American Football Database
J. Burton Rix
File:Rix Wier Allerdice.jpg
Rix (left) with assistant coach Lt. Joseph Wier and head coach Dave Allerdice at Texas circa 1913
Sport(s)Football, basketball, track
Biographical details
Born(1882-03-24)March 24, 1882
Cincinnati, Ohio
DiedAugust 8, 1964(1964-08-08) (aged 82)
Dallas, Texas
Playing career
Position(s)Halfback (football)
Head coaching record
29–37 (basketball, excluding Southwestern)

John Burton Rix (March 24, 1882 – August 8, 1964) was an American football and basketball player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Austin College (1909–1910), Southwestern University (1914–1916), Southern Methodist University (1917–1921), the University of Miami (1929), compiling a career college football coaching record of 39–39–12. Rix was also the head basketball coach at the University of Texas at Austin (1911–1912) and at Southern Methodist (1917–1921), tallying a career college basketball mark of 29–37.

Early life

Rix was born on March 24, 1882 in Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] He attended Dartmouth College, where he played on the football team as a halfback in 1905,[2][3] and served as the basketball team captain for the 1903–04 and 1904–05 seasons.[4] Rix graduated from Dartmouth with an A.B. degree in 1906.[5] He was a member of the Pi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and the Casque and Gauntlet.[5] In 1910, he was teaching as an English instructor at Austin College.[5]

Coaching career

In 1912, Rix became the head basketball coach at Texas, replacing W. E. Metzenthin, who had moved into the position of athletic director.[6] Rix served in that capacity for one season and without pay.[6] According to the student yearbook, the Cactus, he "took hold of the squad when it found itself without a leader and quickly demonstrated his ability to transform it into a quintet that was as good as any in the state."[6] At Texas, he also served as an assistant football coach under Dave Allerdice from 1911 through 1913.[2][7] After a 30–7 loss to Notre Dame in 1913, Rix wrote in The Alcalde:

"I was asked to criticise the playing of our team in this game. Had we won I should perhaps have been willing to do so. As it is, there is no necessity for it, for our men themselves, you may be assured, are criticising themselves with a self-analysis, and sincerity and effectiveness that will do more for the development of football in Texas than a whole season of ordinary games."[8]

From 1914 to 1916, he coached the football team and served as the athletic director at Southwestern University.[9][10] In February 1917, he accepted the position as athletic director at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.[10] At SMU, he served as the head basketball and football coach from 1917 to 1921. He was replaced as football coach midseason by Bill Cunningham, also of Dartmouth, during a disastrous 1–6–1 campaign in 1921.[11] In 1929, Rix became the second head football coach at the University of Miami, after a group of local businessmen financially backed the school. However, Rix left after one season as the Wall Street Crash of 1929 caused an end to the off-campus financing.[12] He committed suicide by hanging in 1964.[13]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Austin Kangaroos (Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1909–1910)
1909 Austin 5–3–2
1910 Austin 4–3–2
Austin: 9–6–4
Southwestern Pirates (Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1914)
1914 Southwestern 4–4
Southwestern Pirates (Southwestern Conference / Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1915–1916)
1915 Southwestern 4–3 0–2 / 7th /
1916 Southwestern 3–5–1 0–4 / 8th /
Southwestern: 11–12–1
SMU Mustangs (Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1917)
1917 SMU 3–2–3
SMU Mustangs (Southwest Conference) (1918–1921)
1918 SMU 4–2 1–2 5th
1919 SMU 5–4–1 0–2–1 6th
1920 SMU 3–5–2 0–4–1 6th
1921 SMU 1–6–1 0–4 7th
SMU: 16–19–7
Miami Hurricanes (Independent) (1929)
1929 Miami 3–2
Miami: 3–2
Total: 39–39–12
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Emerson, Charles Franklin (1911). General Catalogue of Dartmouth College and the Associated Schools 1769-1910. Concord, New Hampshire: Rumford Press. p. 432. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Alcalde, Volume 2, p. 65, Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas, 1913.
  3. Dartmouth Football Media Guide, Dartmouth College, p. 139, 2008.
  4. Men's Basketball Year by Year, Dartmouth College, September 19, 2006.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, p. 649, Delta Kappa Epsilon Council, 1910.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Longhorn Hoops: The History of Texas Basketball, p. 8, University of Texas Press, 1998, ISBN 0-292-76585-1.
  7. The University of Texas Record, Volume XI, p. 198, University of Texas, 1913.
  8. Alcade, Volume 2, p. 196.
  9. Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide, p. 302, National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1915.
  10. 10.0 10.1 SOUTHWESTERN GETS RIX, The Christian Science Monitor, February 24, 1917.
  11. Calling 'Em Right with ALBERT W. KEANE, Sports Editor, Hartford Courant, December 7, 1935.
  12. Hurricane's history starts with rain, ends with reign
  13. View Images —