Claude Taliaferro, educator and longtime Head Football Coach at Roosevelt High School in Gary, died December 22, 2015. He is survived by Wife Barbara; daughter Gina; son Michael (Kelly); grandchildren Anthony and Jordyn; brothers George (Viola) and Rozell “Pete”, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. Taliaferro was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He graduated from Roosevelt in 1950. He played at Illinois from 1950 through 1952 and was part of the Illini’s 1952 Rose Bowl team which beat Stanford. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1952 through 1956.
He then went to Tennessee State and Played for an undefeated team, which won the black college championship at the Orange bowl.
He returned to Gary and coached the Partners football team from 1971 through 1992. In 1983, “Velt became the first Gary School to qualify for the state football playoffs, playing a classic game at Hobart’s Brickle Bowl. He sent 20 athletes to Division I schools and 12 to D-II programs. He had three players make it to the NFL. Brian Gant (Tampa Bay), Lawrence Johnson (Cleveland) and Tony Smith (Kansas City).