lot of football fans are convinced that the exemplary college playing career of
Doak Walker was the secret backbone of many high school boys figuring, “If Doak
can do it, I can, too. “
Unlike the monjo-sized players, Walker was 5’11”
and weighed a mere 173 lbs.
Nevertheless, Walker, who played for SMU, won
the Heisman Trophy in 1948.
years later, a baseball player from Galveston’s
Ball High, Don “Cotton” Gottlob, talked Sam Houston State Teachers College’s coach,
Paul “Red” Pierce, into letting him try out for quarterback.
saw a Doak Walker mentality in Gottlob. After all, Cotton Gottlob was only 5’9”
tall and weighed in at a mere 165 lbs.
Coach Pierce had inherited a football
program that had only accomplished a one above .500 season record since 1946.
Even though the Sam Houston Bearkats record couldn’t get much worse, most
sports fans wondered at the wisdom of installing the 5’9”, 165 lb. Gottlob on
the first string at all, much less as the quarterback.
Galveston Rosenberg Library
Cotton Gottlob didn’t have in size, he made up with a combination of tenacity
and talent. And before it was over, he had broken every passing record at Sam
Houston and the Lone Star Conference.
It was the bottom line that was
the most important: This guy could pass the ball.
One time Coach Ted Jefferies
brought his Stephen F. Austin State College team to challenge the Bearkats after
SFA’s big victories against Southwestern Louisiana and Sul Ross.
moments of the start of the clock, Gottlob threw an 81-yard strike to fellow player,
Dub Allee, and just like that, it became the third longest touchdown pass in Sam
Houston’s history. The Bearkats won that game 33-20.
During his three
seasons at Sam Houston, the school’s record book says Gottlob completed 234 of
517 passes for 3,832 yards and 33 touchdowns.
When he was named Little
All-American, he was the country’s leading ground gainer. There were 22 colleges
and universities in that bunch. --
Nearly 60 years later, he holds the
SHS ‘s seventh highest career –total in passing.
Here are the bottom line
statistics: Letterman 1950-1952; NSIA All-American 1952, All-Lone Star Conference
1950-1942, and he was the Berkat’s quarterback of the 1952 Shrimp Bowl’s championship
the way, a pretty co-ed named Janelle Kingsbury caught his eye. Fellow student,
Dan Rather, was dating her. Never one to back down from a challenge, within next
to moments, Cotton Gottlob had won Janelle’s heart away from Rather, and they
The Gottlobs professional careers began and ended within the ranks
of the Galveston Independent School District where they taught others the art
of believing in themselves.
7, 2011 column
Copyright William S. Cherry. All rights reserved
Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories
a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston
County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold
thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other
Cherry's Galveston Memories