In the dark days, the dismal days, you know, the days before Texas Tech got really serious about football, someone came up with the idea that since we could not get much worse, hell; let’s hire a teasip to lead our merry band.
In 1986, the Red Raiders did just that. They hired David McWilliams. Born in 1942 in Cleburne, Texas, McWilliams became Tech’s 11th Head Football Coach at the ripe age of 44.
The former Texas Longhorn played center and defensive tackle from 1961 thru 1963. While there the UT teams compiled a record of 30-2-1, won three SWC championships, one national championship and finished in the top four in the nation each year. McWilliams was a captain in 1963.
After college, McWilliams entered the coaching ranks as an assistant coach at Abilene High School and in 1966 became one of Texas’ youngest high school head coach. He dialed up a record of 21-17-2 over four years before Darrell Royal hired him as an assistant in 1970. There he coached linebackers and defensive ends and in 1982 became Fred Akers’ Defensive Coordinator.
Tech lured McWilliams away from the 40 acres in 1986 with the departure of Jerry Moore. McWilliams put up decent numbers at Tech with a 7-4 record, a tie for fourth in the SWC and a trip to the Independence Bowl. Apparently McWilliams got lost on the way to Shreveport and headed back to UT as the HMFIC of Football after the Horns tired of Akers. Others say he was asked to leave after he and his wife were seen giving the “hook’em horns” sign on national TV.
The best contribution that the Tech coach that bled burnt orange did for Tech was hire Spike Dykes as an assistant. The only other contribution was that he managed to beat his alma mater in his only year to coach for Tech.
In a season that saw the defeat of K State and UT, some of the more memorable names would have been Billy Joe Tolliver, Timmy Smith, James Gray and Wayne Walker on offense. Special teams saw the future in Tyrone Thurman. Even after getting pounded by the U in Miami and by the Aggies, several defensive standouts remained in Brad Hastings, Eric Everett and Merv Scurlock. James Mosley was named Outstanding Defensive Player in the Independence Bowl that year.Not a great year, not a bad year…just another year.
But things were gonna get better…..