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Fork Union's Legendary Coach Fletcher Arritt Passes Away at Age 79

Thursday, June 17, 2021


The Fork Union Military Academy family and entire basketball community is mourning the passing of Virginia Sports Hall of Fame basketball coach Fletcher Arritt who died Wednesday, June 16, at the age of 79. Arritt, a 1960 alumnus, worked at the Academy for 46 years as a basketball coach and biology teacher. 

Arritt first arrived at Fork Union Military Academy as student in 1959, playing basketball for Coach Bill Miller and earning the role of team co-captain. He earned a scholarship to the University of Virginia, playing on their varsity team. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education degree in Human Biology from the University of Virginia, Arritt returned to Fork Union Military Academy in 1966 where he accepted a position as a biology teacher.

In 1970, Arritt took over as the head postgraduate basketball coach after four years as an assistant to Coach Miller. Over the course of the next 46 years, Arritt developed many young men in his classroom and on the basketball court. He sent at least 400 players on to play at the college level, about 200 of them in Division I, with dozens going on to professional careers in basketball with the NBA and international leagues.

As head basketball coach, Arritt compiled a career record of 889 wins and 283 losses.

Billy Donovan, former coach of the University of Florida Gators whose teams won consecutive NCAA National Championships in 2006 and 2007, stated it simply in speaking of Coach Arritt in an interview a few years ago, saying, "He has to go down as one of the greatest coaches of all time."

He and his wife, Betty Jean, raised two sons, Benjamin and Fletcher,III, and a daughter, Amy, during their time at Fork Union. Arritt retired from the Academy in 2012.

A biography of Arritt titled "Body, Mind, Spirit, and Basketball" has been produced by author Bethany Bradsher and has just been published. Hardback and paperback copies of the book are available at, and the Kindle edition is available on Amazon.

Visitation and Funeral Information

Saturday, June 19

  • A family visitation will be held at the Thomas Gymnasium on the Academy's campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All are welcome to come share stories about Coach Arritt. 
  • Another visitation will also be held at the same time, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Fork Union Baptist Church. (4745 James Madison HWY)
  • The funeral will be held at the Fork Union Baptist Church at 2 p.m.
  • A private interment will follow the service for family members only. 


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