David McWilliams- player, assistant coach, Head Coach, and Administrator 


Coach David McWilliams 1987- 1991

In the book Long Live the Longhorns Royal is quoted as saying " David was small for a defensive tackle, but he was an intense as he could be". "He was lining up against people who weighed 235. He always managed to keep his body leverage and keep under 'em. He was a disciplined player."  For more on David McWiliiams visit the "insight" section and  then click on "football 1960's" and then scroll to the article about the Cleburne "Boys".

Most of David McWilliams 50 plus years associated with UT were perfect!  He was captain of the 1963 National Championship team, an assistant coach ,and  during some of Texas greatest football years, he was  a major contributor to the UT Athletic department.  

Unfortunately, his years as head coach at Texas were challenging.   David McWilliams inherited a program at a time when The SWC was  losing the battle to remain relevant and competitive with other conferences.  In Fact, In 1980, 1986, 1988, and 1989 there were no SWC Teams in the final top 10. the reason- many three, four, and five star athletes chose to leave the "boring" SWC for more "exciting" football venues.  

To make matters worse the SWC  was dealing  with  illegal recruiting, "dirty money", and predatory competition.  Many SWC teams were  either under investigation for NCAA rules violations or already on probation. During the 80's  Only Rice, Baylor, and Arkansas were not under investigation by the NCAA.

Yet the true Longhorn fans kept the faith with  "Texas in their soul". 


A condensed bullet point history of Texas Longhorn football during the McWilliams years follows. Please go to the "credit" section of this website to view books you can purchase from many fine book stores about Texas Longhorn football or please visit the official University of Texas Longhorn site for more detailed information about Texas longhorn sports.   


Coach McWilliams struggles to turn the football program around in a conference that is going to hell. This song by Rodney Atkins is appropriate for Coach McWilliams struggles. 





Coach David McWilliams 1987 record  7-5

Toward The End Of The 1980'S A Longhorn Political Struggle Occurs Related To A Request By Some Individuals To Rename The Stadium After Dana X. Bible.  Rooster Andrews,  Malcolm Kutner, Noble Doss, And Wally Scott Promote the Name Change But The UT President William Cunningham rejects the request.   

Texas loses to three ranked teams in non-conference that  include Auburn, BYU, and Oklahoma.  Stafford was the starting quarterback but Shannon Kelley replaced him after Stafford was injured.   4 interceptions for touchdowns and a total of 8 turnovers against Houston negates a Longhorn offense that generated 601 yards of offense. Texas breaks the streak of 4 bowl losses in a row by defeating Pittsburgh in the Bluebonnet Bowl.  Stafford sets a Bluebonnet bowl passing record and Tony Jones is the MVP.


Brit Hager holds the Longhorn record for most tackles in a season (195); most tackles in a career (499). 

This team holds  the Longhorn record  for most pass attempts in a game (60); most yards passing (476); most plays in a game (101); and most punt returns (11).

Coach McWilliams says in an Austin American interview that Eric Metcalf is the most talented player he ever coached. 



Eric Metcalf

Eric Metcalf



Eric Metcalf is a 3 time All-SWC running back, and a 2 time national champion in the long jump.

He also holds the Longhorn career reception record for a running back (125); season record for receptions over 10 yards; career record  for receptions over 5 yards; and most kick-off returns for a game (7). 






Eric Metcalf is in violation of an NCAA rule. He receives room and board at Jester Center during the summer, but he does not attend school.  The punishment is a one game suspension.  He misses the BYU game and Texas loses 47-6. 




In 1987 The Neuhaus-Royal Athletic Center is complete. It houses the new locker room , weight facility , and rehab pool .

Barry Switzer states the  Dallas media treats OU unfairly and suggests the Texas-OU games leave Dallas.  

Bret Stafford gets hurt in the Houston game. 

Bret Stafford and Coach McWilliams

ordeal with recruiting is never ending 



1988 4-7



This team holds the Longhorn record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a game (-56).






