Billy Lothridge

William Lamar Lothridge (January 1, 1942 – February 24, 1996) was an American football Punter, Safety and Quarterback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins. He played college football at Georgia Tech.

Billy Lothridge
refer to caption
Lothridge with Bobby Dodd, 1962
No. 18, 10, 26, 7
Personal information
Born:January 1, 1942
Cleveland, Georgia
Died:February 24, 1996 (aged 54)
Pensacola, Florida
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school:Gainesville
(Gainesville, Georgia)
College:Georgia Tech
NFL Draft:1964 / Round: 6 / Pick: 73
AFL draft:1964 / Round: 12 / Pick: 95
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:104
Punt yards:21,792
Average punt:41
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Lothridge was a graduate of Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia where he played quarterback. He teamed with Billy Martin both at Gainesville and later in Georgia Tech to form a dominant passing/rushing attack. As a senior, he received All-State and All-Southern honors.

He accepted a football scholarship from Georgia Tech and became a starter as a junior, registering 1,006 passing yards, 6 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 478 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns.

As a senior in 1963, he posted 1,017 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 223 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. He ranked fourth in nation in scoring, tenth in punting (40.8 average) and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Roger Staubach.[1]

In 1969, he was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. In 1986, he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

Lothridge was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round (73rd overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft and by the Oakland Raiders in the 12th round (95th overall) of the 1964 AFL Draft. He signed with the Cowboys to be a punter and placekicker.

As a rookie, even though he tore a ligament in his left knee in training camp, he was named the team's punter and third-team quarterback. His net punting average of 37.9 yards wasn't reached by another Cowboy until the 2006 season (Mat McBriar-38.6 yards). He also tied a franchise record with a 75-yard punt in the fifth game against the New York Giants.

On August 29, 1965, he was traded along with a fourth round draft choice (#54-Rod Sherman) to the Baltimore Colts, in exchange for the rights to future All-Pro Ralph Neely.[2]

Baltimore Colts

Lothridge was sold by the Baltimore Colts to the Los Angeles Rams before the start of the 1965 season.[3]

Los Angeles Rams

After playing in 9 games he was waived on November 17, 1965.[4]

Atlanta Falcons

On November 25, 1965, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as one of the team's original players.[5] He won the NFL punting title in 1967 with a 43.7 average and repeated the next year with a 42.8 average, while receiving All-Pro honors.[6] In 1968, he was also a starter at safety and had 3 interceptions.[7] He retired before the start of the 1971 season, but was brought back when the team experienced punting problems.[8] He was waived before the start of the 1972 season.[9]

Miami Dolphins

On November 22, 1972, he was signed by the Miami Dolphins to replace an injured Larry Seiple. Even though he was placed on the team's taxi squad when Seiple returned, he got a chance to be a part of the Dolphins perfect season.[10]

Personal life

Lothridge died in 1996, after suffering a series of three heart attacks over a four-year period.[11]


  1. ^ "Lothridge Called Top Versatile Star". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Cowboys Trade Lothridge To Baltimore Colts". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Billy Lothridge gets a kick out of pro football". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Rams Place Lothridge On Waivers". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "NFL Falcons Sign Billy Lothridge". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Lothridge Takes Punting Title". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Van Brocklin cites Atlanta's defense; Bears lose Sayers". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Bargain Backfield Boosts Falcons". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "John Mackey, 'Best End in 50 years', Denies Colts' Claims That He Has Retired". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "Lothridge Has No Regrets About Joining Dolphins". Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "Local gridiron great honored with street sign". Retrieved February 3, 2018.

External links

1961 Gator Bowl

The 1961 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 30, 1961 at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The game pitted the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

1962 All-SEC football team

The 1962 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1962 college football season.

1963 All-SEC football team

The 1963 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1963 college football season.

1963 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 1963 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1963 NCAA University Division football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by 19th-year head coach Bobby Dodd, and played their home games at Grant Field in Atlanta. For the final time before becoming independent, they competed as members of the Southeastern Conference, finishing in sixth. Quarterback Billy Lothridge threw for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns and finished in 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting.

1964 Dallas Cowboys season

The 1964 Dallas Cowboys season was their fifth in the league. The team improved on their previous output of 4–10, winning five games. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

1966 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1966 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's inaugural season in the National Football League (NFL). The Falcons finished in seventh place in the NFL Eastern Conference with a record of 3–11, ahead of only the New York Giants.

1968 All-Pro Team

This is a list of players named as All-Pros based on their performance in the 1968 AFL and NFL season. These lists provide a perspective into how players were judged against their peers by critics of their time. Players representing both the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) are included.

1968 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1968 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's third year in the National Football League (NFL).

1969 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1969 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's fourth year in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved on their previous season's output of 2–12, winning six games. The Falcons had yet to reach the post season, and would not until 1978.

1970 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1970 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's fifth year in the National Football League (NFL). The team failed to improve on their previous season's output of 6–8, winning only four games. They failed to reach the playoffs for the fifth straight season. The team began its season by winning two of its first three games. However, following their 21–20 win over the San Francisco 49ers the Falcons went 2–7–2 in their final 11 games. Their tied games, 10–10 with the Los Angeles Rams and 13–13 with the Philadelphia Eagles, occurred in back-to-back weeks. The Falcons are the last team in NFL history to have two tied games in two straight weeks, as overtime was added to the NFL game in 1974.

1971 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1971 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's sixth year in the National Football League (NFL). It was the first winning season in franchise history.

