1894 (Record: 6-1)
A 1891 graduate of Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) where he was the team captain in his final season, Reginald DeMerritt Wentworth became the first coach in Texas history when he accepted an offer of $325 as salary and expenses in 1894. The drive to hire a coach, or "trainer" as he was called then, came after a successful inaugural Longhorn football season when the first-ever Texas team went 4-0. That team was formed by students and was managed by Albert Lefevre, who was secretary-treasurer of The University of Texas Athletic Association. The 1894 hiring of Wentworth was spearheaded by two early law graduates, A.S. Walker and Thomas W. Gregory, who also saw to it that $100 was appropriated to purchase orange and white jackets, moleskin pants, striped stockings and several rubber noseguards.Wentworth's team shut out its first six opponents, outscoring them 191-0, but fortunes turned suddenly in the final game of the year when Missouri, playing a different style than the Texans were accustomed to, crushed the Texas team, 28-0. Wentworth's judgment in the final game was questioned by Texas fans, which prompted historian Lou Maysel to write, "The critical and suspicious nature of fans manifested itself early in the school's football history." The tenure of UT's first football coach ended with that season. Wentworth returned to the East Coast and subsequently went into marine insurance in New York City.
FRANK "LITTLE" CRAWFORD
1895 (Record: 5-0)
Following the stinging loss to Missouri in 1894 and R.D. Wentworth's departure, Texas had a difficult time hiring a coach. After a lengthy search, UT finally settled in mid-October of 1895 on Frank Crawford. A native of Colebrook, N.H., Crawford had coached Nebraska to a 5-4-2 record the previous two seasons. Crawford's only known collegiate work was at Nebraska. Although Crawford reported that he attended Michigan State for two years, records never substantiated that claim. "Little" Crawford taught the Yale system of play and stressed physical conditioning. He employed a daily routine that required the players to jog the mile or so from the campus to the Hyde Park practice field and then back after practice. Because of his late arrival, the Texas season was delayed. The late beginning didn't prevent the team from experiencing tremendous success on the field. Texas rolled past its first four opponents by a combined score of 88-0. UT's original season finale was a 38-0 crushing of San Antonio on Thanksgiving Day. Following the game in the Alamo City, Crawford left immediately to visit Mexico and watch some bullfights, then returned home to Nebraska. At the time, coaches were hired just for the fall season. The Texas team went on to accept a postseason challenge from a Galveston team. Despite playing without its head coach, UT added a fifth victory with an 8-0 win.
HARRY ORMAN "JAKE" ROBINSON
1896 (Record: 4-2-1)
Harry Orman "Jake" Robinson had been the only coach to defeat Texas in its first three years of competition when his Missouri team crushed the Varsity, 28-0, in 1894, so it created a lot of excitement when he was hired to take over the team for the 1896 season. Robinson, a native of Bangor, Maine, played lineman at Tufts (Medford, Mass.) in 1891-92, had a degree in electrical engineering and was an accomplished string musician. In football, he brought to Texas the Princeton style of play and benefited from the move of the UT practice area from Hyde Park to just east of the campus. An upgraded schedule found the Longhorns finishing with a 4-2-1 record, winding up the season with a 10-0 loss to Missouri in early December. After that game, 18 of the Missouri players were convinced to join the Texas team on an exhibition tour of Mexico, where Robinson and Missouri coach Frank Patterson actually played in one of the contests before returning to the sidelines. Neither school counts the exhibition games in their records, but the trip was notable because the Missouri players had left school in late November. With permission for a one-week tour, the team's month-long absence brought the wrath of their parents as well as the school. Robinson remained with the Texas team through the trip before ending his one-season stint in Austin.
WALTER F. "MIKE" KELLY
1897 (Record: 6-2)
For the first several years, coaches at Texas were under the control of The University of Texas Athletic Association, a group affiliated with but not controlled by The University of Texas itself. In 1895, an Athletic Council, which served as a faculty committee to supervise athletics, was formed. It included many of the same members as the Association, but its creation helped bring football under the control of The University. In 1897, in a significant change from the policy of hiring a coach only for the fall semester, Walter F. "Mike" Kelly was hired as the full-time "Physical Director for Men" and was handed the football coaching duties as part of his responsibilities. Kelly, who had played end on the Dartmouth College team only a year before, led the team to a 6-2 record, with most of the wins coming over town teams from San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas. A notable exception was an 18-10 victory over a Waco school known as Add-Ran College, which later moved to Fort Worth and changed its name to Texas Christian University. Kelly's tenure as coach lasted only one year, however. Although he did not remain as head coach, Kelly returned in 1898 as director of the newly completed gym in the east wing of the Main Building and accepted a position as an assistant coach - the first true aide for a UT football coach.
DAVID FARRAGUT EDWARDS
1898 (Record: 5-1)
The plans for a retention schedule of Longhorn head coaches changed quickly in 1898, only a year after the Athletic Council had hired Mike Kelly for a full year with the idea of keeping him more than just one season. Kelly returned, but his duties as "physical director" called for him to maintain the directorship of a newly completed school gymnasium. So he took the job of the first-ever assistant coach, and David Farragut Edwards, who was hired only for the season, took the job as the fifth head coach in as many years at Texas. Edwards, an 1896 graduate of Princeton who had played as a second-team lineman as a senior and served as assistant coach at Ohio State in 1897, took over the UT program in 1898. Edwards led the young Texas team into a schedule that featured a swing toward collegiate competition, rather than the predominance of "town teams" that had filled the schedule since the beginning of the school's participation in football. Along with a more challenging schedule, it was Edwards who made a drastic change in the school uniforms, which actually triggered a vote on the official school colors. Edwards shunned the orange and white combination that had been worn since orange and white streamers were purchased for use at a baseball game a few years earlier. His preference of orange and maroon did not wear well with the natives, who pushed for a vote on the school colors that eventually came two years later. Edwards' team shut out every opponent except Sewanee, which blanked the Texans, 4-0, for the only loss of the season. The only score in that game came on a trick play for a touchdown, which was worth four points in those days. Following the season, Edwards returned to the east and eventually practiced law in Jersey City. His assistant, Kelly, also departed.
