Cliff Kimsey played fullback, tailback and blocking back at Georgia from 1939 to 1941.
Photo: Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
Photo: Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Cliff Kimsey, oldest UGA football letterman, dies at 94

Cliff Kimsey, Georgia's oldest living football letterman, died Tuesday at his home in Cornelia, Ga. He was 94.

Kimsey shared a backfield with Georgia Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich and Lamar "Racehorse" Davis from 1939 to 1941. He was named All-SEC as a blocking back in 1941 and caught a 60-yard touchdown pass in Georgia's win over TCU in the 1942 Orange Bowl. He was awareded UGA's Outstanding Senior Athlete Award in 1942.

 At Georgia, Kimsey also lettered in baseball and as a pitcher for the Bulldogs he finished his senior year with a 4-0 record and a .345 batting average.

Immediately after graduating from Georgia he joined the Army and served in the Pacific.

After the war and began coaching high school football. He coached at Cedartown High School followed by a stop at Parker High School in Greenville, S.C.

He served five years as an assistant football coach - under fellow Bulldog J.V. Sikes - at the University of Kansas from 1948-53.

He returned from Kansas in 1953 and began a 27-year career at Cornelia Bank, serving as president and chairman of the board.

Kimsey was a member of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Northeast Georgia Hall of Fame, the Habersham County Ring of Honor, and the University of Georgia Chapter of the Gridiron Secret Society.  He was a former member of the Georgia State Board of Education.

Memorial services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at First Baptist Church of Cornelia.

Read and sign the online guestbook for former UGA football player Cliff Kimsey


UGA's Loran Smith wrote this tribute to Cliff Kimsey in 2012, on the occasion of Kimsey perhaps belated induction into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Smith, writing of the "stocky Cornelia native," noted it was "hard to gain a bunch of headlines when you are in the backfield with Frank Sinkwich, who happened to be Kimsey's roommate."

Cliff Kimsey left college and joined the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. AJC writer Mark Bradley wrote this column about other WWII-era players who went "from the football field to the battlefields."

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