Class of 2007
Thomas Schram Woodroof was looking forward to his senior football season in 1951 because he knew he was a college prospect and wanted to lead the Golden Eagles to victory. But he broke his leg in the second game against Fayetteville, Tenn. and missed the rest of the season. But that didn't stop Woodroof from getting college offers.
Alabama wanted him and offered him a scholarship. But he declined the offer to play ball at Vanderbilt, the same university where his father went to college and played baseball. He wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.
Woodroof, 72, attended Athens schools and graduated from Athens High School in 1952. During his four years (1948-51) of playing lineman for the Golden Eagles, the team under the direction of Coach Ferman Elmore posted a record of 34-13-2 (.714 winning percentage).
Woodroof also played basketball and baseball and was on the track team at Athens High School. He attended Boys State, in addition to being elected vice president of the "A" Club and President of the National Honor Society. He was co-captain of the football team in 1951 along with William Floyd "Brub" Hamilton, a 2005 inductee to the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame.
Woodroof lettered two years (1954-1955) as a lineman and kicker at Vanderbilt. It was reported during his sophomore season (1953) that he was one of the biggest players in the entire Southeastern Conference, weighing in at approximately 240 pounds. In his senior year in 1955, the Commodores posted a regular-season record of 7-3 including a 21 -6 victory over Alabama and a 34-0 upset of 17th- ranked Kentucky. The team also stunned No. 8 Auburn 25-13 in the Gator Bowl to finish 8-3.
Woodroof was credited for recovering two fumbles in the Gator Bowl victory, which is the only bowl game Vanderbilt has ever won in 117 years of playing football. The eight wins at Vandy tied for the second most in school history, a feat the school has accomplished only one time since 1955.
After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1956, Woodroof married his high-school sweetheart and fellow Vanderbilt alumnus Mary Ann Thomas. The Athens natives lived two years in Boston, Mass., while Woodroof served in the U.S. Navy. He began law school at Boston College and completed his degree at Vanderbilt University in 1961.
Tommy and Mary Ann returned home so he could practice law with his father, Thomas "Tobe" Sanders Woodroof, and his first-cousin , James "Jim" Wright Woodroof. He served as County Solicitor (predecessor to the District Attorney) for several terms and has currently been practicing longer than any attorney in Athens.
Tommy and Mary Ann were married 45 years prior to her death in 2001. They have three sons, Thomas, Sanders and Charles, who all live in Athens.