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





Dalton State Roadrunners Take Campbellsville 66-63

The Dalton State Basketball Roadrunners extended their win streak to five on Tuesday night as they knocked-off Campbellsville (KY) 66-63 at Mashburn Arena. The Roadrunners have been on a roll since they lost to the Tigers back on Halloween afternoon. Dalton State Coach Tony Ingle said it was a debt paid. “The good book says not to believe in revenge, but to pay your debts,” ... (click for more)

Covenant Falls To Berry, Birmingham Southern

Trailing by 18 at halftime, the Covenant men's basketball team nearly pulled an incredible comeback before falling 90-79 at Berry  on Tuesday  night inside the Cage Center. The loss snaps a three-game win streak to begin the year for Covenant who falls to 3-1. Berry, who came in winless despite losing all three games by a combined six points, improves to 1-3 overall. ... (click for more)

Monica McMillon, 37, Shot And Killed In Alton Park On Tuesday Night

Monica McMillon, 37, was shot and killed in Alton Park on Tuesday night. The Chattanooga Police responded to the 3800 block of Highland Ave. on the report of a shooting. Once on scene police located one victim inside a residence. She  was struck by gunfire and  succumbed to her injuries on scene.   No suspect information is available at ... (click for more)

Judge Denies Motion By Walker County To Delay Closing Of Hutcheson Hospital

A bankruptcy judge in Atlanta on Tuesday denied a motion by Walker County, Ga., is asking a delay in closing Hutcheson Medical Center and laying off employees. Judge Paul Bonapfel said he appreciated the position of Walker County, but he said he would not interfere with the business decision made by the trustees appointed to operate the Fort Oglethorpe hospital. He also said ... (click for more)

A Thankful List

David Jeremiah said it best, that we have a tendency to concentrate on the things we don’t have rather than what God has already blessed us with.  Perhaps, he said, it is because there is not enough parchment available in this world to record all God’s bountiful blessings should we try to list them. This Thanksgiving let us gather our family close to us, whisper a prayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)