The Texas Legacy Support Network web page is a historical site that is free, educational, and Insightful. TLSN has built a bridge to the past to remind all Longhorns that sports heritage shapes the present and inspires the future. Everyone involved with the UT Athletic department thru the last 120 plus years is instrumental in making the Longhorn brand the most recognized name in NCAA sports history and no one involved should be forgotten or left behind.

My Story: Tyres Dickson

 

 On March 22, 1998, I was home on spring break from the University of Texas, where I was blessed enough to earn a full-ride athletic scholarship as a football player.

I fell asleep in the back of a car that my childhood friend was driving. A drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned the car I was in, sending us careening in oncoming traffic where we were hit again.

I woke up in the hospital three weeks later to find that my career was over and that I was paralyzed.

I felt that I had two options: I could quit and give up on life or I could do something positive and try to live. Well, though two-thirds of my body lacked life, I chose to live.

I spent a year-and-a-half in the hospital and a total term of eight months in rehab learning how to live in this new state, including cooking, music therapy, and using my computer skills.

I then spent the next 11 years refining and fine-tuning my skills in music as a producer, also songwriting and doing instrumentation that I would copyright and sell to artists all over the nation.

Then, three days before Christmas someone broke into my house and stole all of my equipment, leaving me with another choice on which way to go in life. After my accident and the break-in, I was somewhat leery of the character of man. Goodwill made me realize there were still people in the world that truly cared about helping others.

But the choice was already made years previous. I kept my faith and later, a friend named Dick Taylor who had known me from UT and who made numerous hospital visits contacted me through my music company website to touch base, after a 10-year period where we’d lost contact. It was truly a blessing. I told him what had happened and, the good friend he is, he wanted to help.

Unbeknownst to me he was also friends with Goodwill Industries of Houston President and CEO Steve Lufburrow and scheduled a meeting with the three of us to discuss any possibilities there may be. Mr. Lufburrow eagerly wanted to help me and looked to bring me to Goodwill.

I came to be in the transportation department, where I was able to use my computer and planning skills. Goodwill taught me how to translate my football skills into a job setting. It was a boost to my confidence and to my independence.

Three years later I was moved to an auto donor coordinator and dispatcher with the ultimate respect for Goodwill.

With the help of Goodwill, I am now able to fully accept God’s will for my life and future. I hope to help pay it forward by being an inspiration for others through telling my story to whoever will listen.

"As long as something positive comes out of this whole thing, then I'm fine," he said. "As long as more positive than the bad that happened to me, then I'm OK."

Tyres says a couple of weeks after he won the Goodwill's International Achiever of the Year in 2013, he was rendered bed ridden, due to a mishap causing a decubitus ulcer during a routine visit to the hospital. After four years in and out of grave health, 15 different hospital and 17 surgeries I was released from the hospital. Though, I am still relegated to spending much of my time in bed, I have recently become healthy enough to get out and move around a bit and trying to put things back together.

Alcalde Story on Tyres Dickson

BY ROSE CAHALAN IN FEATURES, SPECIAL, SPORTS ON OCTOBER 2, 2013 AT 1:18 PM | 7 COMMENTS Billy Dale has added the photos to add an extra dimension to Tyres story.

Football was Tyres Dickson’s ticket to success, until a drunk driver changed everything. Now, 15 years later, Dickson has found a new calling—with a little help from his Longhorn friends.

Tyres Dickson was the envy of his football teammates at Houston’s Scarborough High School in the late 1990s. A star quarterback and cornerback, he led the Scarborough Spartans to their first state playoffs in years. Recruiter after recruiter showed up to watch Dickson play, and his name graced dozens of blue-chip lists.

When it was time to choose a college, Dickson had his pick of athletic scholarships from big-name schools. It was an easy decision. “I could’ve went anywhere, but my heart was with Texas,” he says.

In September 1997, when Dickson started his freshman year at UT, he was elated to join a legendary team. He also hoped that football could pave the way for a better life. Dickson and his three older brothers grew up in a rough North Houston neighborhood. His mother, Beverly, was losing her sight to a degenerative eye disease, his father wasn’t in the picture, and money was tight. “My whole life I was putting all this work into football to try and better our situation,” Dickson says. “When I got to Texas, it was a vindication that my work was going somewhere.”