MAURICE GORDON CLARKE
1899 (Record: 6-2)
With two vacancies in the infant athletics program, the Athletic Council in 1899 hired Maurice Gordon Clarke, a native of Omaha, Neb., who lettered three years in both football and baseball at an early-day powerhouse - the University of Chicago. Clarke played quarterback on the 1896-98 Chicago teams that compiled a 23-5-1 record. He brought to Texas the style of his teacher, the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg. The season featured the purchase of the first university-owned field as a group of key supporters agreed to help the university with the purchase price of $3,000. The field was named Clark Field, in honor of George B. Clark, who as school proctor served as auditor, registrar, librarian, secretary of the faculty and campus caretaker. It was also the year that Texas ended road trips to "town teams" after a brawl broke out in the final trip to Dallas to play against a city team. Clarke's team carded a 6-2 record, with the only losses coming to Sewanee, 12-0, and Vanderbilt in Nashville, 6-0. The season featured the first field goal in UT history when Jim Hart kicked a ball through the uprights from the 23-yard line in an 11-0 win over Tulane in New Orleans.
SAMUEL HUSTON "SHY" THOMPSON 1900-01 (Record: 14-2-1)
The season of 1900 brought a vote on the colors of orange and white and the formation of the school's first band, and it also brought the beginning of the first multi-year stay of a Texas coach. That year, Samuel Huston "Shy" Thompson was named head coach, while Dr. Frank Homer Curtiss was chosen as the new gymnasium director and served as assistant coach. Thompson was a Princeton grad who had played on the great Tiger team of 1896 and coached at Oberlin (Ohio) in 1897 and then Lehigh (Pa.) in 1898 and 1899. During the offseason, Thompson studied law in New York City. He moved to Denver the summer before coming to Texas and made Colorado his official residence thereafter. A strict disciplinarian, who refused to let players drink water during practice, Thompson guided his team to a 6-0 record in his first season and piloted the Texas squad to an 8-2-1 record in 1901. In his second season, Thompson stayed on to lead a Texas team devoid of experienced manpower. He opened the year with a 6-0-1 record before disaster struck. A team at the American School of Osteopathy of Kirksville, Mo., proposed a game during a swing north by the Texas team. Thompson objected, but the school agreed to play. Thompson said the Kirksville team was "composed of pickups from all over the country," and he was proved right, as a bitter contest ended with a 48-0 Kirksville win, during which the Texas team was humiliated on and off the field. Texas lost to Kansas the next week but bounced back to record eight wins in the most extensive schedule ever for a Texas team. Thompson resigned after the season and finished his career with a 14-2-1 mark. He later served as assistant U.S. attorney general under President Woodrow Wilson from 1913-1918 and on the Federal Trade Commission from 1919-27.
1902 (Record: 6-3-1)
Diminutive John B. Hart had to prove himself from the start as the new coach at Texas for the 1902 season. Fresh out of Yale as a June graduate, the 5-foot-5, 130-pound native of Cincinnati arrived on the UT campus to skeptics who wondered if the little guy had really played in the then mighty Ivy League. That was until Hart suited up for one scrimmage and left little doubt as to why he had won his "Y" as one of the smallest backs the school ever had. Hart's very young team got off to a good start with wins over Oklahoma and Sewanee, but the season ended in a 12-0 defeat at the hands of rival Texas A&M, its first-ever win over UT. The lost left UT with a 6-3-1 slate and marked the most defeats the school had suffered in 10 years of football. Hart, like so many of the coaches before him, was employed only for the season, and departed following the loss to Texas A&M.
1903-05 (Record: 16-7-2)
Frustrated by having to hire a coach every fall semester, the UT Board of Regents finally took action and established the post of "outdoor athletic director," whose job would include the coaching of baseball, track and football. The move had a double bonus for the struggling Athletic Association, because it meant the salary would be paid by The University, rather than from generated funds. Ralph Fielding Hutchinson was chosen for the job in 1903, and in him UT got a versatile athlete and well-qualified coach. A Princeton man who was a native of Pennsylvania, he was a product of Mercersburg Prep. He played quarterback on the 1898-99 Princeton teams and was an infielder in baseball and a hurdler in track. Before coming to Texas, he served two years as coach and athletics director at Dickinson College and coached backs at Princeton in 1902. Hutchinson inherited an assistant - Homer Curtiss, who was the gym director - but found a team with apparently less-than-average talent. But he quickly found outstanding players - including future U.S. Congressman Lucian Parrish - among the newcomers and rolled to a 5-1-2 record in his first year. Except for an historic 68-0 shellacking - the worst loss in UT history - at the hands of Chicago in his second season of 1904, Hutchinson continued his success with a 6-2 record that year. Hard times financially and on the playing field hit the next season, and Hutchinson left after UT suffered its greatest number of defeats to date with a 5-4 record. He wrapped up his three-year tenure with a 16-7-2 record.
1906 (Record: 9-1)
Following the 1905 season, college football had reached a crisis because the style of play, coupled with the lack of helmets and inadequate protection for the body, had produced 18 deaths and 159 serious injuries nationwide. Schools such as Columbia, Northwestern, California and Stanford either dropped the sport or changed to rugby. Representatives of college football's Big Three - Harvard, Princeton and Yale -went to the White House and asked President Teddy Roosevelt to intervene, and he did. With the assistance came sweeping changes in the game. The forward pass was adopted, first-down distance measured and the games were reduced in time. The University, which had stepped into the larger arena four years before with the hiring of Ralph Hutchinson, took a step backward with the hiring of H. R. Schenker in 1906. Schenker, who was a young Yale graduate, had the supposed recommendation of none other than "the father of American football" Walter Camp. Fact was, Schenker knew nothing of the intricacies of the game of football or even how to hold one, although he supposedly had played on the scrub team at Yale. Though one of his players would later write, "How he got the job has always been a mystery," the team banded together to win despite him. Future Statesman Lucian Parrish delivered a stirring talk to his teammates in which he said, "Men, we will have to face the fact that our coach is incompetent. It is true he should be taking lessons from us, rather than we from him. But the fact remains that he is employed to handle the team and is certainly the head of the football organization. I want to earnestly urge you to keep your mouths shut and follow the directions of the coach every day you are on the field. If you are instructed to do something that you know to be bad football, do the thing willingly and promptly at the time and then come to me about it. I will see that all mistakes are remedied." The remarkable Parrish, a guard who died an early death while serving in Congress in 1921, was true to his word. With the help of two professors, including a young German instructor named W. E. Metzenthin, the team flourished despite Schenker, finishing with a 9-1 record. To no one's surprise, Schenker was not asked to return following the season.
