Ewing Freeland became Texas Tech College’s first Head Football Coach in its first year of 1925. A graduate of Vanderbilt in 1911, Freeland excelled in both football as a tackle and baseball as a first baseman. His nickname in college was “Bigan” as he batted third and was a notorious long ball hitter (even back then, chicks dug the long ball). Born in Turnersville, Texas on the first day of 1887, there is no record of his childhood or schooling until his days at Vanderbilt. Turnersville is located forty miles west of Waco and twelve miles northeast of Gatesville and never became a sizeable town. Freeland landed his first head football coaching job at TCU in 1915 at the age of 28. He coached there thru 1920. For one year he coached at Millsap College before returning to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as the Head Coach at SMU. At that time, SMU was “too small to compete with the likes of TCU, Baylor and the state university Longhorns.” However in 1923, Ewing’s Mustangs defeated the previous year’s champion Baylor 16-0 to clinch the Southwest Conference title with a perfect 9-0 record for the season and 5-0 in conference.
Texas Tech hired Freeland (most likely influenced by Amon Carter) in 1925 at the seasoned age of 34. Despite a number of suggestions from local fans, he took his wife’s advice and nicknamed his team the Matadors. In his four seasons, he amassed a record of 21-10-6 at Tech. Freeland never had a losing season while at Tech, although in his last year the team went 4-4-1. In his first year, the Matadors went for six wins, one loss and two ties. Freeland is credited with designing the iconic Double T logo which he had sewn on sweaters for his players. He also coached the Matador baseball team in 1926 and 1927. After leaving Tech, Freeland became Head Coach and AD at Austin College in Sherman. Ewing Freeland passed in 1953 in Brownwood, Texas, but not before he had compiled a career record in football of 41-23-8.