Dickson was redshirted as a freshman so he could train for another year and get more experience. He didn’t mind the wait. “It was amazing to be on campus and be a part of something,” he says. “Sometimes now if I’m having a hard time, I just think back on those good times and that helps me go through whatever it is I’m going through.”

On March 22, 1998, Dickson and a few friends were driving from Houston to Austin at the end of spring break—football practice was scheduled to start the next day—when a drunk driver ran a red light and T-boned their car. Dickson was asleep in the backseat.

The next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital bed three weeks later. His mind clouded with drugs, all he could think about was making it to the first day of spring training on time. “I gotta get to practice,” he told a crowd of doctors and relatives. “Mack Brown’s gonna get me if I’m late for practice.”

“Tyres, you can’t go to practice. You’re paralyzed,” someone said, and then he drifted back to sleep.

“After Everybody Left, He Was There”

Dick Taylor, BA ’65, Life Member, was watching the local TV news at his home in Houston when he saw a report about Dickson’s accident. A longtime UT football fan, Taylor was working as a business consultant, living alone after having lost his wife to breast cancer in 1996. He was so moved by the story that he drove across the city to the rehabilitation center where Dickson was recovering and knocked on his door. They struck up a friendship, and for the next 10 months Taylor visited the rehab center almost every Friday at noon. “We’d just bullshit the way two guys do,” Taylor remembers. “Mostly we talked football.”

During Dickson’s 18-month recovery, as he struggled to relearn basic tasks without the use of his legs, Taylor was a supportive presence. “After everybody else left, after all the cameras left,” Dickson says, “he was still there.” But then Dickson went home, life got in the way, and the men fell out of touch.

Christmas Day, 2007: Dickson was living with his mother and running a small audio recording and mixing business. It wasn’t easy—their apartment wasn’t equipped for a wheelchair, and the landlord didn’t always keep the lights on—but they scraped by. Until Dickson came home from a Christmas service at church to find the door kicked in and all his audio equipment gone. He calls it the lowest point in his life.

“It rattled me, it really did,” Dickson says. “I worked so hard to get to Texas and then a drunk driver took my career. So I tried to bounce back and go with music and then somebody stole that, too.” Without work experience or a car, he had no way to support himself. He spent the next four months sinking into depression.

Call it fate or call it chance, but one day that spring, Dick Taylor thought of his old friend for the first time in 11 years. “Tyres just popped into my head, I guess,” Taylor says, “and I searched around and somehow got his phone number. I called him up, asked how he was doing, and he said, ‘Not too good.’”

When Taylor heard about the theft, he swung into action. His son, Alan Taylor, BBA ’98, set up a fundraising website called HelpTyres.com and “sent it to everyone I’ve ever met in my life,” Dick Taylor recalls. The site raised enough to replace the stolen equipment and buy Dickson a car (with help from Howard Mays, BS ’65) so he could get to his new job—a job that Taylor helped him find.

Taylor called his friend Steve Lufburrow, the president and CEO of Goodwill Houston, who saw an opportunity for Dickson as a dispatch coordinator in Goodwill’s transportation department. No one knew how it would go—after all, Dickson had never done dispatch work before—but it soon became clear that he was a knockout.

“His quarterback’s mind was the perfect fit for the work,” Lufburrow says. “Calling a play and then making it happen … coordinating all our vehicles was the same kind of challenge.”

There were still other barriers to overcome, and one after another, UT alumni stepped up. Steve Ford, BBA ’72, Life Member, and Mike Robinson, BBA ’76, helped Dickson and his mother move to a wheelchair-friendly apartment in a safer neighborhood. Tommy Moore, ’78, Life Member, and Bruce Baker, BBA ’76, found a specially equipped van that was easier for Dickson to drive. Goodwill’s HR director, Adrienne Webb Braden, BBA ’77, Life Member, was always looking out for him. And Goodwill board member Richard Hightower, BBA ’78, and former UT football player Scott Huntington, BBA ’80, shared Dickson’s story far and wide.

It’s been hard for the independent, soft-spoken Dickson to accept all this help. “In the beginning I had a hard time saying yes to it all,” he remembers. “But I just stick with my faith, and I’ve witnessed how giving people can be.”

These days, he’s doing some serious giving of his own.