W. E. METZENTHIN
1907-08 (Record: 11-5-1)
The athletics family at UT was so impressed with the behind-the-scenes work of Waldemar Eric Metzenthin that they prevailed on him to become the head coach for the 1907 season. An energetic young language professor, Metzenthin accepted no additional pay to do the job. Born in Berlin, Metzenthin had attended public schools in Austin and in Lancaster, Pa., and had played quarterback at Franklin-Marshall and Columbia. Metzenthin did not inherit the best of worlds as Schenker's successor. Freshmen were barred by the faculty from competing their first semester, and the program was in tough financial shape. But Metzenthin, who had been so successful in steering the program from behind the scenes the year before, came through. The first season ended successfully at 6-1-1 and the football program cleared more than $1,000. Metzenthin agreed to coach the team again, along with his professorial duties, in 1908. But his team struggled, and despite a spectacular 28-12 come-from-behind victory against Texas A&M - which allowed Texas to finish 5-4 and escape its first losing season ever - he quit after the season. Stating he was tired of the criticism, he returned to full-time professorship, and Texas began searching for a coach once again. Several years later Metzenthin would return to athletics, serving as athletics council chairman, or athletics director as it would be later known, in 1927.
DR. DEXTER DRAPER
1909 (Record: 4-3-1)
Dexter Wright Draper was hired immediately following the resignation of W. E. Metzenthin, and by the time he got to Texas for the 1909 season, he had received his medical degree and was Dr. Dexter Draper. A rugged tackle at the University of Pennsylvania, Draper came with outstanding credentials as a player, having made the Walter Camp All-American team for three straight years. A big man with a foghorn voice, he was a throwback to the old-style, hard-nosed football coach and wasn't the most popular person among the Texas players. He also faced a concentrated effort in improvement at Texas A&M, and the result was two of his three losses coming at the hand of the Aggies. Those two losses to Texas A&M, by a combined score of 28-0, and the mediocre 4-3-1 season had Draper on the hot seat, but he decided on his own against returning as the UT coach. He headed back east and later coached at Franklin & Marshall and William & Mary before entering his chosen field as a doctor in pediatrics. He then served as chief medical examiner for the city schools in Lancaster, Pa., where he died in 1961 at the age of 80.
1910 (Record: 6-2-0)
From the fertile fields of the eastern cradle of college football, Texas turned at last to the Midwest for its 1910 coach, with the hiring of William S. "Billy" Wasmund, who had quarterbacked a new-style offense for the Michigan Wolverines. Wasmund, a native of Detroit, had attended Lafayette College (Pa.) before transferring to Michigan to get his degree in civil engineering. Wasmund's arrival at Texas came at the same time football rules changed significantly. The game was divided into quarters, and seven players were required on the line of scrimmage. Interlocking interference was banned and so was pushing and pulling the ball carrier. The new coach's style of football was both popular and successful. Wealthy team manager Lutcher Stark helped arrange an impressive schedule and despite losses to Oklahoma and Texas A&M, Wasmund was popular enough to be rehired for the 1911 season. But he didn't live to see it. Wasmund's team held its first-ever preseason training camp, going off campus to a site near Marble Falls. When the team returned ready for its opener, the players were seasoned and tough. But on Sunday morning, October 1 - just six days before the season opener with TCU - Wasmund was found unconscious near his second-floor apartment, which was adjacent to the UT campus. Rumors of foul play spread, but it later was determined that his fall was apparently an accident, for he was a known sleepwalker who apparently fell in the night. At first his injury wasn't thought to be serious, but his conditioned worsened and he died several days later.
1911-1915 (Record: 33-7-0)
Clinging to life on his deathbed, Billy Wasmund realized that his condition was worsening and that he would not be able to coach the team. So he advised the school's athletic officials to contact his old coach at Michigan, Fielding Yost, to help secure a successor who was familiar with the Michigan system. Wasmund mentioned a former teammate, halfback Dave Allerdice. J. Burton Rix, the track and basketball coach, and William J. "Uncle Billy" Disch, the baseball coach, held the football team together as Wasmund fought for his life. But when Wasmund died just days before the TCU game, The University cancelled the game and sought a successor. When Yost recommended Allerdice, too, the Texas people knew he was their man. The son of an Indianapolis packing house operator, David W. Allerdice was a remarkable athlete who was an All-American halfback on the 1907-09 Michigan teams. He also served as an assistant coach at Michigan but was at Butler (Ind.) University when he was contacted about the Texas job. He arrived in Austin on a train just five days after Wasmund's death, and he brought a warmth and quiet stability to the coaching position - and thus became the most successful coach of the early era of Texas football. His team went 5-2 in 1911, 7-1 in both 1912 and 1913, and was unbeaten at 8-0 in 1914. In 1915 he led his team into the inaugural season of Southwest Conference football. Despite outscoring its first three opponents 223-0, including a UT-record 92-0 victory over Daniel Baker (largest margin of victory and points scored in school history), Texas lost three of its final six games and finished with a 6-3 record. UT finished tied for third with a 2-2 mark in the SWC and suffered season-ending losses to Texas A&M and Notre Dame - the latter coming when star Clyde Littlefield, the future UT football and track coach, became ill and could not play. With a remarkable record of 33-7, Allerdice informed the Athletic Council midway through the 1915 season that it would be his last because of the "super critical nature of the Texas fans." He returned to Indianapolis and went into his family's meat packing business. Allerdice, along with his wife and son, tragically died in a house fire during the 1940 Christmas holiday. He was posthumously inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1981.
