Eddie Lee Ivery

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Eddie Lee Ivery was a star football player at Georgia Tech. He broke many records while at Tech and was nominated for some of the highest awards. He became a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame because of his extreme athleticism.


Early Life

Eddie Lee Ivery was born July 30, 1957 in McDuffie County, Georgia, a small county just southeast of Athens, Georgia[1]. Though he was never blessed enough to have a father in his life, Ivery was raised by his mother and his grandmother. Ivery attended high school at Thomson High School, where he played football, basketball baseball and ran track. By his senior year he became one of the most well known high school running backs in America. By the time he was a senior in high school, Ivery was offered 90 scholarships from colleges all across America including Southern California all the way to Miami. Initially, Ivery was committed to being a bulldog at the University of Georgia when Coach Dick Bestick convinced him to do the smart thing and go to the Georgia Institute of Technology. Being raised with his grandmother and mother was a tough life. Neither had an education, his mother being a 1st grade drop out. Since education was so important to her, she gave Ivery great advice in that to go to a school for the education, not for football. Which is obviously why he chose Tech over UGA. Originally, he intended on being at tech, but the little county he resided in was so close to Athens that it was complete bulldog territory. Regardless, he made the right decision. Ivery always loved football and dreamed of playing because his uncle was a half back for the local high school.[2]
Ivery in his early football days

Life at Tech

Standing tall at 6 feet and 200 pounds, Ivery was a hit at Georgia Tech with a whopping 22 touchdowns adding up to a total of 158 points. In 1979, the game against the Air Force Falcons solidified Ivery’s talent when he a record breaking game with three amazing touchdown runs. One for 73 yard, one for a jaw dropping 80 yard, and one for 57 yards. At this time, Ivery was a Heisman Trophy candidate and this game threw him in the winner’s circle. The game ended with an impressive score of the Yellow Jackets 42, and the Falcons 21[3]. Ivery rushed for a total of 3,517 yards while he was at tech, the 3rd highest total in all Tech history. He broke seven Georgia Tech rushing records and was chosen to be apart of the Associated Press and United Press International All-American Football Teams.

Ivery was admired by all for his extreme athleticism and dedication to his sport. His coach of two years, Franklin C. “Pepper” Rodgers even said, “Eddie Lee is the greatest football player I ever coached. He was a complete player, a gifted runner; he blocked, caught passes, returned puts and kick-offs and passed the ball. Although he was probably the greatest football player in America in his senior season, he practiced everyday like he was trying to make the team”.[4] Russell Charles, a fellow coach who specifically worked with running backs, exclaimed, “He was the only football player I ever saw who could do it all. He could run around you or over you. He could make the best tacklers in our conference miss. He could fake you out of your drawers”[5]. Ivery became a member of the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and was a member of the all-time tech football team during the time Rodgers and Charles were coaches. When he graduated, Ivery was a first-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League, where he played nine seasons. Thirteen years after he finished playing at Tech, Ivery went back and earned his degree in Industrial Management.
Eddie Ivery wearing the colors of his alma mater

Life After Tech

In his first year as a rookie, Ivery suffered a devastating knee injury, tearing the ligaments in his left knee. But that didn’t stop him; he made a quick recovery and jumped right back in the game in 1980. Unfortunately, Ivery then started getting into drugs and alcohol, at his family’s expense, which ended in a heartbreaking divorce. At this point, Ivery knew he had a problem and sought help. Healed once more, Ivery played six seasons with the Packers and has been clean ever since[6].

Ivery is the perfect example of when one gets knocked down to get back up and try again. Success is not made from your accomplishments but from overcoming the obstacles to get to that point. He came from next to nothing, and ended up at the top of the pyramid. He’s the true example of the American dream


  1. "Eddie Lee Ivery." Wikipedia. Google, 15 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.
  2. Asher, Gene. "True Gridiron Grit." Georgia Tren. N.p., Jan. 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.
  3. Source Summary:Ivery Excels With Record Breaking Performance
  4. Asher, Gene. "True Gridiron Grit." Georgia Tren. N.p., Jan. 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.
  5. Asher, Gene. "True Gridiron Grit." Georgia Tren. N.p., Jan. 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.
  6. Asher, Gene. "True Gridiron Grit." Georgia Tren. N.p., Jan. 2003. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.

Source Summary:Ivery Excels With Record Breaking Performance

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