Spreading Goodwill

On a sunny day this June, a crowd was standing and cheering for Tyres Dickson—only this time in an auditorium rather than a football stadium.

Sharply dressed in a suit and sitting up proudly in his wheelchair, Dickson rolled onto a stage in Grand Rapids, Mich., to accept Goodwill Industries’ Achiever of the Year Award. Beverly was in the audience, cheering for her son. After accepting his award, Dickson flashed his signature grin and tossed up the hook ’em sign for the cameras.

Dickson calls the award “very cool, very humbling,” but emotion shakes his voice when he talks about another, more private honor. A few weeks after the Goodwill awards ceremony in Michigan, Dickson got a handwritten letter in the mail from Mack Brown congratulating him on the award—and on his induction into the T Association, an elite society of student-athlete alumni. “I don’t even have words to explain the magnitude of this blessing,” Dickson says. “I cried like a little baby.”

Dickson is moving up the ranks at Goodwill. Recently promoted from dispatch coordinator to development associate for donated goods procurement, he now spends his days visiting community groups to secure partnerships and donations for Goodwill Houston.”Tyres is Goodwill,” Lufburrow says. “He is everything we stand for. And when he tells his story, everybody gets it right away. He’s always smiling, always positive. Tyres is somebody who never has a bad day, so it’s hard to have a bad day when you’re around him.”

For his part, Dickson says he loves the work. Someday, he wants to return to college to study business or social work, but for now, he’s focusing on his job. “Getting out and meeting people and talking with them, it’s just real fun,” he says.

And he still finds time to meet up with his old friend Dick Taylor. On Oct. 12, Taylor will pick Dickson up at his apartment, and they’ll go to a sports bar to watch Texas play Oklahoma. It’s a little tradition they started last year—just the two of them, some burgers and beer, and the game. “Lord, I don’t know where he came from,” Dickson says, “but I’m so glad he did.”
 

tYRES IS NOT FORGOTTEN AND STILL LOVED AND RESPECTED

Tyres Dickson accomplishments  are a reminder to  all Longhorns that In sports and far beyond, his contributions  to Longhorn heritage  shape the present and empower  the future.

Alan Luskey and Brad Shearer friends for a lifetime

Harris Argo

In 2014 25 years after starting the Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society Hall of Honor with Danny Carrill0 (another student trainer for the Horns), and Mike Vara, Roy Don Wilson and Harris Argo were inducted into this Hall of Honor.


In the Fall 1975 Harris was Student manager for Coaches Joe Howell and John Gabrisch. On the way to play Churchill the coaches asked Harris if he wanted to be a student trainer: Harris said “what’s a trainer?” Harris was then introduced to Coach Henry Birdwell the Athletic Trainer at Holmes High school and he gave Harris his first assignment: The Holmes Husky Girls varsity Track team, yes he was hooked.

In 1977 Coach TR St. Charles arrived from Vandy. At some point in his first year, Coach TR asked Harris about his plans after high school. Harris responded that he wanted a business degree and a fine job. T R said "what about being an Athletic Trainer." Harris in the present reflecting on his life journey says “ I might not have found my passion/career” if he had not asked that question.

Harris graduated from Holmes in 1979 and on his 18th birthday, he received a call from Michael "Spanky" Stephens, the Head Athletic Trainer at The University of Texas accepting me as a student trainer for the Longhorns.

Harris had the honor/pleasure of working as a student trainer for Spanky Stephens and Eddie Day, the Assistant Athletic Trainer at The University of Texas from 1979-1984. He worked football all 5 years and cross country and track for 2 years.

From August 1984-1985 he was The assistant Athletic Trainer of the Houston Gamblers of the U.S.F.L. under Roy Don Wilson.

From 1985-1991 he was the Athletic Trainer at Dulles H.S. in Sugar Land where he had the pleasure of working with Piper Wagner, who after graduating from Dulles, played Golf for the Horns.

From 1991-2000 he worked in the Rehab department of Athletic, Orthopedics, and knee center for Mark Provenzano, MD, and as October 2018 he has worked with s The Orthopedic Sports Clinic, with Mark Provenzano, MD, Carl Palumbo, MD, Juan Bustos, MD and Neil Badlani, MD.

