Archive for Saturday, March 19, 2005

Prentice Gautt, Lawrence

March 19, 2005


Services for Prentice Gautt, 67, Lawrence, will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.

Mr. Gautt died Thursday, March 17, 2005, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

He was born Feb. 8, 1938, in Oklahoma City. He graduated from Douglass High School in Oklahoma City, and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma. He received a master's of education and doctorate in counseling psychology in 1995 from the University of Missouri.

Mr. Gautt was the first black football player at OU; he played from 1956 to 1959. He received All-American, Academic All-American, and all-conference honors, and he was MVP for the 1959 Orange Bowl. He was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor and OU Sports Hall of Fame, and he was identified in the NCAA Visitor's Center. He played in the National Football League for eight years with the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Cardinals and retired in 1967.

He received the MU College of Education Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award in 2001, OU Distinguished Service Citation in 1987, and honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from OU in 2003. The OU athletic study center was named the Prentice Gautt Academic Center in 1999, and the Big 12 post-graduate scholarship program was renamed in his honor in 2004.

Mr. Gautt was named assistant commissioner of the Big 8 Conference in 1979 and associate commissioner of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. He served on many committees and was secretary and treasurer of the NCAA. He worked for nearly 25 years in athletics administration. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, where he served in many leadership roles. He was also a former member of the advisory board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

He married Sandra Whayne on June 5, 1971, in Kirkwood, Mo. She survives, of the home.

Other survivors include a son, Roger, Houston; and a sister, Loretta Davis, Atlanta.

A son, Rory, died earlier.

Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

The family will receive friends from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church before the services.

The family suggests memorials to the OU Foundation, the Prentice Gautt Academic Center, sent in care of the Sooner Club, 180 W. Brooks St., Suite 3575, Norman OK, 73019 or the Prentice Gautt Big 12 Post-Graduate Scholarship Fund, sent in care of the conference, 2201 Stemmons Freeway, 28th Floor, Dallas 75207.

E-mail condolences may be sent to, subject: Gautt.

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