Sept. 2, 2014
Behind Enemy Lines is a new feature on RamblinWreck.com, highlighting Georgia Tech fans and alumni in opposing team territory. If you’re reading this from the Blacksburg, Va., or Chapel Hill, N.C., areas, give us a shout on Twitter at @GTAthletics. We want to hear from you!
Tom Winingder was a halfback on Bobby Dodd’s Yellow Jackets football teams from 1960-62 and was the team captain for Georgia Tech’s 1962 Bluebonnet Bowl team. Winingder was drafted in the 14th round (190th pick overall) in the 1963 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and later obtained his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1965.
RW: Where do you hail from originally? How did your journey take you to Georgia Tech?
TW: “My journey to Georgia Tech began in my senior year as a high school football player in Norfolk, Va. I had a number of options to attend college on a football scholarship, but when Tech called, I knew that was the right choice for me. The combination of big-time football and world class education was unique. Coach Bobby Dodd was a legend and he deserved that reputation.”
RW: You played for the Yellow Jackets and were a team captain under head coach Bobby Dodd. What do you remember most about playing games at Grant Field?
TW: “Playing at Grant Field was an honor and quite exciting. In those years (1959-1963), we could fill the stadium almost every Saturday. Tech was in the SEC so we played many of the best teams in the country. The highlight had to be beating Alabama (then ranked number one with Coach Bear Bryant and Joe Namath) in 1962 at Grant Field.”
RW: Being that you live in New Orleans, do you keep in contact with any former teammates? How do you stay connected with the Yellow Jackets?
TW” “I stay in touch with Tech football by coming to a game in Atlanta (I live in New Orleans) at least once a year. Also, 25 to 30 of my old teammates and their wives meet twice a year to continue our lifelong friendship. It was quite an honor to have played for Georgia Tech and for Coach Bobby Dodd during those formative years.”
Tom Winingder (far left) at a luncheon for the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation in January 2013 (Photo: Josh Brasted)
Tom is the president of his own company, Thomas K. Winingder Real Estate, and was Past President of Jazzland, a theme park in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he and his family have acquired and are restoring many historic buildings in New Orleans.
Active in civic and cultural circles, he presently serves on the Board of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. He also served as Honorary Consul of Denmark in New Orleans for 25 years and was awarded the Knight of First Class of the Order of Dannebrog by Her Majesty the Queen.