Hook ‘Em

 

Harris

 April 18, 2014 ·

In 2011 Julius Whittier’s house burned down, and a group of Longhorns raised around $7000 to help him replace items not covered by insurance. From this humble beginning a tax exempt organization was formed to help qualifying former U.T. student athletes, trainers, managers, Coaches, and their immediate families receive temporary funds under the NCAA and UT compliance standards.

On September 8, 1970 the Associated Press wrote a “provocative” article that said “Whittier , Texas black offensive guard, is rooming with a white player and occasionally dating white women.” I am the “white player”.

In 2013 Vince Young visited my home to interview Julius for a research paper he was writing about our time as roommates and discuss racial relationships in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Here is our a picture after the interview.

Julius, vince, and Billy.jpg

Julius, Vince, and Billy

JULIUS WHITTIER SAYS TO BILLY DALE “I WAS JUST TRYING TO MAKE YOU THINK.”

Living with Julius was both a challenge and a blessing.

 Billy Dale , Julius Whittier, and JoEllen Dale at Julius party after his induction 2013.

Billy Dale , Julius Whittier, and JoEllen Dale at Julius party after his induction 2013.

In October of 1970 Julius Whittier after “lights out” chose to engage me in an argument about mortality.

Julius said "Billy, I'm never going to die," and you are."

I told Julius that was a ridiculous statement, but he continued to say he will never die.

I finally got so frustrated with his argument I got up , crossed the room to his bed, and pointed my finger at Julius and said, “It is people like you who give your race a bad name.”  

Julius jumped up out of bed and said “Did you think, I’m serious”? “ I was just trying to get you to think.” He accomplished his goal. I learned more about life through Julius eyes in 6 months then I ever learned in classes at Texas. Julius challenged me to question conventional racial wisdom with the reality of a changing world.

Our “discussions” were never one sided. We verbally fought like siblings, but in the end we formed a lifetime friendship built on our love for Texas and mutual respect. I am proud of Julius not as a football player but more for his intellect, strength of character, and resolve to challenge the University of Texas “group think” in the 70’s. He was the right person at the right time to break the color barrier in Longhorn Texas football history.

Much of Julius story has been written by the media since his death. My story about Julius explores some periods of Julius life that the media missed.

As I now reflect on Julius life journey and that one night when he told me he would never die , I now see he was right. He will never die. His Legacy will live forever. God Bless you Julius Whittier!


Julius Whittier - The rest of the Story about my roommate, friend, and teammate.  

Support from President Johnson, the UT institution, Coaches, Players, friends, and family made Julius years at Texas a great experience.

The research for this article is derived from my experience living with Julius Whittier , an article by Stephen Ross @srr50 dated Nov 14, 2012,  a link to the following site   http://www.youplusdallas.com/cityblog/sports/2012/11/julius-whittier-darrell-royal-changing-the-face-of-texas-football/#sthash.pTnyiuA9.dpuf  and a article written in the New York Times called Changing The Face Of Texas Football

 

 

 

 

 

"Julius was a "high thinker" 

Julius Whittier was recruited by defensive coordinator Mike Campbell. Julius says of Mike “If you know Mike Campbell, you know that he was not a man of any finesse, except when it came to designing defenses. He said what he meant and meant what he said,” Whittier said. “He convinced me that I would get a fair shot.” Whittier also ask Coach Royal if he would get a chance to start?  Everyone gets a chance to start at Texas, but you must earn it.  Coach does not “give” anyone a starting position. Julius  started  his Junior year and was the first black starter in  Longhorn football history.  Royal said  "I knew he could play for us and handle any difficulties off the field."

Julius confesses that breaking a racial barrier was not his primary goal.  He says "I was a jock, plain and simple," he said. "I didn't care about civil rights or making a mark. I just wanted to play big-time football."

At the same time, Julius was not naïve about racial issues.  He said  “I soon found out that there were probably a lot of racists on campus, but there were far more people who gave a damn about you as an individual as opposed to the color of your skin.”  He soon learned that UT was not a racial madhouse.

Julius says he never felt  pressure as the first black varsity football player at Texas.  He said he was too busy wrapped up in the events of each moment, class, workout, dinner, study hall, practice, and  friends.  He said "I had no real time or hard-drive space in my brain to step back and worry over how potentially ominous it was to become a black member of the University of Texas football team and all of the horrifying things that, from a historical perspective, could happen to black people who dare to accept a role in opening up historically white institutions."

