Hall of Fame member Atchley passes away at age 71

All-American and OVC Player of the Year

February 10, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - Keith Atchley, a member of the Blue Raider Sports Hall of Fame and a football All-American, passed away last Thursday at the age of 71.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Ann Powell Atchley; children Dawn Atchley, Britt Atchley (Kelly), Heather Averett (Buddy), Ty Atchley; grandchildren, Hunter Schultz, Cody Schultz, Reagan Albright, Dawson Albright, Anna Grace Atchley, Logan Averett and Brennan Averett; Great Grandchild, Hymsleigh Schultz; brothers, Tony Atchley (Phyllis), Steve Atchley (Kathy) and Gary Atchley (Josie); several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ranked as one of MT's finest defensive linemen, Atchley was twice named All-OVC and in his senior year was First-team All-American. A Blue Raider captain in 1965, he led the team to a 10-0 record and second OVC title. In his MT career, Blue Raider football had a combined record of 32-8-1.

In 1965, Atchley and fellow Hall of Famer Teddy Morris were among the first to sweep the league's major football awards. Atchley was the OVC Defensive Player of the year; Morris the Offensive Player of the Year and their coach and fellow Hall of Famer, Charles "Bubber" Murphy, was Coach of the Year.

Roommate of James "Boots" Donnelly, a fellow Hall of Famer and former MT coach and AD, remarked that he and Atchley always wore the same-sized uniform. "Keith just played bigger than I did," Donnelly said.

The Funeral service was held Monday at the Alder Branch Baptist Church in Sevierville, TN. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Grace Hospice, 316 North Davis, Suite C., Cleveland, MS or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

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