Bob Thomas '53

Bob Thomas was a four-year letterwinner and team captain as a senior for some of Washington and Lee’s greatest football teams.

Ater lettering as a member of the freshman team in 1949, Thomas played both offense and defense for the 1950 team that won the Southern Conference title and played in the 1951 Gator Bowl.

Thomas experienced a breakout junior campaign in 1951 as he scored three touchdowns and set up a fourth in the historic defeat of the University of Virginia. During that season, he led the team in receiving with 30 catches for 586 yards and six touchdowns, was second on the team in scoring with 43 points and was named All-Southern Conference. As a senior in 1952, Thomas again earned All-Southern Conference honors after leading the team in receiving with 29 catches for 506 yards and six touchdowns.

Following the season, he was selected to the Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America team and was offered a contract with the Detroit Lions, which he declined due to a commitment to the Navy.

For his three-year career with the varsity, Thomas notched 65 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns and graduated holding nearly every receiving record at W&L. He entered the Hall of Fame still highly ranked in many receiving records, including ranking first in season and career yards per catch. He also ranked fourth in career touchdown catches and in the Top 15 in career receiving yards. His six touchdown catches in 1951 and 1952 are both tied for the fifth-most in a season in school history.

Thomas’ campus activities included induction into Omicron Delta Kappa, student membership in the University Athletic Council and serving as president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.