Longhorn Hall of Honor: Jim Hudson
Nov. 5, 2012
Gaby Moran, Texas Media Relations
With today's technology, you can easily get on the internet and find a list of all football players who have won both a National Championship and a Super Bowl. While the list has grown as the years since the first Super Bowl, former Texas Longhorn standout Jim Hudson is one of the very first athletes to have accomplished such success.
"Just to be on two teams that won a National Championship and a Super bowl is just about as lucky as you can get," Hudson said.
Hudson joined the University of Texas Football program in 1962. Rosters were smaller back then, and everyone had to pitch in and play on all sides of the ball. Throughout his three varsity years, Hudson played quarterback, wide receiver, running back, punt returner and several different positions on the defensive side.
"I never considered anything else besides The University of Texas when I was in high school," Hudson said. "It was the only the school I ever went to and the only one I ever wanted to go to."
In 1963, Hudson, his teammates, coaches and fans of Texas Football, experienced an incredible phenomenon - UT's first National Championship in football. The Longhorns beat Navy 28-6, and Hudson's contribution to the game was registering six tackles.
"Nothing can compare to the Navy game," Hudson said.
Another memorable moment during his collegiate career was throwing a 69-yard touchdown pass to George Sauer to help the Longhorns beat Alabama 21-17 in the Orange Bowl in 1964. In what was his last collegiate game, New York Jets recruiters who were at the game scouting Alabama's quarterback, Joe Namath, witnessed Hudson's talent, and signed him as a free agent.
Joining the Jets for the 1965 season, Hudson was signed to specifically play defensive back, meaning no more changing roles or purposes throughout the game. He was part of the team for five seasons, including the Jets only Super Bowl win.
In 1968, Hudson and the Jets were in their prime. The Jets won their first and only Super Bowl, 16-7, against the Baltimore Colts, and Hudson played a key role by making an interception to help secure the win. For the season, he posted 85 tackles and five interceptions.
Hudson played for two more seasons on the Jets, but his playing time decreased each year as his knees worsened.
Hudson was very persistent in keeping close ties to all his friends he met while playing professional football. After his official retirement from the NFL, he and former San Diego Chargers quarterback, John Hadl, got together to create a real estate firm in Austin.
But real estate was not the end of the road for Hudson; it actually created the opportunity for what was next for him. When one of his clients was part of the horse business and asked Hudson and a few of his friends to join him, Hudson found a whole new career.
Hudson started training Quarter Horses for races around Texas. Then, Hudson upgraded to training Thoroughbred horses and moved to Louisiana since that state, Oklahoma and Arkansas had better purses for horse racing than Texas.
"I ended up getting a terrible bug for the horse business and ended up becoming a trainer of Thoroughbred horses for 25 years," Hudson said.
From winning a National Championship and a Super Bowl to becoming one of the top horse trainers of his time, Hudson is a perfect candidate to join the Texas Men's Hall of Honor this year.
"It feels good (to be inducted) and lots of guys that I played with, who were just as good, are in it and now I get to be considered alongside them," Hudson said. "It is very exciting."