Robert Thompson
No. 99     Michigan Wolverines
Date of birth (1960-02-04) February 4, 1960 (age 64)
Place of birthChicago, Illinois
Career information
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight221 lb (100 kg)
US collegeMichigan
High schoolBlue Island (IL) Eisenhower
Career history
As player
1979–1982Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
1983–1984Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1987Detroit Lions
Career highlights and awards
First-team All-Big Ten, 1982

Robert Thompson (born February 4, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American football linebacker. He played for the University of Michigan from 1979 to 1982 and in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions.

Early years

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Thompson attended Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois.[1]

University of Michigan

Thompson enrolled at the University of Michigan and played football under head coach Bo Schembechler from 1979 to 1982.[2][3][4][5] In the final game of the 1980 season, Thompson helped secure the Big Ten Conference championship with a key fourth-down sack of Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter, as the Buckeyes were driving in Michigan territory with less than a minute left in the game.[6] The 1980 team held opponents to an average of 1.8 points per game in the final five games of the season and defeated Washington in the 1981 Rose Bowl.[3] In four years playing football for the Michigan Wolverines, Thompson was credited with 214 tackles (including 39 tackles for loss), 188 yards on tackles for loss and 123 yards on quarterback sacks.[7][8] Thompson was selected by his teammates as a co-captain for both the 1981 and 1982 football teams.[4][5][9] In November 1982, two Michigan linebackers (Thompson and Paul Girgash) were all selected to the first team on the Associated Press 1982 All-Big Ten football team.[10] He was also selected as a 1982 first-team Academic All-America team player.[8]

Professional football

Thompson was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 8th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. He signed with the Oilers and participated in the pre-season games with the team, but he was released by Houston in the final roster cutdown to 49 players.[11] In October 1983, he signed a contract as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[11] Thompson appeared in 10 games for the Buccaneers in 1983.[12] In 1984, Thompson sustained two broken toes in the pre-season and began the regular season on injured reserve.[13] He returned to the Buccaneers roster in October 1984,[14] and played in 9 games during the 1984 season.[12] In 1985, Thompson was part of the Buccaneers roster during the pre-season, but he was released in late August 1985.[15]

During the 1987 NFL season, Thompson returned to the NFL as a replacement player for the Detroit Lions during the players strike.[16] He was one of only seven replacement players on the Lions who had prior NFL experience.[17] He appeared in all 3 games for the Lions during the players' strike.[12] In February 1988, Thompson signed as a free agent with the Lions,[18] but he did not make the Lions regular season roster.[19]


  1. ^ "1982 Michigan Football Roster". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2012-02-18.
  2. ^ "1979 Michigan Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "1980 Michigan Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "1981 Michigan Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "1982 Michigan Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  6. ^ George Strode (November 23, 1980). "Tops OSU, 9-3: Michigan Bowl bound". Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune.
  7. ^ "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2013-05-24.
  8. ^ a b "University of Michigan Football Academic All-Americans". University of Michigan. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Michigan names captains". The Cedar Rapids Gazette (AP story). September 5, 1981.("The Michigan Wolverines have named guard Kurt Becker and linebacker Robert Thompson as co-captains of the 1981-82 football squad.")
  10. ^ Joe Mooshil (November 30, 1982). "9 Wolverines All-Big Ten". The Argus-Press, Owosso, Michigan (AP story).
  11. ^ a b Doug Lasswell (October 13, 1983). "Bucs Put Hawkins On Injured Reserve, Waive Roberts". Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  12. ^ a b c "Robert Thompson". Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  13. ^ "McKay committed to four receivers". Lakeland Ledger. August 27, 1984.
  14. ^ Dave Scheiber (October 27, 1984). "Bucs reshuffle their ranks as injuries mount". St. Petersburg Times.
  15. ^ Jerry Greene (August 21, 1985). "BUCS CUT SAFETY BROWN, QB CALABRIA". Orlando Sentinel.
  16. ^ David Steele (September 30, 1987). "BUCS' TEAM B VS. LIONS' TEAM B Series: THE NFL STRIKE". St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  17. ^ "Lions haven't broken ranks". Ludington Daily News (AP story). October 2, 1987.
  18. ^ "Lions sign free agents". The Argus-Press, Owosso, Michigan (AP story). February 19, 1988.
  19. ^ "1988 Detroit Lions". Retrieved September 10, 2010.