EUGENE VAN GENT
1916 (Record: 7-2-0)
Conrad Eugene Van Gent, a former three-sport star at Wisconsin, replaced Dave Allerdice in 1916 and continued the winning tradition. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound man, Van Gent was from Ottumwa, Iowa, and was an all-star in football, basketball and track for the Badgers. He had worked two years on the University of Missouri staff, and the UT Athletic Council, led by the first-ever athletics director Theo Bellmont, had to raise its offer from $2,250 to $2,500 as a result of Missouri's efforts to keep him. The 1916 campaign was the season when the Texas A&M students kidnapped and branded the Longhorn mascot, hence Van Gent personally witnessed the birth of the name "Bevo" for the school's favorite steer. Van Gent led the team to a 7-2 record and an SWC-best 5-1 record (although a conference crown was not awarded in 1916). But, when the season was over, the world was about to change. More than 500 students and Van Gent left the Austin school when the United States declared war on Germany. The UT coach reported to the First Officers' Training Camp at Camp Funston, near San Antonio in May of 1917. He returned after the war as an assistant coach but left after the 1919 season. Van Gent then moved to California and entered private business. He returned to college coaching briefly at Stanford, posting a 4-4-2 season in 1922.
1917-19 (Record: 19-7-0)
Legendary Longhorn baseball coach Billy Disch was a factor in the hiring of the Longhorns' coach in 1917, as he recommended William J. Juneau. Juneau had coached Eugene Van Gent, Texas' previous coach, during his 1912-15 tour at Wisconsin. Juneau, who was also hired to coach track at Texas, had posted an 18-8-2 record and a 7-0 initial season for the Badgers. Juneau, who had played his football at Wisconsin, was a high school teammate of Disch in Milwaukee and had coached at South Dakota State and Marquette. With many brave young men going away to war, Juneau inherited a far different football team than had any of his predecessors. Juneau's first team suffered three straight shutouts at mid-season to end with a 4-4 record and Texas' first non-winning season in school history. By 1918, the war had consumed the nation and Juneau's record of 9-0 was achieved against only five college teams and four military squads. The next year his team went 6-3 but was just 3-2 in the SWC (fourth place). By that time, the dominant figure in college football in the state of Texas had become D. X. Bible, who was turning Texas A&M into a national power. Faced with a disappointing season and the fact that the Longhorns had gone the first five seasons in the Southwest Conference without a league title, dissatisfaction was rampant in the Texas ranks and Juneau left under pressure. He moved on to Kentucky, where he was 13-10-1 over the next three seasons.
BERRY M. WHITAKER
1920-22 (Record: 22-3-1)
One of the most enduring figures ever at The University of Texas was Berry McClure Whitaker, who founded the school's intramural program for men and also served as one of its most successful football coaches. Whitaker was tabbed as the coach for the 1920 season and was a part of a remarkable era in Texas athletics that saw its major sport teams of football, basketball and baseball rarely lose a game. Football was no exception, as Whitaker took over for Juneau and immediately guided the team to a 9-0 record and the SWC Championship. A native of Anderson, Ind., Whitaker took the job in Austin because its offer was the farthest point from his hometown. He moved to Texas in 1916 to head up the men's intramural department and helped the coaching staff. When Juneau was fired, the unassuming Whitaker was called into athletics director Theo Bellmont's office and told - not offered the job - he was the coach. With some of the most gifted players in early Texas history, Whitaker coached teams to seasons of 9-0, 6-1-1 and 7-2. Following the 1922 season and with a sparkling 22-3-1 record, Whitaker resigned amid rumors that he was in conflict with the rich and powerful former team manager, Lutcher Stark. Whitaker denied it, simply saying, "I'm too thin-skinned and too conscientious. Defeats killed me. I was coming down with ulcers and that kind of thing. I didn't intend to stay in coaching in the first place. I was going to get out of it and get back in my profession." With that, he returned to his beloved intramural program, serving as the director for more than 40 years until he retired. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1977.
1923-26 (Record: 24-9-3)
Hired to take over the UT program in 1923, Edward James "Doc" Stewart was the son of a Methodist minister and had played football and basketball at Mount Union College (Alliance, Ohio). He had attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) where he played on the baseball team and was even a sportswriter for the Morning Gleander and Evening Independent in Massillon, Ohio. In the early 1900s, he organized a town team called the Massillon Tigers, which set the stage for the storied history of football in that Ohio town. Stewart had coached two football seasons at Mount Union and had coached football and basketball at Purdue, Allegheny College, Oregon A&M (now Oregon State), Nebraska and Clemson - as well as an Army team during World War I. Stewart, who wore a brimmed hat at games and at practice, was a multi-faceted man who played the piano and spoke so eloquently that the head of the UT English department offered him a job if he ever quit coaching. On the field, he convinced Oscar Eckardt, one of the University's true legends, not to give up the game and that promptly resulted in an 8-0-1 season in 1923. He followed that with a 5-3-1 season in 1924, a 6-2-1 mark in 1925 and then struggled to a 5-4 record in 1926. Stewart's varied interests probably proved to be his downfall as the UT coach, but he survived quite well financially. He invested in summer camps for kids near Kerrville and founded Camp Stewart for boys and Camp Mystic for girls, as well as Heart O' Hills Inn as part of a resort empire. When his record slipped in 1926, war was about to break out over Texas athletics. Stewart had his backers and detractors, and finally, in an explosive meeting, the popular coach was fired with a 24-9-3 record. Stewart went on to serve as coach at what is now UTEP for two seasons before returning to Kerrville to run the camps, which were a huge financial success. The bright light of success that Stewart was ended tragically just three years after his UT firing when he was shot and killed by a deer-hunting companion on November 18, 1929.
