The Obit For Hutch Lewis

Lewis, J. Hutch
Teacher And Coach At Red Bank High For 32 Years

Chattanoogan.com, December 5, 2009

J. Hutch Lewis, 86, died on December 4, 2009.

Hutch served his country during World War II in the Army and taught and coached at Red Bank High School for 32 years.

Hutch was a legend in his own time. Not only was he an outstanding athlete in his own right – playing basketball at the University of Chattanooga, professional baseball in Kentucky, and golf at Valleybrook, he also touched the lives of hundreds of athletes during his career.

He coached boy’s basketball, baseball, golf, and football. In 1966 he was reluctantly assigned the coaching responsibilities for the girl’s basketball team and took the program from "rags to riches" in his last 15 years before retiring in 1981.

The year before Hutch took over the program, the girls record was six wins and 19 losses. By his third year, he was 25-0 and in the state tournament. Coach Lewis was honored for his contributions to Red Bank High School in 1982 when the gymnasium was named for him. He was honored as Coach of the Year for 12 years.

The legacy he leaves to all those he touched was one of love, patience, hustle, desire, spirit, grit, unselfishness, devotion and respect. His most famous quotes were: "give it a 110%," "never let up one iota," and "pivot and hold your ground."

The lives of many Red Bank athletes were shaped by his role model and the valuable life lessons that came from the "Coach." If he saw something in someone, he brought out the best in them. Kids with no chance, he gave a chance. It would be impossible to measure the far-reaching effect that he had on all his players in every sport.

Hutch was married to Donna Callahan Lewis, the love of his life, for 21 years. He is survived by his wife, Donna and his sister, Betty Thaxton; nieces, Judi Brown, Patty Losey, nephew, Tommy Thaxton; his mother and father-in-law, Herman and Doris Callahan, all of Hixson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Lewis and Lula Gooden Lewis and a sister, Hilda Lewis.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, at Hixson United Methodist Church with the Rev. Randy Martin and the Rev. Mark Gooden officiating. Entombment will follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, and from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Monday at the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Red Bank High School Athletic Department, 640 Morrison Springs Road, Red Bank, Tn. 37415, or Hixson United Methodist church, 5301 Old Hixson Pike, Hixson, Tn. 37343.

Arrangements are by Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, Tn.