Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Index Terms

Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

South Texas Archives All-American Javelina Collection



Collection Summary

Creator South Texas Archives staff
Title South Texas Archives All-American Javelina Collection
Dates: 1928-2000
Abstract: The collection of 143 photographs of All-American Javelina athletes from Texas A&I University and Texas A&M University-Kingsville, spanning years 1925-2010 was created for a John C. Conner Museum exhibit, "Javelina Pride: Eight Decades of Athletic Tradition," in the fall of 2011. Included are athletes from football, baseball, basketball, tennis, track & field, and golf.
Identification A2011-025
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/ead.php?xml=All%20American%20EAD
Quantity: 143 photographs
Location: Born Digital Collection
Language: English

Historical Note

With the establishment of Texas A&I College in Kingsville in 1925, Lewis J. “Neighbor” Smith became Athletic Director and coached Men’s Track and Field, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, and Football. In September of that year, a student committee chose “Javelinas” as the official mascot over “Coyotes,” “Badgers,” and “Jack Rabbits.” The Javelina Football team played its first game that year against San Antonio’s Brackenridge High School, winning 32-0. Among the other opponents facing the football and basketball teams during the first years were various junior colleges and high schools, the Missouri Pacific Railroad team, and the Alice and Kingsville Fire Departments. The biggest challenge facing the football team during this decade was keeping the fans off the field, as there were no bleachers on which to sit. Fifteen football players were awarded the first letterman’s sweaters that year—wool pullovers with a bright yellow chenille “T”. In 1926, Baseball and Men’s and Women’s Basketball were added to the athletic program and Agricultural professor W.H. Warren began training three young Javelina mascots— “Baby,” “Joe,” and “Bob.” A gymnasium, nicknamed “The Alamo” (now the Health and Recreation Building) was completed in 1928; the Men’s Basketball team played their first game in the new gym against Corpus Christi’s Roy Miller High School, trouncing them 44 to 12. Business professor J.R. Manning took over coaching duties for the Lady Javs’ Basketball team in 1927; despite an undefeated season, the Women’s Basketball program folded in 1928. In 1929, A.Y. “Bud” McCallum became Athletic Director and Head Coach while Assistant Coach Clarence Edward “Cal” Jewett coached Men’s Basketball, Tennis and Track and Field. Also that year, the student body voted to replace the bluebonnet with the more regional lantana as the school flower. The 1920s were a roaring decade for Javelina Sports. As the 1930s began, the financial grip of the Great Depression began tightening around athletics at A&I. Men’s Baseball was discontinued in 1930. The Men’s Track Team was formed that year with two members, Walter Manning and John Gillette. Manning won the first Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (T.I.A.A.) medal for the Javelinas in the 400-yard dash that spring at Denton. Track was discontinued in 1931, but reappeared in 1932. In football, the Javelinas finished a two-year streak of undefeated conference games, winning their first and only T.I.A.A. Championship in 1932 before the Conference disbanded. Among the squad that year was Everado “Balo” Lerma, the first Mexican-American to play with the Javelinas. In 1936, Texas A&I joined Sul Ross and St. Mary’s Universities to form the Alamo Conference, playing against each other and the teams of the Southwest Conference. Position? Donald Hightower was selected for an All-Alamo Conference Player in 1936, 1937, and 1938. In basketball, the Javelinas tied for Alamo Conference Champions with the St. Mary’s Rattlers in 1939. The Men’s Golf Team, formed in 1939, became Alamo Champions that year. Men’s Tennis took Championships in 1937, 1938, and 1939. In 1937, Visiting Professor Noble Cain composed the Javelina’s first fight song, “Wild Hog March.” The 1940s began as a decade of great expectations for the Javelinas. In 1941, Bud McCallum’s Javs the football team was the highest-scoring football team in the country. Halfback Gil Steinke led with 66 points while Center Stuart Clarkson was designated AP Little All-American in 1940. Cal Jewett’s Track & Field Team participated in the Border Olympics and Southwestern Expo and the Men’s Basketball team capped a successful athletic season and helped advance FDR’s “Good Neighbor Policy” by playing two games in Monterrey, Mexico. The Men’s Tennis team won 4 matches against 2 against Texas Wesleyan. After December 7, 1941, the athletic program’s momentum ground to a stop and the Javelina’s leading players transferred to Uncle Sam’s team. Warren “Bubba” Arnold enlisted in the Merchant Marine; Steinke joined the Navy; and Clarkson entered the Army. After the declaration of war, all intercollegiate athletic programs were replaced with a Physical Fitness Program. Coordinated with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Office of Defense Health and Welfare, the program aimed at preparing young men for military service. During the war years, men and women played tennis and competed in intramural basketball meets sponsored by the various fraternities. In 1946, Dewey Mayhew became Athletic Director and Head Coach and alumnus Don Hightower returned to coach two seasons of Men’s Basketball. That same year, women’s sports were organized under the “Women’s Recreation Program.” As the country settled into civilian mode, the Javelina Band, tired of playing military marches, first played “Jalisco” on the field during a 1949 game. In 1950, alumnus Gil Steinke returned to A&I as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. The Javelinas played their first game in new Javelina Stadium the following year, defeating Texas Lutheran University 37 to 7. During 1953, a self-appointed student spirit group, “53 Kleptomaniacs,” successfully kidnapped the mascot of every opposing football team before each game, culminating in the seizure of Trinity University’s 600-pound Bengal tiger, Lee Roy. The Trinity game also marked the debut of a new Javelina mascot, “Porky,” who marched around the field after each touchdown. In 1956, Men’s Golf was added to the Athletic Department. Also that