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Vols Letterwinner Showalter Passes Away



Oct. 18, 2012

UT

Three-time Vols football letterman Nick Showalter passed away on Monday at the age of 65. Showalter played "monster man" for the Vols from 1966-68. He went on to become a successful dentist in Knoxville.

A memorial service will be held at St. Johns Episcopal, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by receiving of friends in the great hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Empty Stocking Fund or the charity of the donor's choice.

Please read Tom Mattingly's account of Showalter in the Knoxville News Sentinel:

Nick Showalter, a three-year letterman on Tennessee football teams 1966-68 and a prominent Knoxville dentist often referred to by his patients as "Dr. Nick," died Oct. 15, 2012, in Knoxville. He was 65.

Dr. Showalter came to Tennessee in the recruiting class of 1964-65 after a stellar prep career at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, where he was an All-America quarterback on a state-championship team.

He wore Nos. 44 and 88 as a Vol, mentioning more than once he had worn a "double number" all the way back to his high school days. He played at 5-foot-10, 211 pounds.

He was part of a recruiting class that featured All-America selections Charles Rosenfelder, Jimmy Weatherford and Richmond Flowers, joined by All-SEC selections Richard Pickens, Ken DeLong, and Frank Yanossy.

In those days, Tennessee coach Doug Dickey often recruited prep quarterbacks, reasoning they were the best athletes on the team, and turned them into capable offensive and defensive players.

Dr. Showalter was one of those type players, playing defensive end and "monster man" during his career, a time in which the Vols won the SEC and national title in 1967 and graced three bowl games. The overall record was 25-7-1. He was a second-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press in 1967 at defensive end.

In the 1966 Gator Bowl, he made a key play in the Vols' 18-12 victory against Syracuse, fighting off a Larry Csonka block to tackle Syracuse's Oley Allen on a fourth-down play from the Tennessee 4.

"It was a great individual play for him," Dickey said, "in what was a signature win for us. Nick was an upbeat athlete who was popular with his teammates."

Teammate Jerry Holloway said the Vols of that 1966 era "were amazed at what a great play he made" in the shadow of the Vol goal. Holloway also recalled that Dr. Showalter "played so much bigger than he was physically."

In an unplanned move, Dr. Showalter and Weatherford also were part of the key play in the 1968 Alabama game at Neyland Stadium. Weatherford blocked a potential game-winning field goal, a 36-yarder at the north end by Mike Dean, inside the final seconds. A key element of the play was Weatherford and Dr. Showalter changing places on the defensive front, allowing Weatherford to come charging through from the right side to block the kick. Tennessee won, 10-9.

It was not too many weeks ago that Dr. Showalter sent the following e-mail to several of his Vol contemporaries, expressing his thoughts about being a Vol: "Coach Dickey told us years ago that there is just something different and special about 'Champions.' We are all fortunate to have been a part of what we now see as a remarkable era in the history of this proud program."

A memorial service will be held at St. Johns Episcopal, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by receiving of friends in the great hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Empty Stocking Fund or the charity of the donor's choice.

 

 

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