Thomas A. Ely

Class of 1965 / Inducted 2010 / Special

Thomas “Tom” Ely lettered and started on the Emory & Henry football team for three years, from 1962-64.  He also lettered as an outfielder and catcher on the baseball team in 1964 and 1965.  Ely was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the E&H football program.

Ely was a three year starter during one of the most successful periods in Wasps football history.   He was an offensive lineman who opened holes for great running backs like Earl Hawkins and C.A. Burton, both of whom are members of the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame.

Ely has long been a community leader. While in school, he was president of the class of 1965 and the Phi Gamma Phi social fraternity.  After graduation, he taught and coached for twelve years before seizing the opportunity to join the Jesse James Insurance Agency.  He started his own financial planning network, Ely Financial Network.  He has served as chairperson to the Board of Trustees for Emory & Henry and remains very involved in the Wytheville community.

Perhaps Ely’s capstone contribution to the E&H athletic department was his role in establishing a golf tournament in memory of a friend and former teammate.  In 1992, Ely was involved in helping friends organize the Jesse James Memorial Golf Tournament, which honored another E&H football player and member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame. In 2002, Ely was honored with the Twelfth Man Award for his efforts with this annual golf tournament.  To date, the tournament has raised over $100,000 for the Wasps’ football program.  It is now called the Blue and Gold Golf Tournament.