John Hagy holds the season record for the highest average return after a interception (28.6).

Shannon Kelley and Mark Murdock compete for the starting quarterback position.


1989  5-6 Coach David mcwilliams

 The Horns of ‘89 are picked 4 in the conference but after beating OU and Arkansas game the Longhorns are in the top 25.

The players think they are guaranteed the Cotton bowl but instead receive a nightmare for all. In the next 5 games the Horns lose 4. The ailing Gardere is replaced in the TCU game by Donovan Forbes . The Horns win that one. Wayne Clements enters the record book by kicking the most three pointers in SWC history.

The Cactus of 1990 titles this year “The Rise and Fall of ‘Peter The Great’. Which quite frankly is a ridiculous title for a great quarterback. Losing and winning in football is a team sport. No individual is the cause of the 1989 collapse. Cactus also has a “tongue in cheek remark” that is titled “HORNS FULFILL PREDICTIONS IN SWC” which alluded to their pick as 4th in conference.

Penalties , interceptions, and fumbles after the Arkansas game led to the 4 loss’s.


During Peter Gardere years at Texas he breaks most of the year-to- date quarterback records.




Watch the video below and Gardere pass to Walker to win the game.

The picture above is taken from the end zone . It is the same play that is in the video to the left.

Tony at this point in Longhorn football history is one of the most prolific receivers to wear the Longhorn uniform. He set a Bluebonnet bowl record with 242 yards in pass receptions and holds the season yardage mark of 838 yards.

1990 - 10-2

Texas 45, #3 Houston 24

Houston is undefeated and ranked #3 when they came to Austin to play Texas. Houston has Heisman Trophy candidate David Klingler and has beaten Texas three years in a row. This game will be different. Houston offense loses to a UT defense that finishes the season #1 in the nation in pass defense. On offense the Horns produce 626 yards of total offense. Klinger has 4 passes intercepted while Peter Gardere passes for 322 yards and Butch Hadnot rushes for 134 yards. This game catapults Texas into the Texas into the 1990 Cotton Bowl.

Shock the Nation Tour (almost) Final ranking 12th nationally. David McWilliams is SWC coach of the year , and the Longhorns are in the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1984.

Arkansas after 96 years in the SWC leaves for the SEC and the horns give them a good send off by beating them 49-17.

James Saxton's son (Jimmy) is Peter Gardere's back up.

The year of the"Shock the Nation Tour" - a bad ending to a great season.

A season that shows promise with a win over Number 4 Houston, ends in the infamous lost to Miami in the Cotton Bowl



Horns are intimidated and embarrassed by Miami in the Cotton Bowl. It is the most lopsided victory in Cotton Bowl history. 

Texas has 8 players selected in the draft. The most since 1984.



Shane Dronett holds the career record for most blocked kicks (7), and most sacks in a game (5).

Shane Dronett

1991 5-6 

Defense wins the OU game when Darrell Jacques runs 30 yards after a fumble recovery. The Horn offense was ineffective the whole year due to injuries and missed opportunities. .

This team holds the Longhorn season record for most efficient pass defense. (77.4 rating)

Coach McWilliams is re-assigned and accepts the job as Associate Athletic Director.



From my perspective Coach McWilliams is a rare "burnt orange gem".  A special color that is  produced by tremendous heat and pressure.  

Billy Graham says When you lose your wealth, you lose nothing. When you lose your health, you lose something. When you lose your character, you lose everything.” David McWilliams proves to be a man with great character.  

In 1993 David is inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor.

In 1998 David McWilliams is inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. 


Coach McWilliams contributions to Longhorn traditions remains a portal to the past that reminds Longhorn fans that heritage shapes the present and empowers the future. 


A very good article link is posted on August 28th, 2015 by Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman discussing Coach McWilliams retirement.

Coach McWilliams is Back to coaching and influencing young minds in October 2017.