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Archie W. Dabney

Archie W. Dabney Jr.
Archie W. Dabney Jr.

Surrounded by family and friends, Archie W. Dabney, Jr. (better known as “Coach”) peacefully transitioned to his Heavenly Home on Sunday, May 21, 2023. 95 years old at the time of his passing, Coach was born on March 8, 1928, to Archie W. Dabney, Sr. and Dannie Mae Chandler.

His formative years were spent in Leesburg, Florida under the loving and caring watch of his family and community. Following graduation from Lake County Training School, he worked odd jobs in New York City. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the United States Army and earned the World War II Victory Medal for his service during World War II. Coach matriculated at North Carolina A&T State University where he excelled academically and in sports. In 1993, he was inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame for his outstanding performances in football and men’s track and field. Coach earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in Physical Education and a minor in History and a master’s degree in Education from NCA&T. He also became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

His professional career began in 1952 in Bowling Green, VA where he discovered his love for teaching. After two years, he was enticed to return to Florida where he taught in Leesburg, Wildwood, and eventually in Inverness at the all-black Booker T. Washington High School. As well as fulfilling his teaching responsibilities at the school, he also coached football, basketball, track, and baseball. Although he loved winning games, he was always more concerned with developing productive citizens. After the schools were integrated, he transferred to Crystal River High School.

During his illustrious 40+ years in the Citrus County School System, he served in many different capacities, including guidance counselor, science teacher, multi-sports coach, assistant principal, and principal. Through all of his roles, he constantly demonstrated his love for people and utilized his unique ability to make everyone feel special.

Coach was preceded in death by his wife Doris Dabney and sons William Franklin Dabney, Gregory Dabney and Leon Taylor. Leaving to mourn his passing are five children: Cecil J. Robinson (Jacqueline) of Oklahoma City, OK, Tommy Greene (Dorothea) of Leesburg, FL, Anthony Dabney of Crystal River, FL, Dana Dabney Workman of St. Augustine, FL, and David Dabney of Gainesville, FL.; twenty-six grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.

A public viewing will be held on Friday, May 26, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at St. James AME Church (202 N. Apopka Ave, Inverness, FL). At 7:00 p.m., the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Memorial Service will begin at the church. Another public viewing will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Crystal River High School Gymnasium and will be immediately followed by the funeral at 11:00 a.m. (3195 Crystal River High Dr., Crystal River, FL). Interment will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 30, at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL (6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell, FL).

The family has established the “Coach Archie W. Dabney Scholarship Fund” to honor Coach’s commitment to students. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations to the scholarship fund be made to the Citrus County Education Foundation at www.citruseducation.org. Checks can be made payable to “CCEF” and mailed to P.O. Box 2004, Inverness, FL 34451.

Please write “Coach Dabney” in the memo section.

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