Jackie Nix, quarterback of the only undefeated Bearcats team in school history, passed away last month

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Reverend Jackie Nix, who quarterbacked the 1960 Bainbridge High School Bearcats to the only undefeated team in Bearcats football history, passed away recently.

Following his graduation from Bainbridge High School in the class of 1961, Nix signed a football scholarship with the Presbyterian College Blue Hose in Clinton, South Carolina.

He played four years with Presbyterian. After graduation he joined the U.S. Coast Guard.  While serving near Vietnam, he met up with his brother, Lurenzel, who was in the U.S. Navy.

After leaving the Coast Guard, Nix was called to the ministry and entered a Baptist seminary in Texas He later pastured churches in Florida and Texas. He was the son of  Lurenzel and Nell Nix.

Nix’s sister Angela Green of Bainbridge remembers her brother as a caring and compassionate person who was very dedicated athlete.

His first cousin Jarratt Nix of Bainbridge recalled what an outstanding right handed pitcher he was for the Bearcats baseball team under the late coach Sam Williams. “Jackie had a real live fast ball,” Jarratt said.

Men who were on the field with Nix during that Bearcats’ undefeated regular season in 1960 were the late head coach Spencer “Onion” Davis and running backs Fred Barber and Ed Varner. Each of these men is a member of the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame. Barber went on to play with the University of Georgia Bulldogs and Varner went on to play with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Gary Cliett, the starting center on the 1960 Bearcats, signed a football scholarship with the University of Florida Gators.

Nix’s late first cousin Bill Nix was a starting offensive guard on the 1960 Bearcats. In the Bearcats 20-13 1960 victory over the Thomasville High School Bulldogs at Centennial Field, Nix kept the offense moving well all night by effectively mixing up the run and the pass. Varner scored all three Bearcats touchdowns on a punt return, a kickoff return and a run off tackle.

The 1960 Bearcats went 10-0 in the regular season before losing to the Waycross High School 20-6 in the first round of the Region 1-AA playoffs. Coach Harry O. Shealy’s 1931 Bearcats did not lose a regular season game, but they did play to a 0-0 tie with the Thomasville High School Bulldogs.

Nix and his Bearcats teammates clinched the 1960 Region 1-AA championship with a 14-13 victory over the Cairo High School Syrupmakers at Centennial Field. They closed out the regular season the following week with a 7-6 victory over Marianna High School in Florida.

Nix’s wife, Harriett, and his daughter, Elisha, live in Sherman, Texas. Elisha and her husband, Scott Bird, recently had Jackie and Harriett’s granddaughter, Emmalee.