Julius roomed with a another black his freshman year, but by Julius Sophomore year he was the only black on the team, and Coach needed a roommate for Julius.  As in all sports, Seniors are the leaders of the team, so Coach Royal decided a senior would help facilitate Julius transition to the varsity. Billy Dale volunteered to room with Whittier and the transition went fairly smoothly.  Julius says he never was exposed to any outright racist outbursts from teammates, but he did recognize slights by teammates. He was never invited out drinking or to parties with his teammates, and though racial slurs were never directed at him, Whittier heard them when his fellow Longhorns forgot he was in the room.

Unfortunately Julius made one comment before he knew his teammates that is regrettable. He was quoted in a newspaper as saying “Texas seems to recruit a lot of boys from small towns, and most of them have small minds just like their fathers”. History will show, and I can confirm, that 90% of the young small town boys Julius referred to in his quote welcomed him to the team. Years later in his own way Julius conceded that his comment was wrong.

Another unfortunate moment occurred when an article was written that suggested that Coach Royal and his coaching staff were racist. In Jimmy Banks book The Darrell Royal Story page 156-159 Jimmy relates a story about an interview written by AP that quotes Julius as saying some unflattering things about UT.  After reading the article, Julius visited Coach Royal and said " the interview was a "pressure cooker" and  "he (Julius)  was really trying to help (UT) but was clumsy."  Royal responded "If you were trying to help, you really were clumsy." Eventually, the matter was dropped and Julius continued to remain in the starting lineup.  Excluding this incident, Julius and DKR had a close relationship during and after  Julius years at Texas.

Whittier said he turned two personal flaws into powerful tools of perseverance. He was not only confident to the point of cockiness, but also had a gift for oratory that served  him well as a trial lawyer. "I had a mouth that I ran a lot and coherently," he said. "It sounded like I knew what I was saying, and that protected me.

Julius had command of the english language and his keen insight resulting in many of his comments making the news. 

President Johnson invited Jerry Sisemore, Alan Lowry, Randy Barband, Julius Whittier, and Roosevelt Leaks to his ranch. During lunch President Johnson discussed the LBJ School curriculum with Julius and asked him to consider the school after he graduated from UT.  Julius said "that's when I first learned what the LBJ School was all about. I say this earnestly, but the president told me specifically that he would enjoy knowing that I had at least examined the program at the School."

After graduation, he attended the LBJ School as a student.

Julius received 3 degrees. An undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a graduate degree from the LBJ School, and a law degree from Texas. He retired from Dallas District Attorney's Office as a supervisory chief prosecutor in 2014.

AUSTIN, Texas-- December 1, 2010-- LBJ Alum Julius Whitter ('76) , The First African-American To Play Football For The University Of Texas At Austin, Recently Spoke To Current Longhorn Football Players, 

Coach Brown invited Julius to speak to his team. Coach said 'We are so honored that Julius would come out and meet with the players," "He's a hero. He's a pioneer. Thank goodness it is a much better world than it was in 1969 because of people like him."

The further his UT playing career receded into the past, the more Julius Whittier appreciated his head coach. “He made a difference in black athletes having access to play football at a top-notch University. There were alumni and regents – I don’t know who they were, but I do know for a fact that there were alumni and regents who did not want black kids on this campus. Coach Royal bucked that. That’s one of the things I admired about him, he was a man who had his own independent image about what was right and wrong.”

Julius went on in the KUT interview to express his deep affection for Coach Royal.

“I had a great time at UT. I got disciplined at the right times because I was into stuff. Being under Coach Royal’s eyeball I needed to watch what the hell I was doing… Coach Royal will be missed. He was a mountain of a man. He had a big view of the world, and I was glad to be a part of his program. I love him.”

These last few quotes are taken directly from the KUT podcast. There is no way to understand the emotional tie Julius Whittier feels for  Coach Royal and the University of Texas by just reading these words on a screen.

Many of the photos in the following  article were added by Billy Dale.   Please google "Changing the Face of Texas Football" to read the original article. 

Changing The Face Of Texas Football New York Times Article

By  DEC. 23, 2005

AUSTIN, Tex., Dec. 16 - It was Dec. 6, 1969, and Julius Whittier was stretched before a television in the lobby of the jocks' dorm, Jester Hall, when the euphoria of a heart-stopping victory lifted him, and most University of Texas students, outside onto Guadalupe Street. Texas had just beaten Arkansas, 15-14, in Fayetteville in what had been billed as the Game of the Century.