Billy Martin (tight end)

Jake William "Billy" Martin (October 27, 1942 – March 14, 2018) was an American football tight end in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Minnesota Vikings. He played college football at Georgia Tech and was drafted in the second round (twenty-first overall selection) of the 1964 NFL Draft. Martin was subsequently selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1966 NFL Expansion Draft.

Martin played high school football at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Georgia.

He was a teammate of Billy Lothridge both at Gainesville High and Georgia Tech.

Martin died in Cumming, Georgia on March 14, 2018 he was 75.

Cleveland, Georgia

Cleveland is a city in White County, Georgia, United States, located 90 miles (140 km) northeast of Atlanta and 128 miles (206 km) southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Its population was 3,410 at the 2010 census (up from 1,907 in 2000). It is the county seat of White County.Cleveland is home to the North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm, as well as Babyland General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Kids are cared for.

Dick Van Raaphorst

Richard William Van Raaphorst (born December 10, 1942 in Port Huron, Michigan) is a former American football placekicker in the American Football League for the San Diego Chargers. He also was a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League. He played college football at Ohio State University.

Gainesville High School (Georgia)

Gainesville High School is located in Gainesville, Georgia, United States.

List of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets starting quarterbacks

This is a list of every Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team quarterback and the years they participated on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team. Georgia Tech quarterbacks have led Georgia Tech to 673 wins, 37 bowl games, and 4 National Championships. Two quarterbacks have received Heisman Trophy votes and one of the quarterbacks, Billy Lothridge, received votes in multiple years.

Nine Georgia Tech quarterbacks have been taken in the National Football League draft since 1936. Including the NFL, Georgia Tech quarterbacks have also played professionally in the Arena Football League, Canadian Football League, World Football League, and American Football League. Three former Georgia Tech quarterbacks went on to be head coaches in Division I-A or professional football.Georgia Tech quarterbacks have played prominent roles in American society off the gridiron as well. Froggie Morrison, the starting quarterback for the 222-0 game, served in World War I after graduating in 1916. Pat McHugh graduated in 1942, fought in World War II, and returned in 1946 to be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Eddie McAshan became the first African American to start at quarterback for a major Southeastern university during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement.Four Georgia Tech quarterbacks transferred from other universities and won starting jobs at Georgia Tech. Of the four, two men transferred from archrival University of Georgia and ironically defeated the Bulldogs three times in four meetings including the very first contest of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. In the 2008 college football season, five different current or former Yellow Jacket quarterbacks started for three different Division I-A football teams including Georgia Tech.

List of National Football League annual punting yards leaders

This is a season-by-season list of National Football League players who have led the regular season in punting yards.Record-keeping for punting yards began in 1939, when Parker Hall led the league with 2,369 punting yards, while playing for the Cleveland Rams (now known as the Los Angeles Rams). Hall also became the first player to lead the league in punting yards in consecutive seasons, leading in 1939 and 1940. Since then, Dave Zastudil has set the record for punting yards in a season, when he led the league in 2012, with 5,209 punting yards, while playing with the Arizona Cardinals.John James and Shane Lechler share the record of most seasons leading the league in punting yards, with four each. James led the league in 1974, 1976, 1977, and 1978, while Lechler lead the league in 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2017. James played for the Atlanta Falcons throughout all four of these seasons, whereas Lechler played for the Oakland Raiders in 2003, 2008, and 2009, and then with the Houston Texans in 2017. James is also the only player to have the led the league in three consecutive seasons (1976–1978), although many other players have been able to lead the league in two consecutive seasons. Johnny Hekker was the most recent player to accomplish this, leading in 2015, while playing for the St. Louis Rams, and again in 2016, when the team relocated to Los Angeles.

Ralph Neely

Ralph Eugene Neely (born September 12, 1943) is a former American football offensive tackle who played 13 seasons and 172 games for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965 to 1977.

Sherman Lewis

Sherman Lewis (born June 29, 1942) is an American football coach and former player, most recently an offensive consultant and offensive play-caller for the Washington Redskins of the NFL. He spent thirty-four years as a coach, but had been out of football since the end of the 2004 season before joining the Redskins mid-way into the 2009 season, where he replaced head coach Jim Zorn as the team's offensive play-caller after the sixth game of the season. He attended Michigan State University as an undergrad and later received his graduate degree from Michigan State in education administration.

Lewis began his football career at Michigan State as a halfback. He was named to the College Football All-America Team and finished third behind winner Roger Staubach and runner-up Billy Lothridge for the Heisman Trophy in 1963. His professional playing career included parts of the 1964 and 1965 seasons with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He also played the 1966 and 1967 seasons with the New York Jets of the American Football League (when the AFL was absorbed by, but not yet merged with, the National Football League).

After a brief career as a professional football player, he was hired as an assistant coach for the football team at his alma mater, Michigan State, from 1969 through 1982. He went on to become the running backs coach for Bill Walsh, under whom the San Francisco 49ers won three Super Bowls. Subsequently, in 1992, he became the offensive coordinator for Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren.

On October 6, 2009, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced that Lewis had come out of retirement to serve as an offensive consultant for the team under head coach Jim Zorn. On October 19, ESPN reported that Redskins General Manager, Vinny Cerrato, had taken away play calling duties from Zorn and given them to Lewis. Zorn & Cerrato were both fired following the 2009 season. Lewis was not retained by the replacement coaching staff.

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