Mocs National Champ George Dickinson Passes Away

1966 Tennis National Champion

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

"George was a great sport, loved the game of tennis and he would fight you to the wire every time you played. Above all, you knew every call he made was the right call and you probably got few others in your favor."

-- Forrest Simmons,  former Chattanooga City Closed Singles Champion  

 

Known for his speed on the court, a solid forehand and impeccable character, former U. of Chattanooga national tennis champion George Dickinson passed away Tuesday in Atlanta.

Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Dickinson was a native of Lookout Mountain and was UC's first individual national champion in any sport. He claimed the NCAA small college singles title at the 1966 tournament held at the U. of the South.

The funeral is Monday Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Atlanta.

A graduate of Chattanooga City High School ('61) and U. of Chattanooga ('66), he also attended Ga. Tech for two years.

"Back in the early 1960s, there were not many tennis college scholarships available so George was a walk-on for the Ga. Tech tennis team in the fall of 1961," said his younger brother Tommy Dickinson.

"To show you the impact he had on people and the way he carried himself from day to day, Tech's legendary football coach Bobby Dodd awarded George a football scholarship after his freshman year since there not a lot of tennis scholarship money available." 

Playing in the tennis boom of the 1950s and 1960s, he played with and against other top local tennis junior players, including Chris Brown, Morrow Chamberlain, Bill Brown and John Killebrew.

Winning championships as a junior and senior player over a four decade span, Dickinson was a member of the Greater Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Sports Halls of Fame.

He also helped lead City High School to the first state wrestling team championship in 1961.

Run Around That Backhand: "No doubt he was the fastest player I ever played against, but he also had a terrible backhand," said former doubles partner Forrest Simmons with a laugh. "If you hit a shot wide to his backhand he would go to great lengths to run around his backhand, even to the extent of hitting a forehand from the adjacent court."

True Friendships: "We can all say we have our share of friends, but for George he had many true friendships, people he could count on no matter what and vice versa," said brother Tommy.

George Will Be Missed: "I have always been proud to call George my friend. He was all heart and honesty in everything he did. He will be sorely missed," said Cindy Kemp Battle, former Southern junior tennis champion who was inducted into the Lookout Mountain Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 with Dickinson.

 contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 

 

 

 


Zimmerman Hits Walk-Off Grand Slam For Lady Lions Tournament Win

The Bryan College softball team competed against Virginia Intermont College this afternoon in the AAC Tournament.  The Lions are the No. 4 seed in the tournament, while the Cobras are the No. 3 seed in the tournament.  Both teams already had one loss entering the game, making it an elimination game.  The Lions struck first by scoring two runs in the first inning.  ... (click for more)

Covenant Baseball Playing For USA South Regular Season Title

The Covenant baseball team will wrap-up its 2014 regular season schedule this weekend with a crucial three-game USA South series against Averett. Game one of the series is set for Friday at 4 p.m., and the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. With victories in all three games, Covenant (23-13, 16-8 USA South) will clinch the USA South's regular ... (click for more)

Berke Names Fred Fletcher, Of Austin, Tex., New Chattanooga Police Chief

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that Fred Fletcher of Austin, Tex., is his pick for Chattanooga Chief of Police. With 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Fletcher has served in an executive, command, or supervisory role for 12 years.  As commander in Region III of the Austin Police Department, Mr. Fletcher spearheaded community initiatives including a drug market ... (click for more)

Child, 23 Months, Found Dead In Crib With Fentanyl Patch On Back; Death Ruled Homicide

A 23-month-old Chattanooga boy has been found dead in his crib with a Fentanyl patch on his back. The death of Demarcus Bryant at 7655 Borris Dr. last month was ruled a homicide. An autopsy report says he died from "Fentanyl patch placed by someone else." Chattanooga Police are investigating. No one has yet been charged. The child was found face down in his crib. ... (click for more)

A Slap In The Face To Local Police Applicants

Little Andy has once again shown what he thinks about the Chattanooga Police Department by ignoring all the applicants from within the department. There were several great candidates within the police department that had as much experience as the chosen one from 1,000 miles away. This is a slap in the face for any officer who is at the Chattanooga Police Department who has aspirations ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)