Jake Rudolph passed away last weekend at 78 after a stroke. Rudolph embodied Coach Bobby Dodd’s ideals for a player: tough, hard-working and made few mistakes.
In one of the most important plays in Tech history, the Jackets were facing fourth down in front of Tech’s end zone, Alabama running back Bobby Marlow saw an opening and took the ball in for what looked like a touchdown. In came five-foot-seven, 155 pound Jake Rudolph, against a bigger back, to make what would come to be known as the $125,000 tackle. Tech kept the score at 3-0 ‘Bama on that play and the Jackets would score a late touchdown to win the game 7-3. The win preserved an 11-0 season to that point and also gave the Jackets the SEC title for the year. They went on the meet Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl and won 24-7 for Tech’s third national title.
After college, Rudolph spent time in Germany as a member of the Air Force. Following that he coached one season at the Darlington School before moving taking over at Memphis University School, where in 38 seasons, he had a 295-119-4 record with a state title and 10 district titles.