Spotlight: George Grimes
Perhaps one of the greatest tributes anyone could pay to George Grimes was done so by Dr. Jack Witten who said, “George has come a long way since he came to me as a little boy without his home after his mother died and I can say truthfully that he is a real boy and a Christian gentleman, with ambition and high ideals of what an American boy should be.”
George Grimes played football for Tazewell High School and he also played on Tazewell’s 1940 State Championship Basketball team. Famed sportswriter Stubby Currence described Grimes as a courteous, hard-working and grand little sportsman, Win Lose or Draw, George Grimes was always able to accept victory with the grace of a true sportsman, just as he could accept defeat as a real gentleman.
On October 25th, 1940. George Grimes accounted for all of Tazewell’s points as the Bulldogs blasted William King, 26-0. After finishing out his time at Tazewell High School, Grimes enrolled at the University of Virginia.
Grimes played freshman athletics at the University of Virginia and then won a place on the varsity football team. When a sophomore at the University of Virginia Grimes won a varsity letter in football, in basketball, and in track – and he was on the Dean’s List as a distinguished student at the University of Virginia.
With the war on, Grimes decided to leave the University of Virginia and fight for his country so that other boys like himself could have the opportunity to live the American way.
As a marine trainee in North Carolina in 1943, Grimes enrolled at the University of North Carolina. Grimes lettered in football at North Carolina in 1943. He led the team in punting average (41.7) and ran for 155 yards in a game against Virginia.
When Grimes, a 2nd LT US Marine Corp, returned home from the war he enrolled at the University of Virginia and continued his football career. In 1946, Grimes led the University of Virginia in punting average. Grimes led the University of Virginia in scoring in 1947. He scored 5 touchdowns and kicked 26 extra points. He, also, led the team in punting average (40.8) for the second straight year. Grimes had a 71-yard touchdown run against VMI in 1947 and finished his Virginia football career with five touchdown passes.
After the 1947 season concluded, Grimes was invited to play in the Blue-Gray All Star Football Classic in Montgomery, Alabama. An assistant coach for Grimes’ Gray team was none other than Paul “Bear” Bryant. With Grimes help, the Gray team won the game 33-6.
After his playing career at the University of Virginia ended, the 5’11” 190 pound George Stanley Grimes was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills but rebuffed both teams to play for the Detroit Lions in 1948.
George played in 9 games for the Detroit Lions during the 1948 season. He punted 28 times and averaged 35.9 yards per punt. On defense, he intercepted one pass and recovered a fumble. On offense, he caught one pass for 17-yards and a touchdown and rushed one time for eight yards.
Grimes retired from professional football after the 1948 season.
Grimes died on April 28th, 1971 and is buried in Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.