The Texas Longhorns flag flies in the end zone prior to kickoff against West Virginia at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

Daily Longhorn football history: The 1923 season

Posted June 4th, 2017

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The Texas football program dates back to 1893 each day, we look at a little piece of Longhorn history. We’re starting by looking at each Longhorn football season. 

Following the massive success of UT legend Berry M. Whitaker as football coach, Texas hired a doctor to cure the football program.

Edward James “Doc” Stewart, or E.J. Stewart, was hired as head coach in 1923.

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Stewart arrived from Northeast Ohio. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended medical school, Stewart helped establish one of the most historical high school football programs in the history of the nation. In the early 1900s, he organized the first “town team” in Massillon, Ohio called the “Massillon Tigers”

Massillon, and nearby neighbor Canton, have gone on to become one of the most historical football hotbeds ever. Massollin’s high school, Washington High School, adopted the team and to this day, they are the Washington High School Massillon Tigers. Why are they famous? Well, in 1925, two years after Stewart took the job at Texas, Paul Brown graduated from Washington High and in 1932 he would become the head coach of Massollin and eventually would change football forever.

The Massollin Tigers  have more AP National Championships than any other high school program (nine) and have won 23 high school state championships in Ohio.

Stewart started that.

After leaving Massollin, Stewart coached at Mount Union (now a Division III program, but one of the winningest college football programs of all time with 12 national championships since 1993), Allegheny College, Oregon A&M (now Oregon State), Nebraska and Clemson. He also coached the Army team during World War I.

Donning a brimmed hat, the piano-playing, well-spoken coach, who was reportedly offered a job in the UT English department, convinced Oscar Eckhardt to stick with football. Eckhardt was one of the early stars at Texas and with his return to the program, Texas went undefeated, 8-0-1,  in 1923.

Known as “Ox” Eckhardt, the two-sport star played quarterback and running back for Texas while also playing baseball. He went on to play for the New York Giants after Texas, but his true sport was baseball, where in 1932 he made his pro debut with the Boston Braves as an outfielder.

Texas’ 1923 team beat Oklahoma and Texas A&M in back-to-back weeks to end the season. They started the season with six straight shutouts, allowing the first points of the season on Nov. 10, 1923 in a 7-7 tie. Texas picked up a seventh shutout against Texas A&M, a 6-0 win.

 

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