Pete Cawthon

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Pete Cawthon
File:Pete Cawthon.jpg
Cawthon, c. 1930s
Sport(s) Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born (1898-03-24)March 24, 1898
Houston, Texas
Died December 31, 1962(1962-12-31) (aged 64)
Sherman, Texas
Playing career
1917–1919 Southwestern (TX)
Position(s) Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1919 Beaumont HS (TX)
1921–1922 Terrill Prep (TX)
1923–1927 Austin
1930–1940 Texas Tech
1942 Alabama (line)
1943–1944 Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers
1945–1946 Detroit Lions (assistant)
1920–1921 Rice
1923–1927 Austin
1920–1921 Rice
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1930–1940 Texas Tech
1952–1953 Alabama
Head coaching record
Overall 97–52–10 (college football)
2–18 (NFL)
Bowls 0–2
Accomplishments and honors
1 Border (1937)

Peter Willis Cawthon (March 24, 1898 – December 31, 1962) was an American football, basketball, and baseball player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Austin College from 1923 to 1927 and at Texas Technological College—now Texas Tech University—from 1930 to 1940, compiling a career college football coaching record of 97–52–10. Cawthon was the head coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1942 to 1943. He served as the athletic director at Texas Tech from 1930 to 1941 and the University of Alabama from 1952 to 1953.

Playing career

Cawthon graduated from Houston Central High School in 1917 and went on to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He lettered in baseball, football, and basketball during his freshman year. When the baseball coach left to fight in World War I, Cawthon took over the position. Cawthon earned four letters his sophomore year and was selected as an All-State halfback.[1]

Coaching career

In 1919, Cawthon took his first regular coaching job at Beaumont High School before becoming the baseball and basketball coach at Rice Institute—now Rice University—in 1920. In 1923 he moved on to coach at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he established the Cawthon Trophy, given annually to an outstanding individual at the school on the basis of athletic participation, leadership, and sportsmanship. His record at Austin College was 21–20–4 from 1923 to 1927. Austin won Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association title in 1923.

In 1930, Cawthon was hired by Texas Technological College—now Texas Tech University. By 1932, the Matadors—now the Red Raiders)—became the highest-scoring team in the nation. He coached at the school through the 1940 season. During his tenure, he compiled a record of 76–32–6.

Cawthon served as line coach in football with the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 1942 season. From 1943 to 1944, Cawthon coached in the National Football League for the Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers. He posted a 2–18 record during his time in the NFL. From 1952 to 1953, Cawthon served as athletic director at the University of Alabama.


Cawthon died after a heart attack on December 31, 1962 in Sherman, Texas.[2]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Austin Kangaroos () (1923–1927)
Austin: 21–20–4
Texas Tech Matadors (Independent) (1930–1931)
1930 Texas Tech 3–6
1931 Texas Tech 6–3
Texas Tech Matadors / Red Raiders (Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1932–1940)
1932 Texas Tech 10–2 2–0
1933 Texas Tech 8–1 1–0
1934 Texas Tech 7–2–1 1–0
1935 Texas Tech 5–3–2 0–1 6th
1936 Texas Tech 5–4–1 0–0–1 T–4th
1937 Texas Tech 8–4 3–0 1st L Sun
1938 Texas Tech 10–1 2–0 L Cotton 11
1939 Texas Tech 5–5–1 2–1 T–2nd
1940 Texas Tech 9–1–1 0–1 T–6th
Texas Tech: 76–32–6 11–3–1
Total: 97–52–10
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. H. Allen Anderson (June 12, 2010). "CAWTHON, PETER WILLIS". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved June 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. AP (January 1, 1963). "Pete Cawthon Dead At 64". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. Retrieved June 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links