President Richard M. Nixon appeared in the locker room to declare the undefeated Longhorns as national champions. Whittier was a member of the Texas football team, but as a freshman he was not eligible to play varsity at the time.

He was also the only black football player at Texas. As Whittier pinballed amid the revelers on the main drag here, he had an epiphany, one about the unifying elements within football that he would lean on for years.

"I had never experienced the exhilaration and joy of celebration where I was participating with what looked like millions of other kids my age," Whittier recalled recently at his law office in Dallas. "It did not matter that they were almost all white."

Neither Whittier nor anyone else knew that the time-capsule moment they were celebrating would become an inglorious milestone: the 1969 Longhorns were the last all-white team to win a national college football championship.

When Texas was co-national champion with Nebraska the next year, Whittier was a backup offensive lineman and the Longhorns' first black letterman. He acknowledged that he had endured indignities, but said his life experiences were expanded as much as those of his white teammates.

By playing at Texas, Whittier received advice from former President Lyndon B. Johnson over lunch at his ranch, and learned to love the music of Willie Nelson.

Whittier, however, is intensely interested in the Jan. 4 Rose Bowl, the national title matchup between defending champion Southern California and Texas. He is proud that about half of the players on the Longhorns' roster are black, including the star quarterback Vince Young.

"It completes the circle from a team that had no blacks to a truly diverse one, one with a black athlete in the ultimate leadership position -- quarterback -- of the university's most prized institution," Whittier said.

William Henry Lewis was the first black player in major college football at Amherst from 1889 to 1891, then at Harvard from 1892 to 1893, when he was a law student. At the time, both teams played schedules of national prominence, according to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. Bill Willis, a tackle for the 1942 Ohio State Buckeyes, was the first black player on a national championship team.

In the South, however, all-white teams were the norm into the late 1960's as the region was slow to embrace civil rights, especially in something as cherished as college football. Jerry LeVias might have integrated the Southwest Conference in 1966 at Southern Methodist University, but on that December day in 1969 with Nixon in the stands, the top-ranked Longhorns were facing another all-white team in No. 2 Arkansas, a Southwest Conference rival.

 

"How's that song go?" said Darrell Royal, the Longhorns coach who won three national titles from 1957 to 1976. " 'Things they are a-changing. But they weren't changing that quickly around here at the time."

When Royal arrived here, he was 32 and fresh from head-coaching stints at the University of Washington and with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He had coached black players at both stops.

The University of Texas admitted black students in 1956, but did not lift its ban on their playing varsity sports until 1963. Even then, Royal acknowledged, there was tacit pressure from university regents for him not to rush to integrate the football team.

In 1967, Royal and his staff recruited a local star named Don Baylor, who was also a gifted baseball and basketball player. He grew up in west Austin, knowing that downtown there were separate water fountains for blacks and whites, had integrated his junior high school, and dreamed of breaking the color barrier at Texas.

Baylor wanted to play all three sports, something universities like Stanford, Oklahoma and Texas Western would allow. Royal wanted him to play only football. Baylor would not say that Royal and Texas made a halfhearted attempt to lure him, but he said they were relieved when the Baltimore Orioles drafted him.

 

"The Southwest Conference and U.T. were not ready to break the color barrier," said Baylor, who had a distinguished 19-year major league career and later managed the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. "The Orioles took the pressure off Texas."

In the fall of 1968, Royal believed he had found the right young man to integrate his team in Julius Whittier. The previous season, a black student named E. A. Curry walked on and made the freshman team, but he struggled academically and quit. Royal's first black scholarship player in 1968, Leon O'Neal, stayed for only one year.

Royal believed Whittier had the will and the preparation to remain for four years. Whittier had been a star at an integrated high school in San Antonio. His father, Oncy, was a doctor. His mother, Loraine, was a schoolteacher and community activist who had led protests against a local grocery chain that prohibited black women from becoming cashiers.

Whittier said his uncle Edward Sprott was head of the N.A.A.C.P. in Beaumont, Tex., and had not been intimidated when his house was bombed. His older brother, also named Oncy, had his head cracked open by police officers for his involvement in a guerrilla theater troupe that performed pointed skits about prejudice in the streets of San Antonio, Whittier said.