1927-33 (Record: 44-18-6)
One of the legendary figures ever in Texas athletics, Clyde Littlefield paid little attention to the turmoil surrounding the dismissal of E.J. Stewart following the 1926 season, which also resulted in the firing of athletics director Theo Bellmont. Littlefield was hired to coach and accepted the position in 1927. He was the first true superstar to play and later coach at The University of Texas. Littlefield was a native of Pennsylvania who came to Texas in 1904 when the oil boom around Beaumont attracted his father. He finished his prep schooling in San Antonio and chose Texas over Texas A&M in a move that defined history. He won 12 letters in three sports and could have earned another if he had more time for baseball. He started his coaching career in Greenville, and after a tremendous high school career, he returned to Texas. His final high school football team was undefeated, untied and unscored upon. Littlefield had been a superstar in football at Texas, so it was no surprise that he was hired as track coach and freshman football coach in 1920. When he took over as the head coach after Stewart dismissal, he paid little attention to politics and proceeded to build a great staff with which to run the program. His first team went 6-2-1, and his second finished with a 7-2 record and won the SWC championship. By 1930, with the arrival of Ernie Koy, Harrison Stafford and Bohn Hilliard, Littlefield had legitimate superstars and a second league championship with an 8-1-1 record. Things continued to be solid for Littlefield when his 1932 team was 8-2. But, when the 1933 unit fell to 4-5-2 - UT's first losing season in 40 years of football - powerful people such as Lutcher Stark called for his resignation. Choosing not to fight, and to avoid the politics, Littlefield quit as football coach with a 44-18-6 record that still stands as the fourth-most coaching victories on UT record. Littlefield remained as track coach where he served for 41 seasons and won 25 league championships. He was the first Texas coach to win two SWC championships in football, and his legacy remains today with his name honoring the nationally renowned track festival he created in 1925, the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Littlefield was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1961.
1934-36 (Record: 13-14-2)
John Edward "Jack" Chevigny was a national football celebrity who almost literally wound up on UT's doorstep in 1934, and his flashfire of success was like a sky rocket that took off in a flurry and burned out quickly. Part of the great legend of Notre Dame football was Chevigny, who scored the winning touchdown against Army after Knute Rockne's famous "Win One for the Gipper" halftime speech, and he allegedly said as he crossed the goal with the winning score, "That's one for the Gipper." Chevigny might well have succeeded Rockne at Notre Dame had the famous coach not been killed in a plane crash in 1931, because he had Rockne's flair for the dramatic and was being groomed for the job as an assistant at Notre Dame. The Hammond, Ind., native left Notre Dame after Rockne's death and coached the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) of the NFL to a 2-6-2 record in 1932. He quickly determined that professional ball wasn't for him and accepted a job as the head coach at St. Edward's University (a sister school of Notre Dame) in Austin. So it was convenient that Chevigny was just across the Colorado River in South Austin when Texas began looking for a new coach in 1934. The flamboyant Chevigny had impressed the Austin community and the media with his flair, and he did an excellent job of self-promotion. He got the UT job and inherited from Littlefield a wealth of talent, including 20 lettermen. Chevigny's greatest moment came in just the second game of his career, when he directed a 7-6 victory over his alma mater, Notre Dame. When his team finished the season at 7-2-1, Jack Chevigny was the toast of the town. But it would be short-lived. His 1935 team fell to 4-6, and Chevigny failed to build bonds with the Texas fan base, and more importantly, with the Texas high school coaches. As the 1936 season crashed down around him, Chevigny announced he had asked UT authorities not to reappoint him. When the team finished 2-6-1, the Athletics Council took him up on his verbal resignation. To this day, Chevigny, with a 13-14-2 record in three seasons, stands as the only head football coach in Longhorn history with a losing record. Chevigny stayed in Austin for a time working as an attorney for the State Tax Commission, but he soon tired of that and moved to Illinois, where he was very successful in the oil business. Chevigny died as a first lieutenant in the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.
DANA X. BIBLE
1937-46 (Record: 63-31-3)
When it came time to replace Jack Chevigny after the 1936 season, Texas made the boldest and most powerful move that it had made since the beginning of The University - at least as far as athletics was concerned - in 1937. In the midst of a national depression, Texas sought and hired Dana X. Bible, who agreed to leave a solid post at Nebraska to accept the dual post of coach and athletics director at Texas. Bible came to UT for a salary of $15,000 - more than The University paid its president (who eventually got a raise as a result) at the time. Still ranked as the third-winningest coach in UT history and one of the most successful coaches in the early days of college football history, Bible's 10-year stint at Texas from 1937-46 is credited with laying the foundation of the modern legacy of Longhorn football. Born Oct. 8, 1891, in Jefferson City, Tenn., Bible's first name, Dana, honored a relative, while his middle name, Xenophon, recognized the ancient Greek historian. His father was a professor at Carson-Newman College, and so it was natural for Bible to go to school there and become a football standout and scholar-athlete. Even though he was a star on the field, Bible's thirst for knowledge of the game led him on summer pilgrimages to study with such legends of the game as Amos Alonzo Stagg and Pop Warner, among others. His first coaching assignment was at Brandon Prep in Shelbyville, Tenn., and he was only 21 years old when he was hired to coach Mississippi College in 1912. In 1916, he became an assistant coach at Texas A&M while he actually worked as a coach-on-loan at LSU part of that season. Bible returned to Texas A&M as the head coach in 1917, and a legend was born. Following tremendous success at Texas A&M and Nebraska, Bible was hired in 1937 to turn the Texas fortunes around. He inherited a team that was more depressed than the nation's economy. After a tough start that saw Texas win just three games in Bible's first two seasons, the legendary coach turned things around. By the time his tenure was up, he had led the Horns to what was then a school-best 63 victories and won three Southwest Conference championships, all coming in the final five years of his Longhorn career. He is credited for "The Bible Plan," which placed emphasis on education as well as success on the football field. His 1941 team, which finished the year with an 8-1-1 mark and a final national ranking of No. 4 - marking the first appearance for the Longhorns in the season-ending poll - was featured on the cover of Life magazine and is still regarded as one of the greatest in school history. Bible's 1941 squad climbed as high as No. 1 to record the Horns first-ever top ranking at any point in a season. He won SWC titles in 1942, 1943 and 1945 while those teams finished with No. 11, No. 14 and No. 10 national rankings, respectively. Bible's 1942 squad was just the second in UT history to post nine wins and was the first Longhorn team to play in a bowl game - a 14-7 victory over No. 5 Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl. His '43 squad was 7-1-1, a perfect 5-0 in the SWC and played Randolph Field to a 7-7 tie in the Cotton Bowl. The '45 team set a then-UT record with 10 victories, including a dramatic 40-27 win over Missouri in the Cotton Bowl. That game is best remembered for legendary quarterback Bobby Layne playing a role in each of Texas' 40 points. After leading UT to an 8-2 record and a No. 15 final ranking in 1946, Bible retired from coaching and remained as athletics director. In 33 years as a head coach, Bible was 198-72-3 (63-31-3 at Texas) and the third-winningest coach in the history of the game when he retired, trailing only Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached for 57 years, and Pop Warner, who patrolled the sidelines for 44 years. Bible, who never lost a bowl game - boasting a 2-0-1 record in three Cotton Bowls, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1960.
