Thompson, John B. “Jack” - Football, 1987
Thompson was a standout football player at Benedictine Military School under the legendary Coach Vic Mell. He made the varsity team as a sophomore in 1957 and was named Lineman of the Week several times that season. The next year, he received Lineman of the Year honors in the city as was voted honorable mention All-State. His senior year, Thompson was named captain of the Benedictine squad and earned an appointment to the Class AAA All-State first team. After graduation, Thompson accepted an athletic scholarship with the University of Florida. He declined offers from Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson University, and the Citadel. While at Florida, Thompson was a three-year starter for Coach Ray Graves. His sophomore year, he made the All-SEC honorable mention team. The next season, he helped the 1962 Florida team win the Gator Bowl, with a 17-7 victory over Penn State.
His senior year, Thompson was plagued by injuries. His best game of the season came against the University of Georgia. The team posted a 21-14 victory largely because of the pressure put on the Georgia quarterback, Jake Rakestraw, by Thompson. Although he was contacted by several professional teams after graduation, Thompson decided against playing football professionally. In 1966, while studying for his Masters degree at Florida, he was named a graduate assistant. He later was appointed to the permanent staff and served as coach of the Gators for fourteen years.