year, the Alumni Association began the practice of firing a victory cannon at football games following each touchdown. Another tradition born that decade was the ringing of the Victory Bell outside the Student Union following each Javelina touch down. Basketball player Donald McDonald was voted LSC First Team and N.A.I.A. Second Team in 1957. In 1959, the Javelinas defeated North Carolina’s Lenoir-Rhyne University 20 to 7 to win their first N.A.I.A. Football Championship and Team Captain Gerald Lambert was voted All-Lone Star Conference. The 1960s brought dynamic changes to Javelina Athletics. Javelina Sports were integrated with the selection of African-Americans Hank Allen in Basketball, Herman Robinson in Track, and Sid Blanks in Football. In 1963, Blanks became the first African-American athlete in Texas to be named Team Captain. Multi-position player Gene Upshaw was named All-Lone Star Conference. The A&I Rangers, a student spirit group, started the decade by firing long rifles each time the Javelinas scored on the football field; in 1963, they upgraded to “Little Jav,” a replica Civil War howitzer. In 1965, Art student Armando Pena won the contest to design a football battle flag. His “Fightin’ Javelinas” logo, a Javelina caricature wearing the traditional freshman beanie, soon became a familiar sight on campus. Javelina mascots “Henrietta” and “Porky” (II) entertained fans on the football field. After a thirty-nine-year absence, Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics returned to campus with the creation of Women’s Tennis, Basketball, and Volleyball teams; Women’s Soccer and Badminton were added the following year. Although underfunded for most of its first two decades, A&I’s Women’s Athletic program was one of the first in Texas. Matches during the early years were played against junior colleges, as none of the major colleges sponsored intercollegiate women’s teams. Men’s Track took the spotlight in 1960 when Dick Clarkson became the first A&I National Champion for Track and Field in the 1400-yard Hurdles. 1969 was a banner year for the Javelinas, as the Track Team won LSC Champs in the 1600-yard dash, the Golf Team won their first LSC Championship, and the Football Team won their second N.A.I.A. Championship against Concordia College of Minnesota. The 1970s were the decade for Javelina Football. Under the leadership of Coach Steinke, the Javelinas won NAIA National Championships in 1970, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1979. From 1973 through 1979, the Javs won 42-consecutive games, a winning streak that has never been equaled. In 1976, Quarterback Richard Ritchie, Linebacker Larry Grunewald, Defensive back Leonard Avery, Defensive lineman John Barefield, Running back Larry Collins, Tight end Clem Franks, Offensive lineman Larry McFarland, and Defensive lineman Larry Seidel were named NAIA All-District First Team and ALL-LSC First Team while Steinke was voted LSC Coach of the Year. At the end of that season, Steinke stepped down as Head Coach, remaining as Athletic Director while Defensive Coordinator Fred Jonas moved up to Head Coach. Although Football held the spotlight during the decade, other sports experience significant advances as well. Women’s Track and Field was added to intercollegiate sports in 1971-1972. Men’s Soccer team captured the Division II South Title in 1978 and rose to Division 1 ranking. Men’s Basketball played their first Lone Star Conference Championship Tourney the same year. The following season, Forward Ed Turner became the first Javelina Basketball player voted Most Valuable Player in the LSC. In Men’s Track and Field, Randy Reina won the LSC 5,000 meter run with a time of 15:5:9 in 1978. In 1979, Ron Harms became Head Coach, steering the Javelinas towards a 20 to 14 win against the University of Central Oklahoma to win their seventh and final NAIA National Championship. Although not the same juggernaut of the previous decade, the Javelinas continued to reach new heights. Women’s Track completed their best season to date in 1980, breaking a total of 11 school records. That same year, the Women’s Basketball Team competed in the TAIAW State Tournament and the Men’s Basketball Team played their second Lone Star Conference Tourney. Head Coach Ron Harms became the second Javelina coach voted Texas Sports Writers Association Senior College Coach of the Year. The biggest changes for Javelina Athletics occurred in 1982. That year, the university began playing in the National College Athletic Association and Steinke retired as Athletic Director. Defensive back Darrell Green was elected Team Captain in 1982 and voted the LSC’s most valuable player. That same year, the multi-talented Green also set LSC Conference Records in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Under the leadership of Coach Harms, the Football Team won LSC Championships in 1985 and 1989 and tied for first with Angelo State in 1987. Students began a tradition of throwing tortillas onto the football field and a new costumed Javelina mascot, “Snorky,” began entertaining football fans. In 1993, Men’s Baseball returned to TAMUK after a lapse of sixty-three years. The first games were played in Dick Kleberg Park. After a series of fundraisers featuring Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, the new 4,000-seat Nolan Ryan Field opened in 1994. In 1994, the Javelinas scored two consecutive shutouts against West Texas A&M. In 1997, they scored two consecutive shutouts against St. Edward's University. Women’s Softball returned to TAMUK in 1997 with a new facility, Vernie and Blanche Hubert Field. In 1997, the Lady Javs tied with Abilene Christian University for the South Division LSC Championship. To date, they have never lost a home game. Men’s Basketball also made great strides during the ‘90s. In 1992, the Javelinas tied with the University of Central Oklahoma for the LSC Championship. In 1996, they tied with Texas A&M-Commerce for LSC Championship and competed in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. In 1998, the Javs played in the NCAA Division II Regional Playoffs. In Football, the Javelinas began competing with Texas A&M-Commerce for possession of the Chennault Cup in 1992. During the decade, the Javs won the cup every year except 1999. Power lifting was added to the Athletic Program. A new Victory Cannon, operated by the R.O.T.C. and named “Black Thunder” debuted on the football field.