1947-50 (Record: 32-10-1)
Handpicked and groomed by D.X. Bible as his successor, Blair Cherry brought a wealth of experience and Texas roots to the position of head football coach in 1947. The first Texas-born coach, Cherry had been waiting in the wings since joining Bible's first staff at Texas in 1937. As his right-hand man, Cherry was Bible's choice to succeed him when he stepped down from coaching and retained the athletics director position in 1946. Cherry, a native of Corsicana, played his high school ball at Weatherford and later was a star at TCU. After a brief professional baseball career, he quickly moved into football coaching as a high school mentor at Ranger, before moving to Fort Worth North Side. In 1930, he became head coach at Amarillo and was part of one of the most incredible records in Texas high school sports. During his time at Amarillo, his team won 84 games, lost just five and ruled as state champions his final three years. Had Bible not accepted the Texas head coaching position 10 years earlier, Cherry was the next choice and he quickly proved why. With a veteran squad, including All-American quarterback Bobby Layne, Cherry's Longhorns posted a near-perfect record of 10-1, defeated No. 6 Alabama (27-7) in the Sugar Bowl and finished the year ranked fifth nationally in his first season of 1947. The only loss came in classic 14-13 battle with Doak Walker and SMU. Cherry's 1948 team was 7-3-1, including a 41-28 win over No. 8 Georgia in the Orange Bowl. Following that victory, Cherry was offered head coaching jobs with both the Chicago Cardinals and the Washington Redskins of the NFL but instead chose to stay at Texas, accepting a new five-year contract. But two years later, in the midst of one of the most successful coaching careers ever at Texas, Cherry resigned to enter private business. After a 6-4 record in 1949, Cherry's 1950 team went on to post a 9-2 record, earn a No. 3 national ranking and claim the SWC Championship with a perfect 6-0 conference slate. Cherry's team was ranked No. 5 in the country and was breezing to the SWC title when he announced at mid-season that he was leaving to enter the oil business. His UT coaching career came to an end after a season-ending loss to Tennessee (20-14) in the Cotton Bowl. Cherry suffered from an ulcer and insomnia. In a national article on "Why I Quit Coaching" a year later, he alluded to the "over-emphasis on winning" and the critical nature of the media and the fans over the few losses he suffered in an amazing 32-10-1 career as the reasons he chose to leave. In four short seasons, he led Texas to three bowl games, two bowl victories and a pair of Top-five national rankings. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1968.
1951-56 (Record: 33-27-1)
Due to a long association with The University both as an athlete and an assistant coach, Edwin Booth Price was the natural choice to replace Blair Cherry as the Longhorns' head coach in 1951. Stunned by the sudden resignation of Cherry, Price's selection calmed the situation considerably, for he had been an assistant to both Jack Chevigny and D.X. Bible and had led Cherry's defensive units since returning from World War II. Born in Brownwood, Price later was a four-sport star at Corsicana before coming to Texas, where he played on championship teams in football, basketball and baseball. He was also a sportswriter for the Daily Texan while in school. He coached in high school and junior college at Hillsboro and El Paso before returning to Texas to join Chevigny's last staff in 1936. He stayed on as a freshman football coach for Bible. Price quickly continued the winning tradition set by Cherry, leading the Longhorns to a 7-3 record in his first season as head coach. His 1952 team posted a 9-2 record, claimed the SWC Championship with a perfect 6-0 league mark and finished with a No. 10 national ranking. That unit, which featured an all-conference backfield and some of the best players of the era for UT, capped a terrific year with a 16-0 victory over No. 8 Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl. His 1953 team finished with a 7-3 mark, was ranked 11th nationally and claimed a league co-championship. After just three seasons, Price had won two conference titles, led Texas to a 23-8 record and was riding a wave of success. But despite high hopes, the 1954 team stumbled to a 4-5-1 record - Texas' first losing season in 15 years - and the downward spiral had begun. After a 5-5 year in 1955, Texas tumbled to its worst record in school history in a 1-9 season in 1956. A 7-6 win over Tulane in the second game of the year was the only victory in the dismal campaign. Whether the downfall came because of rule changes, as Price believed, or whether it was the mild-mannered Price's failure to recruit well and be hard-nosed, after over 25 years of direct association with athletics at Texas, his tenure in that department ended. On October 31, 1956, citing his love for The University and his desire to move forward "for the good of the team," Price tendered his resignation effective at the end of the season. He was 33-27-1 in six seasons, but after claiming two conference crowns in his first three years, the Longhorns fell to the bottom of the league standings in his final two seasons. He stayed on at Texas, first in the physical education department and later serving as assistant dean of students, for many years before retiring. He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1967.
