Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

October 11, 2007

Football coach led Jackets to state seminfinals in 1982

Chuck Curtis served as Cleburne head football coach and athletic director for a few short years from 1981-83. But they were a record-setting, momentum-building, memory-making three years, according to players, fellow coaches and fans.

Curtis, along with his 1982 state semifinal football team, is being honored by the CHS Ex-Students Association as a homecoming parade marshal. They will lead off tonight’s parade at 6 p.m. in a route that will loop around the high school.

The coach, who will always be remembered for his ability to rally a crowd with one wave of his signature cowboy hat, was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in May. One of eight honorees, which included players from each decade since the 1940s, Curtis was recognized for his 30 years of high school and college coaching.

His football career began as a player — a quarterback for Gainesville High School, where he caught the eyes of several major colleges. He was signed by Texas Christian University’s Abe Martin and continued to play quarterback. His years as a Horned Frog included an appearance at the Cotton Bowl and a victory over opponent Syracuse, which featured a player named Jim Brown in its starting lineup.

Curtis’ reputation as a winning coach was established early in his career. He won three consecutive state championships — 1962 at Jacksboro and 1963 and 1964 at Garland. This record made him the first coach in Texas high school football to win consecutive titles at different schools in different classifications.

The accomplishment also earned him the honor of Texas High School Coach of the Year. His coaching honors also include membership in the Garland High School and TCU Athletic Halls of Fame.

Of his years as a coach, 1958-1988, 15 were spent in high school stadiums including Cleburne’s and also those of Holiday, Grand Prarie and Aledo, culminating in a high school career record of 135-41-3.

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