Gaither baseball coach Frank Permuy, the program’s only head coach since the school opened in 1984, has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
Permuy said he will step down after his 31st season at Gaither, putting a close to one of the most prolific coaching careers in Hillsborough County history.
A native of Tampa and graduate of Plant High, the 70-year-old Permuy has been a fixture in local high school baseball for six decades. He has won more than 550 games, a state championship, and been inducted into two Halls of Fame.
After graduating from the University of Tampa in 1971, Permuy took over as head coach at Leto and won a co-conference championship the next year. He later moved on to the University of Tampa, where he coached two top 10-ranked Division II teams in the 1970s.
Permuy returned to high school coaching in 1982, when he took over the program at Tampa Catholic. He won a Class 3A state title that year and was named Class 3A state coach of the year.
His next — and final — stop was at Gaither, where he has guided the Cowboys to eight district championships and six Western Conference titles. Permuy led Gaither to the 2005 5A state championship game, where the Cowboys lost 3-0 to Davie Nova.
Permuy was later elected to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
Permuy, who is currently recovering from gallbladder surgery, said he plans to return to the team soon.
The Cowboys are 9-8 overall and 5-3 in District 7A-9. They play at Middleton on Saturday.