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.
After going 15-1-1 in his first two seasons, Berry M. Whitaker entered year three as one of the more popular coaches in Longhorn history. His 1922 season only increased that popularity as the Longhorns went 7-2, including shutout wins over Austin College, Phillips, Rice and Southwestern. For the first time since 1919, Texas faced Oklahoma, this time in Norman, and won 32-7. It was the only time Whitaker coached against the Sooners.
Texas ended the season with a 14-7 loss to Texas A&M in Austin.
Following the season, rumors swirled about a rift between Whitaker and Texas millionaire alum, and former team manager, Lutcher Stark. This guy was not someone you wanted to beef with at Texas. Stark’s name still resonates on campus with the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports connected to Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Whitaker denied this riff, but did resign after the 1922 season. He later said “I’m too thin-skinned and too conscientious. Defeats killed me. I was coming down with ulcers and that kind of thing. I didn’t intend to stay in coaching in the first place. I was going to get out of it and get back in my profession.”
He left the football program and returned to his previous job, as the director of the campus intramural program. Whitaker stayed in that position on campus for more than 40 years. The fields near 51st street and Guadalupe are named after him, and the Wall of Fame in Gregory Gym was his idea. When he retired in 1960, he had worked for the University of Texas for 54 years.
Whitaker is credited as one of the first persons to organize intramural programs. He also coached the men’s basketball team in 1920, where he went 10-6.
He died in 1984.
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