Thomas “Tom” Jackson Owen

By  | November 12, 2022 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

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Thomas “Tom” Jackson Owen, 90, of Huntsville, passed away Wednesday. Tom grew up in Webster, FL, and graduated from Florida State with a BS degree in 1954. He played football for Florida State and met his wife while they were both students and they married in 1953. Tom coached at Webster High School before he was drafted into the Army, where he coached the runner up to the National Champion. Later he coached at Bradenton, Ft. Lauderdale, Eustis, and Daytona Beach high schools.

Tom earned a master’s degree from the University of Florida, and an AA degree from Alabama A&M University. He was coaching at Daytona Beach High School when Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was made aware that Huntsville High was looking for a head football coach. Coach Bryant recommended Tom as the best coach in the country. Tom was offered the position and served as head coach from 1964-1975. Tom took two teams to state championship games, coached all-star teams in Alabama and Florida, and was inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. Tom served as principal of Lee High School from 1976 until his retirement in 1994. During his time at Lee, he also taught history at Calhoun Community College.

Known for being a very successful coach and mentor, he coached many outstanding players who went on to careers as doctors, lawyers, a space shuttle commander, and a space shuttle pilot.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Mary Joiner Owen; sons, Thomas Jackson Owen III (Deborah), and Tighe J. Owen (Pam); grandchildren, Ashley Owen Powell (Pate), Dr. Matthew Thomas Owen (Molly), Tighe J. Owen, Jr., and Callie Marie Owen; and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Monday, November 14 at First Baptist Church. The service will follow at the church with Dr. Travis Collins officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church (

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