ties of family forever seem to last. The banners of our colors keep flying straight and tall. And send out searching tentacles which bind us one and all. In the halls of Southridge High School you always want to be. For a Spartan once and always is true for you and me