There are but a few players in Grundy County history that evoke comments from people today like “I heard he was great” or “He played with Johnny U.” “Big” Jim Fults is one of those few and the exact one that played beside one of the greatest in NFL history.
Fults was a standout at GCHS on the football field and the basketball court. He was captain of the football team, senior class president, and voted Best All Around student for the Class of 1950.
After college graduation in 1954, Fults was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Jim spent 29 years in the Air Force and is a Vietnam veteran. While in Vietnam, he flew over 300 combat sorties. He flew ten different aircrafts, logged 3500 hours flying time, and was stationed at 10 different air bases including the Air Force Academy, The Pentagon, and in Vietnam.
Fults was honored in his Air Force career with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and other awards.
He was an accomplished student earning a BS degree from University of Louisville, a Master’s degree from Troy State University, and attended many officers’ training schools while in the Air Force including the Air War College and Armed Forces Industrial College.
Born in Beersheba Springs in 1931, to James and Willie Fults, Fults had two sisters Winona and Faye. He married his high school sweetheart Elsie in 1953 and they have been married for 62 years. They have two children, Bruce and Cindy, four grandsons, and one great grandson.
After retiring from the Air Force, Fults pursued a career in real estate and worked at Century 21 for 29 years. He and Elsie are now retired and live in Niceville, Florida.
Fults will be inducted with the Grundy County High School Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015, on Saturday night at GCHS. Everyone is encouraged to come out and help honor one of the best in Grundy County history.