The 1960 Lovett School varsity football team coached by Jimmy Thompson.

Jimmy Thompson, one of Tech’s ‘Pony Backs’ dies

Lovett School’s first head football coach

James Ellis “Jimmy” Thompson, one of the “Pony Backs” for the Georgia Tech football team in the 1950s, died last month. He was 85.

After winning two state championships at Bessemer High in Alabama, Thompson played running back for Tech and coach Bobby Dodd from 1954-56. He was nicknamed “The Darling of the West Stands.” Tech lost only five games during Thompson’s tenure, going 27-5-1, and winning the Cotton, Gator and Sugar bowls. In 1954, Thompson led the SEC in yards per carry at 9.4 yards. Over his career, he compiled 985 yards on 166 carries with eight touchdowns.

Thompson went on to become the Lovett School’s first head football coach (1959-61).

Thompson is survived by his wife of 61 years, Anne Mabry Thompson, sons, Jim Thompson (Sissy) of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Tim Thompson (Jim) of Chicago; and Curt Thompson (Renee) of Columbus. Grandchildren include Mac Thompson, Cole Thompson, Ryan Harper (Sam), and James Thompson. Step-grandchildren include Nicole and Luke Renwick. He also is survived by his two sisters Sandy Lawson of Hueytown, Ala., and Cathy Meelheim of Berryville, Va., and their children.

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