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Coach & Heart Drawing by Megan Caudle

Testimonials from Jim Caudle's Friends

Add your own thoughts below. . .

Ted Hendricks

Member, Coach Caudle's 1962 Dade County Championship 15 & Under Basketball Team
Miami Springs Recreation Center Dedication, 12/20/20

Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to bring the new Community Center to Miami Springs. I went to the University of Miami, was a three-time All American defensive end. I went on to play in 4 Super Bowls, 8 Pro Bowls and 7 AFC Title games, and I was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. All of this would not have happened without the valuable experiences and lessons I learned during my early years in the Miami Springs Recreation program.

Coach Caudle taught us teamwork, concentration, determination, perseverance, the payoff of hard work, and honed our skills to become better players. I wholeheartedly support the new Miami Springs Community Center, not only because it is a great improvement on the existing outdated building, but because the activities that take place are priceless in helping all kids achieve their own personal best!


Donald K. White

Cousin, Durham, NC

Dick Stoltz

Lifelong friend of Jim, son of Ray Stoltz,
one of Jim's assistants at the Miami Springs Recreation Center
Naming of Jim Caudle Way, 12/19/20

I want to express my sincere thanks to Judi Caudle and the entire Caudle family for allowing me the honor and privilege of making some remarks today about my dear friend Jim Caudle. Jim was the most honorable and deeply decent man I ever met in my life. This ceremony to celebrate this street naming is so well deserved and fitting for this man who meant so much to so many.

I believe I can say with confidence that my comments today reflect the deep sentiments of an entire generation of boys who grew up in this community in the 1950's and 1960's and who had the extreme good fortune of having Jim in their lives. I am simply one voice. So many others could be making the identical remarks that I offer today. We are all old men now. Most of us are well into our 70's. But none of us will ever forget how this remarkable man so many decades ago helped us to arrive at this place in our lives.

My friendship with Jim lasted over 60 years. I met Jim in 1958 when I was 10 years old. I was playing little league baseball, and at that time we played on the East Drive fields, across the street from the junior high. Jim coached and ran the program. Over the next several years until I entered high school, it seems that I saw Jim just about every day of the week, just as all the other boys did. That's because in those days, there were no club teams or travel teams, just rec center sports. We all played football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in spring and summer. Jim ran all of those programs and coached all of those sports. Jim was there for all of it, day in and day out. He never missed a day.

Jim, simply put, had an innate gift. He made life, and specifically sports, enjoyable for all of us. He even made football practice fun. Seriously, who does that? As I said, Jim Caudle had a gift. On the one hand he had a commanding presence. When he spoke. . .we paid attention! On the other hand, Jim never had to raise his voice. He never screamed or yelled at any of us. . .he never cursed. . .he never got angry at us. . .he never blew up at a player or official. Jim had an inner toughness. We all knew that. He didn't have to remind us how tough he was. But make no mistake. He commanded respect from all of us boys, and we so much wanted Jim to respect us. We never wanted to disappoint him. That continued for me personally throughout my life. I wanted to make Jim proud of the life I had made for myself and my family.

When I think back to those days so long ago and I reflect on my friendship with this man, I immediately associate these words with him—integrity, civility, dignity, grace, and most importantly, humility. All of us boys had a front row seat to observe how this man carried himself each and every day. Jim was a teacher. We didn't know it at the time but he was teaching us life lessons. He was trying to get young boys ready to become good men. We needed Jim Caudle in our lives!

In 2015 when Jim was inducted into the Miami Springs Wall of Fame, I wrote him a congratulatory letter. In the letter, I said in part, "Jim, you were a born leader and gentleman and you have positively influenced countless lives. You have made a profound difference in so many lives. How many people can honestly say they changed others' lives? For all the boys who you coached back in the day, the success we may have achieved later in life can be traced back directly to the difference you made in our lives as young boys."

I read a quote many years ago in an obituary about a heroic individual. The quote was as follows: "He lived life for a purpose greater than himself." When I read that quote I thought of Jim Caudle. He never put himself first. He lived life for his faith, for Judi, for his children, grandchildren and family, for his country as a Korean war veteran, for his community with the city council, and most certainly for hundreds of us boys who owe this man a debt of gratitude that could never be repaid. Putting it as simply as possible, Jim Caudle day in and day out showed all of us the right way to do things.

Although I spent 35 years in federal law enforcement and lived most of my life on the west coast, Jim and I stayed in touch for all of these years. Over the past many years I always looked forward to returning to Miami Springs and seeing Jim. I can say with certainty that he changed my life. There are no words to describe what this man has truly meant to me for the past 60 years.

Jim Caudle will live in my heart until my last day on earth!

Thank you for so graciously allowing me to offer my remarks today. Thank you to the city for honoring my friend.

City Councilman Bob Best

Street Dedication Ceremony, 12/19/20

Testimony to a Humble Servant

We meet this morning to pay tribute, to recognize, to remember and to seal in perpetuity the selfless accomplishment in the life of one of our own.

This rendering in some small way shall demonstrate a city's acknowledgement of one who knew the meaning of community service to his nation, the art of family and the gift of respect for his fellow man.

James Caudle accomplished this—and more. Jimmy was not a pretender; he was a doer. You see, my friends, Jim took something he well knew—that being recreation and sport, and he applied this knowledge toward the betterment of both.

He had played baseball at a high level, mastered the golf links, tempered the science of coaching and realized the necessity of organization as a tool of learning and development.

James Caudle never looked back. He was in his element. Later as a city councilman, he lent his experience to the City of Miami Springs, a home that he loved.

We are sadly without Jimmy today, but every God-fearing soul well knows better. He is STILL in his element more than we know as mortal men. Rest assured that Jim is well appreciative of this memorial dedication of a portion of this thoroughfare as a central market amidst all that he loved. His wife, Judi, a City of Miami Springs pioneer in her own right, as well as his extended family (present here this day), know these words to be true.

As we go forward with our daily lives, and traverse this section of Westward Drive, let us always remember the gifts Jimmy imparted in these areas to a grateful City. As his friend, neighbor and colleague I certainly will!

The City of Miami Springs takes great pride this day by Resolution and in conjunction with Miami-Dade County to codify this city block as "James Caudle Way."

Thank you. All submissions will be approved before being published.
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