Cheek, Harris

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Harris "Preacher" Cheek, former assistant football coach at Texas Technological College in the 1930s, describes his work and friendship with former head coach Pete Cawthon. Aspects of Cawthon’s character and other coaches and players are discussed.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Harris "Preacher" Cheek

Additional Parties Recorded:



Interviewer: Etta Lynch

Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Pete Cawthon, former Texas Technological College head coach, Nicknames, Synagogue, Letter writing, Concern for students and their families, Austin College background, Matador Court, the players' form of self-government, Question of Cawthon's racism, First Texas Tech football teams, Reasons for hiring Cawthon, Assistant coaches, Cawthon's discipline, Reason for changing team name (1937), Cawthon's attitude toward players' families, Reminiscences of various games

Tape 1, Side 2: Pete Cawthon (again), Discipline (again), Southwest Conference, Reminiscences about various games and Cawthon

Tape 2, Side 1: Pete Cawthon (again), People who knew Cawthon, Moving the press box, Bill Parker, Public Relations person from Dallas, Photographs, Cawthon (again), Loss of his documents, His health, People who knew Cawthon, Dr. Steve Marshall, Anecdote about how Cheek got his nickname, Church attendance, Sunday on the train, Train travel, Cawthon (again), Married players, Photographs (again), Cawthon (again), Matt Hitchcock's death, Matt Hitchcock Rose, Interviewer Etta Lynch discusses her proposed book, Knute Rockne, Cawthon's assassination theory, Friendship with Cawthon, Rockne's sons, Undisciplined

Tape 2, Side 2: Knute Rockne (continued), Sending a student to Pete, Charlie Duvall, Cawthon's superstitions, Anecdote, red mackinaws, Cawthon's clothes, Wife's green suit, Losing games, Anecdote, smoking and the mackinaw, Anecdote, Walter Nichols (Cowboys' coach), Pete Cawthon, Jr., Sitting out of school a year, Cawthon (again), Losing games (again), Cawthon's players, Incident, Bernard boy and the concussion, Joe Barlow, Bobby Holmes, [Tape interrupted, then resumed.] Lewis Spears, Character, Early life, Houston, Boxing, Character (again), Respect for ladies, "Preacher" Cheek, Years at Tech (1935-39)

Tape 3, Side 1: Question of Cawthon's racism (again), Rubbing a black boy's head, Skeets Howard, Matt Hitchcock's death (again), Cawthon's character, Emphasis on academics, Anecdote, chicken theft, Cawthon's assistant [Blank to end of tape.]

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1900s-1940s

Bulk Dates: 1935-1939

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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