Ole Miss Football Great Jimmy "Tank" Crawford Passes Away

Jimmy "Tank" Crawford

Aug 21, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - James A. "Tank" Crawford, Sr., 86, of Arkabutla, Miss., who helped lead Coach John Vaught's Ole Miss Rebels to their first Southeastern Conference championship in 1947, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, following a lengthy illness.

Visitation will be at First Baptist Church in Coldwater, Miss., on Friday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., with the service to follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Memphis Memory Gardens on Raleigh Lagrange Road. at 2 p.m. Forest Hill Funeral Home, South (901-346-3250) is in charge of arrangements.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Louise Babb Crawford; two daughters, Susan Williams (Paul) of Olive Branch, Miss., and Carolyn Gindt of Lakeland, Tenn.; three sons, Jimmy Crawford (Donna) of Canton, N.Y., Stephen Crawford (Terry) of Bartlett, Tenn., and Mike Crawford (Rita) of Hernando, Miss.; 13 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He also leaves a sister, Tillie Mayse of Farmington, Mo., and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his son, John David Crawford.

In January of 2011, the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honored Crawford with its Distinguished American Award, which is presented each year to individuals who have carried the lessons learned on the football field into a life of service to their community and fellow man.

Prior to enrolling at Ole Miss, Crawford played his high school football at Memphis Tech, where he was an All-Memphis pick in 1945.

A 5-10, 220-pound guard, Crawford earned four letters at Ole Miss while playing for Coach Harold "Red" Drew in 1946 and the next three years for Coach John Vaught. As one of the team's top players, he was a two-time All-SEC performer, earning first-team honors from the Associated Press and United Press International in 1948 and from UPI and International News Service in 1949.

As a member of the 1947 Rebel squad, Crawford helped lead Ole Miss to its first SEC championship and a 13-9 victory over TCU in the Jan. 1, 1948 Delta Bowl in Memphis. The 1947 season was Vaught's first year as head coach at Ole Miss after having served as an assistant coach the year before. Ole Miss finished 9-2 in 1947 and 8-1 in 1948.

Crawford was named to the All-South team by the Chicago Tribune All-Players poll in 1948 and by Colliers and The Southerner in 1949. The Memphis Commercial Appeal also made him an All-Southeastern selection in 1947. He was selected third team All-American by the Chicago Tribune in 1948 and was named the "Best Lineman" on the 1948 Ole Miss team.

Following his senior season, Crawford played in four post-season classics -- Senior Bowl, North-South, Blue-Gray and the Chicago All-Star game. Although selected by the Chicago Bears in the 1950 NFL Draft, he chose not to play professionally.

Crawford, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ole Miss in 1950, was selected to the 1949-50 Ole Miss student Hall of Fame and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa national honorary leadership fraternity, as well as Beta Theta Pi and the M-Club. He was inducted into Ole Miss Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988.

After earning a master's in education from Ole Miss in 1953, he served two years active duty in the United States Marines and then as a battalion commander during 20 years in the Marine Corps Reserve in Memphis, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel. While working on his master's degree at Ole Miss, Crawford served as a B-Team football coach for Vaught during the 1952 season.

A former member of the Jaycees, Rotary International and the Civitan Club, Crawford was active in Gideons International and served 25 years as a federal parole officer for the U.S. District Courts (Western District of Tennessee). He was a member of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, a lifetime member of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association and a member of the M-Club Alumni Chapter.

A member of First Baptist Church in Coldwater, Crawford served as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon for 50 years and was also a member of the sanctuary choir. Memorials may be sent to Gideons International, First Baptist Church of Coldwater, or St. Jude Children's Hospital.

    • Seniors Shine, Records Broken in Magnolia Bowl

      Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsAfter a bounce that didn't go their way against Arkansas, the Rebels knew tonight was a must-win situation. No. 22 Ole Miss knocked off rival No. 15 LSU 38-17 in a top-25 matchup... read more

    • Drama Rules The Day at Vaught-Hemingway

      Saturday, November 7, 2015 - Football

      By Brandon Lee, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsDrama in front of a sold-out crowd of 60,680 between the No. 18 Rebels and Arkansas? It was that and a whole lot more in a back-and-forth Saturday night knockdown, drag-out SEC West... read more

    • Rebels Dominate In Prime-Time Spotlight

      Saturday, October 24, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsIt wasn't pretty, but the Rebels got the job done. No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 15 Texas A&M combined for seven turnovers, but a dominant defense and a balanced offense led to... read more

    • Midseason Checkpoint: Rebels Control Their Own Destiny

      Wednesday, October 14, 2015 -

      It seemed like it was just yesterday that the Ole Miss football team continued through the motions of fall camp, and we all were just ready for the season to finally begin. Fast forward with a little Talladega up-tempo... read more

    • Rebels Bounce Back at Home

      Saturday, October 10, 2015 -

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsOle Miss raced past another non-conference opponent at home this week. The Rebels returned to their usual form after a conference loss at Florida last week, racking up 665 yards of total offense,... read more

    • Ratings, Exposure Huge for Ole Miss-Alabama

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more

    • Rebels Pass First Test in Search of Playoff Berth

      Sunday, September 20, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more

    • Kelly Makes Statement in Big Rebel Win

      Saturday, September 12, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;... read more

    • Big Plays Highlight Season-Opening Win

      Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Football

      Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more

    • Time to Take a Stand

      Monday, August 31, 2015 -

      It's finally here...game week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago



» «