Royal described Whittier as "smart and tough and a heck of a football player."

 He added, "I knew he could play for us and handle any difficulties off the field."

 

Whittier's had success on and off the field -- he was a three-year letterman and a starter his junior and senior year -- paid immediate dividends for Texas. Roosevelt Leaks came here in 1971 and Earl Campbell in 1974, and they became all-American running backs. Soon, one of the set pieces for prospective players was Johnson's landing by helicopter on the lawn of his presidential library on campus to tell them why they should play for Texas.

Years after Whittier watched his white teammates defeat Arkansas, much has changed in the Texas football program. Jester Hall remains, though it is no longer strictly an athletic dorm. Royal has passed away but  remains a campus fixture and before his death he expressed regrets that he did  not integrate his teams earlier. 

 

 

 

Julius Whittier Enters the Hall of Honor in 2013

2013 -Billy Dale, Julius Whittier, and JoEllen Dale 

Julius Whittier's  contributions to Longhorn traditions represents  a portal to the past that reminds Longhorn fans that heritage shapes the present and empowers the future. 

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Julius was one of the first freshmen Longhorns I met in August of 1969 when I reported as a new student manager. He, Steve Valek and I were particularly friendly as freshmen and sophomores. Between his growing Afro hairstyle and his preferred mode of campus transportation, his bicycle, Julius was impossible to miss. We had several classes together and I admired Julius then and continued to hold him in high regard for his academic and professional accomplishments throughout his life.

 

Although we were not aware of it at the time, he and I helped integrate the UT travel squad when we roomed together on the only overnight road trip of the freshman season in Fort Worth. That occurred when as we were getting everyone on the bus, Coach Ellington learned from Spanky that Junior Blewitt was sick and unable to travel.  Coach Ellington replied to Spanky something to the effect of “Well, that’s great. Now who rooms with Whitter?” I was helping check off the names as they boarded the bus and quickly replied that I would. The coaches had all three freshman managers in one room. I knew that I would have a bed to myself at the Blackstone Hotel that night if he would assign me to room with Julius.  I might have arrived at UT from McGregor two months earlier but I didn’t arrive on a turnip truck. 

 

Julius was a strong man with sound core values in 1969 when he arrived at UT. His life story demonstrated that he adhered to those values personally and professionally throughout his life.

 David

 

David D. Anderson

HillCo Partners

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Billy,

I am sure you do not remember me but I walked on in 1970 and made the team and Lettered at fullback my Freshman year behind Gaspard. I roomed with McEnvale (Not the Mattress Mac) but ended up rooming with Julius for a few months. I remember you and Julius coming to the room and giving me the Freshman once over. Nothing bad. Julius was a funny likable person with many girlfriends. I was often his receptionist relaying phone calls to the room for him from dang near all girls of all races. During Spring practice I was working as a fullback on the attack team against the first team defense and made a lucky block on Randy Braband and coach Door grabbed my face mask and ask me my name. I told him Henry Barton. The next day I had a white jersey and reported to Coach Ballard. I was way over my head and nervous but I think at the time Bobby Callison was hurt and I actually scrimmaged at fullback with Eddie Phillips at QB and Burtelson and Don Burrisk at running backs. My speed was not world class and I remember Julius started calling me speedy. We only roomed together for a few months and I know you were close and I think that is when he moved in with you. I actually don’t remember if I changed rooms or if he moved out. I hurt my knee the week before the Spring game and ended up having to have surgery. That is when Coach Ballard told me the scholarship we discussed was out the window. I move out of Jester in a few months and rented a house with Rick Vacura who had also had knee surgery.

I did not mean to make this a book but just wanted to relay my fond memories of Julius and thank you for all you do for this great site.

Thank You

  

Steve Barton

President

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When I was young and working with the team, he was very kind to me. I am saddened by the loss. Paul Ramsey

 

Great post, Billy. You and Julius were pioneers. Coach Royal, too. I see that Julius went on to earn a Master's in Public Affairs. His father's warnings were part of what we didn't know when we were growing up. We've come a long way, but still have a way to go. Roger Evans



Julius was a good man. All who knew him will miss him. Hook'em Horns!!! Dan Steakley ️

Sorry to hear your friend died. Benjamin Sherman





Billy,

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 I just recently heard the news about the passing of Julius Whittier.  I couldn’t help but think about you and the story you shared with me concerning your connection with Julius Whittier and how that came about through Coach Royal.

