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Mack Saxon
Sport(s)Football, baseball, basketball, track
Biographical details
Born(1901-11-21)November 21, 1901
Palestine, Texas
DiedMay 8, 1949(1949-05-08) (aged 47)
Arlington, Virginia
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback
Head coaching record
Overall66–43–9 (football)
34–61 (basketball)
17–4 (baseball)
Bowls0–1

Mack Saxon (November 21, 1901 – May 8, 1949) was an American football and baseball player, coach of football, basketball, baseball, and track, and athletic administrator.

A Texas native, Saxon was the quarterback of the 1925 and 1926 Texas Longhorns football teams and was selected as an all-conference player in 1926. He also played minor league baseball in 1926 and 1927.

From 1927 to 1941, he served as athletic director and coach at Texas School of Mines (now known as the University of Texas El Paso). He coached the school's football, baseball, basketball, and track teams at various times. In 13 years as the head football coach, he turned the program into a regional power, oversaw the construction of Kidd Field, led the team to its first bowl game, and compiled a 66–43–9 record.

Saxon served in the United States Navy during World War II, supervising an athletic training program for naval flyers. He continued that work as a civilian employee of the Navy after the war before dying of a heart attack at age 47.

Early yearsEdit

Saxon was born in 1901 in Palestine, Texas, and attended Temple High School in Temple, Texas.[1] He initially attended Austin College in Sherman, Texas, before transferring to the University of Texas. At Texas, he was quarterback of the school's football team during the 1925 and 1926 seasons. He was selected as both the team captain and the most valuable player on the 1926 Texas Longhorns football team.[2] At the end of the 1926 season, he was also selected as the most valuable player, best blocker, best defensive player, and best strategist in the Southwest Conference.[3]

Saxon also played professional baseball as a catcher for two years. He played for the Tyler Trojans in 1927 and for the Palestine Pals in 1927 and 1928.[4]

Coaching careerEdit

In 1927, the Texas School of Mines hired E. J. Stewart, who had coached Saxon at Texas, as the school's new head football coach. Saxon joined Stewart in September 1927 as an assistant coach at Texas Mines.[5] In December 1927, Saxon (at age 26) was named Texas Mines' new athletic director, retained his role as assistant football coach, and was also given responsibility to coach the track and baseball teams.[6] He also coached the basketball team beginning in 1928.

Stewart retired as the head football coach after the 1928 season, and Saxon was chosen to replace him.[7] Prior to Saxon taking over as head coach, Texas Mines had only four winning seasons in program history and only one season with a record more than one game above .500.[8] Saxon immediately turned the program around, leading his teams to records of 6–1–2 in 1929, 7–1–1 in 1930, 7–1 in 1931, and 7–3 in 1932.[8]

The popularity of the football program grew under Saxon's leadership, leading to the construction of Kidd Field. In 1935, he served as co-coach of the El Paso All-Stars in the first Sun Bowl game. In 1936, Saxon led his team to a 5–2–1 record in the regular season and a berth in the Sun Bowl game. He followed in 1937 with a 7–1–2 season.[8]

After the 1941 season, Saxon resigned his positions at Texas Mines.[9] In 13 seasons as head coach, Saxon's football teams compiled a 66–43–9 record. As coach of the basketball team from 1928 to 1934, he tallied a mark of 34–61. He also coached the school's baseball team in 1928 and 1930, compiling a 17–4 record.[citation needed]

Military service, family and later yearsEdit

In May 1941, with the United States at war, Saxon was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.[10] In September 1942, he was placed in charge of the physical fitness program at the Banana River Naval Air Station in Florida.[11] He left active duty in 1945 with the rank of commander.[12] After the war, Saxon remained affiliated with the Navy as a civilian employee in charge of the athletics training program.[13]

On June 1, 1934, Saxon was married to Mary Hilton, the former wife of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.[14][15]

In May 1949, Saxon died at age 47 of a heart attack at his home in Arlington, Virginia.[14][16]

Head coaching recordEdit

FootballEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Texas Mines Miners (Independent) (1929–1934)
1929 Texas Mines 6–1–2
1930 Texas Mines 7–1–1
1931 Texas Mines 7–1
1932 Texas Mines 7–3
1933 Texas Mines 3–5–1
1934 Texas Mines 4–4
Texas Mines Miners (Border Conference) (1935–1941)
1935 Texas Mines 1–8 0–3 7th
1936 Texas Mines 5–3–1 2–1–1 2nd L Sun
1937 Texas Mines 7–1–2 2–1–1 4th
1938 Texas Mines 6–3 3–2 4th
1939 Texas Mines 5–4 3–2 4th
1940 Texas Mines 4–4–1 3–1–1 3rd
1941 Texas Mines 5–4–1 3–4 6th
Texas Mines: 66–43–9 16–14–3
Total: 66–43–9
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Temple Youth Longhorn Hope". The Austin American: p. 8. October 4, 1925. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26932490/temple_youth_longhorn_hope/.
  2. "Saxon Recognized as Most Valuable Player". The Austin American: p. 5. November 29, 1926. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26932184/saxon_recognized_as_mvp/.
  3. "All-Southwestern Conference Football Elevens For 1926 Are Chosen". Sunday American-Statesman: p. 11. November 28, 1926. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26932714/allsouthwestern_conference_football/.
  4. "Mack Saxon Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=saxon-001---. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  5. "Stewart Brings Saxon to Help Coach Miners' Team". El Paso Post: p. 10. September 5, 1927. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26933804/stewart_brings_saxon_to_help_coach/.
  6. "Mack Saxon Succeeds 'Doc' as Miner Coach". Sunday American-Statesman: p. 7. December 11, 1927. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26934049/mack_saxon_succeeds_doc_as_miner_coach/.
  7. "Miners May Play Texas University In Football Next Fall". El Paso Evening Post: p. 7. November 29, 1928. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26934497/miners_play_texas_university_in/.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "2014 UTEP Media Guide". University of Texas at El Paso. 2014. p. 175. http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/utep/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/misc_non_event/2014_FBMediaGuide.pdf.
  9. "Jack Curtice, West Texas State Coach, To Replace Mack Saxon At College of Mines". The Odessa American: p. 6. January 9, 1942. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26935423/jack_curtice_west_texas_state_coach/.
  10. "Mack Saxon Commissioned By U. S. Navy". El Paso Times: p. 18. May 10, 1942. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26935747/mack_saxon_commissioned_by_u_s_navy/.
  11. "Lt. Saxon Now Trains Flyers". Valley Evening Monitor: p. 5. September 29, 1942. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26936011/lt_saxon_now_trains_flyers/.
  12. "Ex-Grid Star At UT Dies". The Austin Statesman: p. 1. May 9, 1949. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26936941/exgrid_star_at_ut_dies/.
  13. "The Brownsville Herald". September 21, 1947. p. 15. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26936468/us_navy_is_almost_texas_affair/.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Mack Saxon, Trained Aviators in Navy, 47". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 10, 1949. https://www.nytimes.com/1949/05/10/archives/ack-saxon-trane-aviators-in-navy-4z.html. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  15. J. Randy Taraborrelli (2014). The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty. Grand Central Publishing. https://books.google.com/books?id=IeN5AAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  16. "Mack Saxon, Former Mines Coach, Dies". El Paso Times: pp. 1-2. May 9, 1949. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/26936780/mack_saxon_former_mines_coach_dies/.

External linksEdit

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