Thomas Woodroof
Class of 2017

Thomas Woodroof
If you played football for Athens in the 1970s, chances are you won more than you lost. In the case of Thomas Woodroof Jr. and the rest of the 1975 senior class, they won a lot more.

Woodroof Jr. is the latest member of that Athens team to be inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame. He will join seven others as part of the 2017 class to be inducted June 24 at the Limestone County Event Center. “We had a really good program. We had really good B-team, junior varsity and freshman programs,” said Larry McCoy, who coached Woodroof Jr. from 1972-75. “None of them moved in there. They all grew up together. They were a very close knit group. All along that decade we were pretty good and it all kind of came together in 1975. Everybody bought into what we were doing.” McCoy was inducted into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and many of his players have followed in his footsteps. When asked about Woodroof Jr., the hall of fame coach remembered him like he played yesterday. “Thomas started offensively and defensively since the 10th grade,” said McCoy. “He was very intelligent. He knew the plays better than anyone else. He would keep the guys in line that didn’t know the plays.”

Woodroof played alongside players like Bill Ming, John Marshall and Bill Wood to form one of the best offensive line in program history. Ming, who went on to play at Middle Tennessee State, is also part of the 2017 induction class while Marshall, who played at Auburn, is already in the hall of fame.

“We had an offensive team back then and they weren’t very big players,” said McCoy. “We had several guys that were 230-240 (pounds), which was big back then. Our line was probably as good there was anywhere. The line was a strength of the team and Thomas

anchored the line.”

Woodroof went on to be play at Vanderbilt, where he lettered four years and was an All-SEC selection his junior season for the Commodores. While at Vanderbilt, he was a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient in 1978-79. “His dad played at Vanderbilt and (Thomas) followed in his footsteps,” said McCoy. “He was just an outstanding player. He played B-team on Monday night and Varsity on Friday night. That really helped us get the team that we had in 1975.

They played two games every week and never fussed about it at all.”