Statues Of UT Legends Unveiled


It was a reunion of the greats. Red McCombs, Tex Moncrief, Mack Brown, Bill Powers, and DeLoss Dodds —  just to name a few —  gathered in the North Endzone last Friday to celebrate the unveiling of UT’s newest statues: generous and ardent UT supporters Red McCombs, ’50, Life Member, and W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr., BS ’42, Life Member.

Brown was the first of many to speak of McCombs’ and Moncrief’s seemingly endless contributions to the University, and of their “passion, great drive, and generosity.”

“[These men] are great leaders, great fathers, great people,” Brown said. “They’re visionaries and friends.”

It was funny. Our esteemed and often mythical coach seemed human all of a sudden, or at least almost human, standing next to his buddies, Red and Tex.

“These two guys have it,” Brown said, speaking of the “it factor.”

“They have it. They are it.”

President Powers, engineering dean Gregory Fenves, and business dean Thomas Gilligan spoke of the two’s contributions to the University’s academics. McCombs, Gilligan said, can be found regularly chatting with students in the business school that bears his name. “Never are students so attentive as when they’re speaking with Red,” he said.

Dodds was last to speak before the unveiling. “Has anyone seen them?” he asked, signaling to the statues. The crowd shook their heads no. “Tex hasn’t seen them, Red hasn’t seen them, I haven’t seen them.”

“I peeked,” McCombs chimed in.

After the laughter subsided, came the big reveal. Moncrief stands on the left, his horns held high and his pug puppy by his feet, and McCombs, to Moncrief’s right, is extending a high five to passerbys and, only naturally, throwing up horns with his other hand.

The statues were placed in the center of the Red Zone because it is a place frequented by students of every variety, Dodds explained. UT shuttle buses stop right outside, allowing students easy access to the food court or reprieve from the heat before their walk to class; student athletes roam the end zone; and, before every football game, the football team and Longhorn Band will march through the statues. “Everyone will see Tex and Red,” Dodds said.

McCombs first came to UT when he was 16 years old, when his mother allowed him to hitchhike to Austin. “The longer I stayed, the longer I wanted to stay,” he said. “Because what happens here changes lives.” McCombs could see that, even at that young age.

“We want our kids to come here because its the best place in the world to come,” he said.

Perhaps the most touching of all, however, was the complete admiration each man held for the other.

McCombs spoke of his life on campus. “The first thing I learned was that Tex Moncrief was the go-to guy,” he said. “He was the go-to guy then and is the go-to guy now.”

Moncrief, I’m guessing, would disagree, and proclaim his friend “the go-to guy.”

“I can’t measure up to Red,” he said.

When Dodds asked Moncrief for his permission to construct a statue in his image alongside McCombs, he couldn’t believe it. “If you make [Red’s statue] 6 feet tall,” he said, “You better not make mine over 1 foot.”

At top, the men pose with the immortalized versions of themselves and their sculptors. Left: Moncrief and Edward Hlavka. Right: George Lundeen and McCombs. Photos by Iris Camille Claudio/The Alcalde.


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