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Former Lobo coach Hudspeth remembered for character

George Whitley

By George Whitley
Aug. 6, 2016 at 10:33 p.m.


Tommy Hudspeth stressed character above anything else, according to former player Johnny Vaughn.

"He was one of the finest men that I was ever around," Vaughn recalled.

Hudspeth, who guided the Longview Lobo football teams for four seasons from 1967 through 1970, passed away Saturday morning at 82.

"He was a fine Christian man that came in my senior year as head coach," remembered Steve Judy. "He was a disciplinarian and very involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes."

Hudspeth, who came to Longview in 1967 after a successful stint as head coach at McKinney, promptly led the Lobos to their first football district title in 20 years.

"Longview had had some good physical coaches, but Coach Hudspeth brought more of the mental aspects that was a real asset to us," offered Rodney Hill, who was a captain along with Judy on Hudspeth's first Lobo team.

"All of us enjoyed the year we had with him. I felt he was the right move for the program and so did a lot of other people."

Hudspeth, who played his high school ball at Weatherford and juco ball at Tarleton JC before earning a degree at the University of Texas, led a Lobo renaissance of sorts upon his arrival near 50 years ago.

His record of 29-11 ranked him third all time when he left for Sherman after the 1970 season. Hudspeth's .725 winning percentage still rates fourth best in school history.

"I don't think you can find anybody that doesn't have positive thoughts of Coach Hudspeth," said Vaughn, who has done radio for Lobo football since 1978.

Hudspeth never forgot his players as witnessed by his attendance at Judy's induction into the TCU Sports Hall of Fame.

"He was just a good solid Christian person," reflected Judy.

Hill recalled the time he underwent surgery a few years back in Dallas and Hudspeth stopped by the hospital to check on him.

"That meant a lot to me. I hadn't seen him in years. I'm talking like 20 years," said Hill. "I couldn't tell you how much he meant to so many people. He was a great man."

Hudspeth began his head coaching career in McKinney (1964-66), where he led the Lions to the 1966 Class 3A state championship game. After four year as at Longview he coached Sherman for eight years before moving to Mesquite (1979-83). He finished with a career record of 137-64-8 in 20 years as a head coach and 28 years of service overall.

(Follow George Whitley on Twitter: @GPigskinprof)

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