 I thank you for your support, connection, and overall role in the life of Julius Whittier.  Because of who I am and what I’ve experienced, I understand how important that can be.  From my humble perspective, there are no coincidences or accidents in life.

 Sincerely,

 

Rodney Page

Lukin Gilliland, Jr.

October 11, 2018

I played against Julius in high school and with him at UT. I remember how much better it was to play with him! He was a great athlete; hit you hard with a smile on his face. Always asked what I was doing good for my body as he viewed it as a Temple. Was happy to support him when he ran for the Court of Criminal Appeals and won my fair share of bets on the question of the first African-American to start for UT. I'll sure miss him.

Cynthia A. Gonzalez

October 4, 2018

Julius, I will always remember your wisdom, leadership and kind heart. I will never forget your support during the year I was President of the Dallas Texas Exes. I will always remember your love for the University of Texas at Austin, and you set the standard for all of us to follow. Dance with the Angels. ! ! Vaya con Dios! !Abrazos!

Erica Pinckney

October 4, 2018

I had the pleasure of working with Julius at the Dallas County DA office. I was his secretary for a moment. He was very kind to me, always happy and in good spirits. He will truely be missed. My condolences the family, may God bless you and give you strength to get through these trying times.

Cheryl Jefferson

October 3, 2018

I had breakfast with Julius, Karol, and Ivey a few years ago. When I got home I wrote this for him.

For Julius
Your welcoming smile was warm and genuine,
As the conversation flowed you said,
“You’re, Cheryl.”
A look of glee came to your face and you kissed my hand.
Your discovery and pleasure at the recognition 
Caused me to smile.

As we talked of the stars at Fort Davis, the red stone of Sedona,
Each recalled memory 
Made you smile.
Your smile of pure innocent joy
Touched my heart.

Charles and I will miss you.

Gilda Babin

October 3, 2018

Butch and I have fond memories of our time with you, skiing in Montana and Colorado. Those "Ski Jammer" days were a blast. Our prayers to the Whittier family, and may you rest in peace.

Deb Ploetz

October 3, 2018

My husband, Greg Ploetz, played with Julius at UT. Greg and Julius were good friends even though Greg was two years ahead of him.According to Greg they spent time discussing the state of the world and shared similar views. Now they can spend time together in heaven. Love to you Julius and your family, Deb

Bill Sheetz

October 2, 2018

Julius was a great lawyer and an even greater man. We knew each other at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. My prayers of strength and encouragement goes out to his family and friends experiencing pain and anguish with this great loss. Please be assured, Julius is in heaven rejoicing with the Lord and all those souls who came before me. Bill Sheetz

Richie (Richardine) Taylor

October 1, 2018

My condolences to the family.
Several of us went to school with Julius at Fannin Elementary in San Antonio, Tx. We were in the 4th grade (Sybil Heavy's class). Julius had misbehaved (not unusual for him) and had been banished to the coat room--which had windows leading to the hallway. We were sitting in class and we heard this crashing sound and the shattering of glass---Julius had jumped through the window, not realizing it was closed. He wasn't injured--not even his pride! The 3 of us who were in that class (Lillie Webb and Lynda Bryant Edwards) were just talking about that this weekend---it still brings nostalgic smiles to our faces.
His was a life well lived!

Floyd Chapman

September 30, 2018

I remember Julius well from high school, even though I was Class of ‘70 Highlands High. I am saddened to hear of his passing and would like to extend my deepest condolences to Millie and the rest of the family. He was admired and respected by all he came in contact with and I am honored to be able to say I had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest In Peace my friend!

Lauri Tyler

September 29, 2018

You were my first true love. I remember working at the Dallas County Courthouse walking down the halls and seeing you was the highlight of my day.

These were great articles but I’m so sorry to hear about Julius.  I remember him playing football just after I graduated from pharmacy school and was working at the UT Health Center Pharmacy.   We filled some of his prescriptions and supplied the athletic department with medicines.    Dr. Tricket was the team physician then.  All that was 40 years ago.   Bennett Brooke