Blog Article

The humble football star from small town Louisiana.

American House Holland resident and all-around great guy, Jerry grew up in Springhill, a small town in northern Louisiana. The town was much bigger when Jerry and his future wife, Ann, were in high school, but the International Paper Mill that once employed so many, including Jerry’s father, left town. Despite the small population, Springhill produced local sports heroes like John David Crow, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1957 while playing for Texas A&M, and Jerry, a speedy wide receiver who once held the career pass receiving record at Louisiana Tech and was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the American Football League before it merged with the National Football League.

“That was an awesome day,” Jerry said about draft day. But when asked what it felt like to be an elite college athlete, he said, “Oh, I don’t know about that. I just loved to play.”

Jerry had one brother and one sister who were a lot older than him growing up in Springhill. He claimed his siblings spoiled him as a young boy. A natural athlete, Jerry played centerfield in baseball and ran for the track team. But football was his main calling and his love for the action on the gridiron began when he was in just sixth grade. Not only was he fast, but Jerry was known for his ability to catch anything thrown his way. At the age of 16, Jerry was young for his grade, but he was already making a name for himself on the football field. He was recruited by Arkansas, Louisiana State University and the University of Houston. Jerry visited all three campuses but signed his letter of intent to Louisiana Tech in the living room of Ann’s parents house. Jerry laughed at the memory, saying he was just trying to impress his girlfriend.

At six-foot-one and 190 pounds, Jerry teamed with star quarterback Mickey Slaughter to light up the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs with a pro-style offense over the next three years. A Mid-Bracket All-American in 1961, Jerry caught 79 passes for 823 yards and three touchdowns during his Bulldog career. His best season was when he snagged 45 passes for 453 yards. Against Tennessee Tech in 1961, Jerry grabbed 12 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. In one game against McNeese, Jerry caught 10 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Pressed for more stories about his greatness on the football field, Jerry humbly declined and instead lit up talking about his two sons.

“I have two doctors in my family. Both my sons got their medical degrees from LSU. My oldest son has an MD in Internal Medicine and works in Chicago and my other son lives here in Holland and is an ER doctor. Isn’t that something? They got their smarts from their mother.”

Jerry worked in insurance for 25 years and coached his sons in baseball and football while they were growing up. With Ann at his side, the happily married couple are easy to laugh and quick to downplay any of their achievements. Asked about the state of football today, Jerry couldn’t help but smile as he said players today aren’t as hard-nosed as they were back in his day.

These days, life is very good for Jerry. “I love American House,” he said. “Everyone is so nice and very good to me. The food is delicious. I enjoy being here. This is home.”

We all have a story. A story that taught us something, changed us and helped define who we are. At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way.

Written By

Jim Dudley

With over 20 years of writing experience, Jim has worked for some of the biggest ad agencies in the Detroit area before joining American House. He earned a degree from Marquette University.

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