Texas A & M

"Aggies" 1947
(Authentic Reproduction)



If Texas A&M had a "glory day" from its inception to the end of World War II, it would have been the 1939 and 1940 teams that posted records of 11-0 and 9-1, the former being toasted as National Champion. Led by two-time All American "Jarrin' John" Kimbrough who finished second to Tom Harmon in the 1940 Heisman race and who later starred in a few Grade B Western movies, the Aggies were the team to beat in the Southwest Conference. Unfortunately, trying to maintain conference supremacy and overcoming their "second-citizen" status behind the University Of Texas was difficult as so many of their men entered the military service and it became a chore to muster enough manpower to field teams during the war. Coach Homer Norton's elevens slid into a state of mediocrity and worse, they lost their mastery over their hated rivals in Austin as the forties progressed. After a 3-6-1 1947 season, Norton agreed to a buyout of the final two years of his contract, left his legacy of one National and three conference championships, and settled in College Station where he opened a business and remained a lifetime fan. Harry Stiteler, a former Ag QB and Norton assistant was hired as coach but '48's 0-9-1 and 1949's 1-8-1 records did not please the rabid alumni. Stiteler had recruited well however when he first arrived, having been a successful high school coach and brought in future Detroit Lion star Yale Lary, and RB Bob Smith, both of whom would reshape Aggie fortunes in 1950.  As the team left the leather helmet era and switched to the maroon and white RT helmets with contrasting center stripes, Smith took his sophomore year rushing total of 1302 yards into 1950 and had a tremendous season, winning All American honors and Texas Athlete Of The Year. The team capped their 6-4 finish with a seventh win against Georgia in the inaugural Washington D.C. post-season Presidential Cup game. Unfortunately, beating the Bulldogs soundly by 40-20 was not enough for Stiteler to keep his job and former USC star and Stiteler assistant Ray George took over the program.
Led by Smith and QB Ray Graves in the white shells with maroon center stripe, the 1951 team first beat 1950 National Champion Oklahoma and then defeated Texas for the first time since 1939 en route to a 5-3-2 finish. Unfortunately, '52 brought a drop to 3-6-1 despite the solid play of tackle Jack Little, RB Don Ellis, and QB Graves. With approximately fifty-percent of all households now having television the loss to Texas was the very first Aggie game to be televised and the Thanksgiving Day game was shown nationwide. For 1953, Coach George moved Ellis to QB for the opener against Paul Bryant's Kentucky team which resulted in a 7-6 upset. A tie and three consecutive wins followed before the floor fell out and the Ags went without victory the rest of the season. The A&M alum decided that a "big-time" coach would be the cure for their ills and George was out the door when the season ended.

If interested in any of these Aggie helmets please click on the photos below.