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  during some of Texas footballs greatest years, and he was  a major contributor to the UT Athletic departments most productive years. 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 wee  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 keep 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.   

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 


1988  4-7 pending

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


Peter Gardere's first year portends good things to come 


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




1990 - 10-2

Final ranking 12th nationally

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 

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


It is Arkansas's last year in the SWC.

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 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.