We have to go off-road of the Information Super Highway to get much information on Texas Tech’s second HFBC, Roswell Grady Higginbotham. Despite his only coaching the Matadors for one season (1929), and despite is putting up a dismal 1-7-2 record, Coach Higginbotham was indeed a fine athlete in his own right and our youngest Head Football Coach at age 31.
Born in Howe, Texas August 15, 1898, “Little Hig” first gained prominence as an outstanding football player for Sherman High School. He parlayed his high school career into an invite to Texas A&M in 1917. In his junior year he pitched a no-hitter against the Evil Empire, thus solidifying his place in my heart. Higginbotham also was named All-Southwest Conference in football in 1919 and 1920 as a back.
“Little Hig” was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team in 1921 and played with the late, great Roger Hornsby. He did not stay in the bigs long, however and was relegated to the Texas/Oklahoma league. He continued to post good numbers however and even lead the league in stolen bases with 53 one season.
Higginbotham began his coaching career in 1925 as Tech’s first basketball coach and over two seasons ended with a record of 14-18-0.
He was an assistant football coach under Ewing Freeland. With some success in his initial coaching efforts he was named HFBC at Texas Tech in 1929. The jump proved too much for him however as he was only able to win one game for the Matadors, thrashing Wayland Baptist by a score of 19-0. Of particular note, “Little Hig” was the only Texas Tech coach to have played Baylor and never won, getting pounded 34-0 in his only try. Higginbotham quickly returned to Aggieland to coach baseball and was able to win two Southwest Conference Championships.
During World War II, Grady Higginbotham served his country in the US Navy. Lieutenant (JG) Higginbotham died in Quonset Point, Rhode Island in 1943 as a result of abdominal surgery complications.
Just for fun, here is the "official score card" for the Baylor game that season