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Scope and Contents

The collection spans eight decades of Javelina men's and women's sports. Each of the decades is summarized with the wins and battles played in the Biographical Background Notes. Black and white photographs depict the struggles and victories won by the students and their coaches.

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Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by decade and sport.

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Index Terms

Persons
Smith, Lewis J.
Warren, William H.
Jewett, Clarence Edward "Cal"
Manning, J. R.
McCallum, Bud
Mayhew, Dewey
Lambert, Gerald
Clarkson, Stuart
Lerma, Everado "Balo"
Arnold, Warren Goodrich, 1918-
Hightower, Donald
Steinke, Gilbert
McDonald, Donald
Allen, Hank
Robinson, Herman
Blanks, Sidney
Upshaw, Gene
Pena, Armando
Clarkson, Richard
Ritchie, Richard
Grunewald, Lawrence
Avery, Leonard
Barefield, John
Collins, Lawrence
Franks, Clem
McFarland, Lawrence
Seidel, Lawrence
Jonas, Fred
Turner, Edward
Reina, Randolph
Harms, Ronald
Green, Darrel
Organizations
Texas College of Arts and Industries
Texas A&I University
John E. Conner Museum
Missouri Pacific Railroad Team
Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Sul Ross State College
St. Mary University, San Antonio
Southwest Conference U.S.
Border Olympics and Southwestern Exposition
Texas Wesleyan College, Fort Worth
Texas Lutheran College
Trinity University, San Antonio
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Concordia College, Minnesota
University of Central Oklahoma
Lone Star Conference
West Texas A&M University
St. Edward's University, Austin
Abilene Christian University
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Geographical Names
Kingsville (Tex.)
Subjects
Javelinas (Football team)
College Athletes
Football players
Baseball players
Basketball players
Tennis players
Track and field athletes
Golf
Sports for women
Museum exhibits
Collared peccary
Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae
African Americans

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