1957-76 (Record: 167-47-5)
D. X. Bible's legacy as Texas' football coach may have ended in the 1940s, but the impact he had as athletics director in the 1950s continued to be dramatic. For it was Bible, more than any single person, who fashioned the hiring in December of 1956 of Darrell Royal, a young, 32-year-old former Oklahoma football star as the next Longhorn football coach. Born in Hollis, Okla., Royal had played his college ball at the University of Oklahoma and served as an assistant coach at North Carolina State, Tulsa and Mississippi State. He coached the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian League, and in 1955, he returned to Mississippi State for his first collegiate head coaching job. He spent the next season at the University of Washington and was there when Bible called him to interview for the Texas job. Royal was an immediate success at Texas, leading the Longhorns - who posted their worst record ever (1-9) in 1956 - to a 6-4-1 record, a No. 11 national ranking and a berth in the Sugar Bowl in his first season. He would never suffer a losing season in 20 years at Texas, led the Longhorns to their first National Championship in 1963 and followed that with national titles in 1969 and 1970. Royal posted an astonishing 167-47-5 career record at Texas, which included a 109-27-2 mark in SWC games. He claimed a league-record 11 SWC Championships, led UT to 16 bowl games and finished the year ranked among the nation's Top five nine times. In 1968, Royal was the first to install the famed Wishbone formation backfield. His teams would eventually spend 30 weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation and post an astonishing 30-game winning streak (42 straight wins at home) from 1968-70. From 1968-73, Royal's squads claimed six straight SWC titles and six consecutive Cotton Bowl berths. He coached 77 All-SWC players and 26 All-Americans. Still at the top of his game in 1976, Royal retired and continued in the role of athletics director at Texas - a position he had maintained since taking over the dual role of coach and AD in 1962. His overall coaching record was 184-60-5.
1977-86 (Record: 86-31-2)
When Darrell Royal retired following the 1976 season, the University administration picked one of his former assistants, Fred Akers, to lead the program. Akers, whose youthful appearance and early success as the head coach at the University of Wyoming captured the attention of the decision makers, inherited a wealth of talent which Royal thought he was leaving to his long-time assistant Mike Campbell, who had been his choice to succeed him. But with a crack new staff and a switch to the "I" formation to utilize the talents of eventual Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, Akers literally burst on the Texas scene in 1977. His first team went 11-0 through the regular season, claimed the SWC Championship and spent the final half of the year atop the national polls. Only a Cotton Bowl loss to No. 5 Notre Dame (38-10) denied Akers a National Championship in his first season. A native of Arkansas, Akers played for the Razorbacks and served as a graduate assistant a season after finishing his playing career in 1959. He was a product of the Texas high school coaching ranks, having served as an assistant at Port Arthur and as head coach at Edinburg (19-9-1) and Lubbock High (7-3) before Royal hired him to join the Texas staff for the 1966 season. At Texas, Akers coached running backs, defensive backs and then was co-offensive coordinator prior to accepting the head coaching job at Wyoming for the 1975 season. In two seasons, he took the Cowboys from 2-9 his first year to an 8-4 record and Fiesta Bowl appearance in 1976 before returning as Texas' head coach in '77. Akers followed the spectacular start in '77 with nine straight winning seasons and nine consecutive bowl berths. In 1978, the Longhorns were 9-3 and finished the year ranked ninth nationally. UT matched that mark in 1979 and earned a No. 12 national ranking. After dipping to 7-5 in 1980, Akers and the Horns rocketed back on the scene in 1981 with a 10-1-1 record and climbed back into the nation's top spot midway through that season. UT's 14-12 upset of No. 3 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl - Texas was in the Cotton Bowl because league champ SMU was on proabation - vaulted Texas to a final No. 2 national ranking in 1981. In 1982, Texas was 9-3 and finished the year ranked 17th nationally. Akers again had the Horns in the hunt for a national title in 1983. Texas opened the season ranked third nationally and while posting the second perfect 11-0 regular season mark and the second SWC Championship of the Akers era, spent all but one week in the nation's No. 2 spot. But, a 10-9 loss to No. 7 Georgia in the Cotton Bowl ended the title hopes for the Horns. A victory, coupled with a 31-30 loss by No. 1 Nebraska to Miami in the Orange Bowl, would have given Texas its fourth national title. Instead, the Horns finished the year ranked fifth nationally. Despite posting a 66-17-1 record, winning two SWC titles and finishing the season ranked among the nation's Top Five three times in his first seven years at Texas, Akers never endeared himself to the Longhorn faithful. When problems with recruiting hit, caused in part by rampant NCAA violations which saw severe sanctions levied against several SWC schools, they would signal Akers' eventually downfall. Texas struggled to a 7-4-1 mark that was capped by a 55-17 defeat at the hands of Iowa in the Freedom Bowl in 1984. It didn't get any better in 1985 as the Horns finished 8-4 and unranked for the second straight year. And, following a 5-6 injury-riddled season of 1986, Akers' first losing season, Texas' program appeared to be on a free fall and he was released as the Longhorn coach. He finished his career at UT with a 86-31-2 record (60-19-1) - second only to Darrell Royal in victories - in 10 seasons. Akers led the Horns to nine bowl games and coached a Heisman Trophy winner (Campbell), two Lombardi Trophy winners (Kenneth Sims and Tony Degrate) and an Outland Trophy honoree (Brad Shearer) as well as 48 All-SWC players. Following his departure in '86, Akers accepted the head coaching job and the challenge of rebuilding a struggling Purdue program in 1987. In four seasons in West Lafayette, Ind., Akers' Boilermakers were 12-31-1. After his departure from Purdue, Akers returned to his ranch near Austin and remained active as a motivational speaker.
