Aug. 6, 2004
Former Georgia Tech and National Football League standout running back Eddie Lee Ivery will be honored by his high school, Thomson High in Thomson, Ga., with the retirement of his jersey.
Ivery’s No. 44 jersey will be retired in a ceremony on Friday, Aug. 20 prior to Thomson’s season opening game against Elbert County at The Brickyard. Thomson Mayor Bob Knox will be on hand to proclaim Aug. 20 as Eddie Lee Ivery Day in the town. The festivities will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception at the Boys and Girls Club, followed by the pregame ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Ivery starred at Tech from 1975-78, rushing for 3,517 yards, which still ranks third in Rambling Wreck history. As a senior, he set what was then the NCAA single-game rushing record with 356 yards against Air Force, a mark that stood until 1984. He still owns the Tech season record with 1,562 yards in 1978, when he earned second-team all-America honors.
Ivery was a first-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 1979 and played 10 years in the NFL.
Interestingly, Ivery’s No. 44 has already been retired by Thomson High. The number was first worn by and retired in honor of long-time NFL punter Ray Guy, who gave permission for it to be retired again in honor of Ivery.
“We’re so proud of Eddie Lee, with all the problems that he’s overcome and all the good things that he is doing now,” said Ralph Starling, long-time Thomson resident and friend of Ivery. “Every opportunity that he gets, he comes back to Thomson and speaks to the Boys and Girls Club. He has a tremendous message for young people.
“We’ve had a lot of great players here, and this is only the second jersey that we’ve retired. The first one was Ray Guy, and they just happen to be the same number.”
Ivery is currently on the Tech strength and conditioning staff as assistant player development coach. His son, Eddie, Jr., is a member of the Yellow Jackets’ football team.