Billy Lothridge

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Billy Lothridge
refer to caption
Lothridge with Bobby Dodd, 1962
No. 18, 10, 26, 7
Position:Punter
Safety
Quarterback
Personal information
Born:(1942-01-01)January 1, 1942
Cleveland, Georgia
Died:February 24, 1996(1996-02-24) (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
Punts:532
Punt yards:21,792
Average punt:41
Interceptions:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

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.

Early years[edit]

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[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

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[edit]

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

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

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

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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[edit]