1987-91 (Record: 31-26-0)
David McWilliams joined Clyde Littlefield and Ed Price as a former Longhorn player who became the coach when he succeeded Fred Akers as Texas' head coach in 1987. A popular tri-captain on the 1963 National Championship team and a UT assistant to both Royal and Akers from 1970-85, McWilliams seemed the perfect choice to lead the Longhorns. Immediately, his homespun nature reminded people of Royal, and the Longhorn lettermen - who had been divided in the years since Royal left - came as one unit in support of McWilliams. McWilliams had served one year as the head coach at Texas Tech in 1986 before he returned to Texas, but his years of experience as a Longhorn assistant and his loyalty to the school gave the Texas community high hopes. A native of Cleburne, McWilliams had been part of one of the greatest eras of Texas football. In his three years as a player, from 1961-63, Texas lost only two football games, posting a remarkable record of 30-2-1. During that time, UT won a National Championship, three conference championships and finished the year ranked among the nation's Top four each year. Following his graduation from Texas, McWilliams served two years as an assistant coach at Abilene High, and in 1966, he became one of the state's youngest head coaches, carving a record of 21-7-2 in four years before Darrell Royal hired him to join the Texas staff in 1970. An honor student and a solid player, McWilliams concentrated his coaching on the defensive side of the football, working with ends and linebackers for Royal and Akers and serving as defensive coordinator for Akers his last four seasons as a Texas assistant. McWilliams got off to a solid start with a 7-5 campaign and No. 19 ranking in 1987 season that included a storybook last-play victory over Arkansas and a Blueboonnet Bowl win over Pittsburgh. But, after a 4-7 season in 1988 and a 5-6 campaign in 1989, the future of the Texas program came in question. The 1990 season soothed a lot of the disappointment and was McWilliams' high-water mark. That year, the Longhorns, beginning with a season-opening victory over Penn State (17-13) at State College, went on what they called a "Shock The Nation" tour. Texas finished the regular season with an SWC championship, a 10-1 record - the only loss coming at the hands of eventual National Champion Colorado - and the nation's No. 3 ranking before being crushed by No. 4 Miami, 46-3 in the Cotton Bowl. Despite the disappointing bowl loss, a 10-2 record and a No. 10 national ranking in 1990 carried Texas into the 1991 season with great expectations. There was preseason talk of a National Championship, but when Texas finished with a 5-6 record, McWilliams was forced out, officially resigning for the good of the program he so deeply loved. He finished his five-year tenure at UT with a 31-26 record that included one SWC title and two bowl games. McWilliams remained in the athletics department, serving as associate athletics director for development and currently heading the "T" Association, the active group of former letterwinners who have been brought back into the Texas fold through his efforts and those of the head coaches in every sport.
1992-97 (Record: 41-28-2)
Not since the hiring of Darrell Royal in 1956 and D.X. Bible before him had the University of Texas ventured as far as it did with the hiring of John Mackovic as head coach in 1992. The head coach and athletics director at Illinois, Mackovic brought the impressive credentials of having been a head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. He also was the first coach to come into the Texas program from the outside since Royal in 1956 and Bible in 1937. All others, from Blair Cherry through McWilliams, had been a player or an assistant at Texas. A native of Ohio, Mackovic played his college football at Wake Forest and had an odyssey as an assistant coach that found him working for some of the true legends of the college game. He was a graduate assistant to Bo Schembechler at Miami of Ohio in 1965, then coached high school ball at his hometown of Barberton, Ohio, and at Fort Knox with the U.S. Army. In 1968, he became freshman coach at Army, and then coached at San Jose State, Arizona and Purdue before taking his first head-coaching job at Wake Forest. Two years later, his career came to Texas for the first time, when he became the quarterbacks coach for Tom Landry with the Dallas Cowboys. In 1983, at the relatively young age of 39, he became the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs where he took the team to its first playoff bid in 15 years before leaving to enter private business. He returned to coaching at Illinois in 1988 and spent four seasons there before he was hired at Texas. Known for his wide-open offense, Mackovic's teams set numerous school offensive records and lured a number of talented offensive weapons with 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, UT's all-time second-leading passer James Brown and UT's all-time leading receiver Mike Adams among them. But the Longhorns struggled defensively - a side of the football which had been a staple for Texas for years - and when Mackovic pointed out that UT needed to upgrade its facilities and its program-he shocked and offended part of the Texas support base.Determined to carve his own legacy, Mackovic steadily rebuilt a UT program that had suffered three losing seasons in the four years prior to his arrival. Texas finished at 6-5 in 1992, but, with one of its wins coming at the hands of NCAA Division I-AA North Texas, did not earn a bowl bid. In 1993, a 5-5-1 UT squad made an impact with a 21-21 tie at the hands of No. 6 Syracuse and played No. 8 Texas A&M tough in an 18-9 loss in College Station that decided the SWC Cotton Bowl representative.Mackovic's program made its most dramatic mark in 1994, when after suffering four losses in a six-game stretch midway through the season, Texas bounced back with three straight victories. Including a come-from-behind 35-31 victory over North Carolina in the Sun Bowl - Texas' first bowl victory in 13 years - the SWC co-Champions finished with an 8-4 record and No. 25 national ranking.The 1994 last-season surge sent the Horns into the 1995 season with high hopes and the Longhorns didn't disappoint. Mackovic's squad charged out to a 10-1-1 record, claimed the final SWC Championship and finished the regular season ranked ninth nationally. Even a disappointing 28-10 loss to Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl couldn't put a damper on the excitement building around the UT program.On the heels of that enthusiasm, Texas entered 1996 with its first preseason Top 10 ranking since 1984 and with National Championship aspirations. But, after losing four of its first seven games, Mackovic's squad was simply hoping to reach a bowl game. But, Texas rallied to win five straight games, including a 37-27 upset of No. 3 Nebraska in the inaugural Big 12 Championship game, to finish the regular season with an 8-4 mark and ranked 20th nationally. With the upset of two-time defending National Champion Nebraska still fresh on the Longhorns' minds, season again ended in disappointment as Texas fell 38-15 to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl.Once again, though, the hopes of the program's future were high. The glory was short-lived, however, and even Mackovic's three league championships couldn't secure his position at Texas when in the second game of the 1997 season, Texas was routed 66-3 by UCLA. When the season ended at 4-7 - matching the worst record for a UT team since 1956 - Mackovic was relieved of his coaching duties and reassigned within the athletics department for the remainder of his contract. He finished his UT career with a 41-28-2 record and led Texas to three bowl games.
1998-Present | Complete bio