Juan Conde

a 1954 graduate of SBHS

By Carlos Conde

San Benito native, Juan Ricardo Conde, was an integral part of University of Texas athletics diring what is considered UT's golden age in national football. He first served as student equipment manager and after graduating from UT joined the staff of the legendary football coach, Darrell K. Royal in a similar capacity from 1963 to 1984.

During his tenure, UT football achieved the most successful reign i intercollegiate sports that today still stands unequal. The Longhorns won three national championships, 1963, 1969 and 1970. They won 14 Southwest Conference titles that included a string of six straight years from 1968 to 1973. In that era, the Longhorns made numerous appearances in all the major bowls, the Cotton Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Sun Bowl and the Blue Bonnet Bowl. They capped the 1968 season with a record 30-game winning streak.

Juan R. Conde, 1954

Darrell Royal and Juan Conde

 

Juan's duties in the context of public appreciation may not have been glamorous but they were vital to the success of UT's football dynasty. A team functions not only through its athletic skills and its coaching but also with the equipment that allows it to perform to its maximum. Juan's duties were to assure that each team member was outfitted at all times and at all venues with the proper gear that responded to an individual player's needs.

Juan's work was recognized by Royal and later, his successor, Fred Akers, by including him in all the honors and ceremonies bestowed on the victorious teams. He retired from his full-time duties in 1984 but continues to assist UT football on game days in Austin.

Among his highlights was the 1969 season when Texas beat Arkansas by coming from behind in the fourth quarter to win 15-14 and win the national champion. President Nixon attended the game and later came to the locker room to meet and congratulate the team and the staff. Another was its 1963 national championship when Texas beat Roger Staubach-led Navy and the 1969 national championship when Texas again came from behind to beat Notre Dame, 21-17 in the 1970 Cotton Bowl game.

1954 Greyhound team--Captains, front row David Bull, Bobby Morrow. Second row-Gene White, Donald George, Henry Kilgore, David Gomez, Richard Contreras, Carlos Conde (#11), Gus Gomez, Alfonso de los Santos, Manuel Gonzalez. Third Row- Roy Clark, Henry Thomae, Ralph Cantu, Lawrence Morrow, James Sheives, R.E. Gibson, Jerry Smith, James Waters, Joseph Carey. Fourth row- Larry Espey, Bud Shoemaker, Kent Zimmerman, Earl Moore, Lynn Carter, Jimmy Moran, Joe Yanes, Dick Payne. Back row Sam Ayoub, manager and J.W. Inman, trainer.

Juan was associated with and today counts as his friends such UT legends as Tommy Nobis, Earl Campbell, James Saxon, Chris Gilbert, Jerry Sisemore, Bill Bradley and Johnny Lam Jones among others. In his job, he also gained the friendship of die-hard UT fans such as entertainers, Willie Nelson, Charles Pride, Kris Kristofferson, actor James Garner, Charlie Pride, baseball player, Roger Clemens, and professional golfers Ben Cranshaw and Tom Kite.

 

What Juan values more of his UT career is his exposure to the young athletes who found success on the athletic field and later went to even greater careers in medicine, finance, business or law.

"They all come back and they always remember that it started here for them in the competition of football," Juan said.

Among them are Valleyites, Bobby Lackey of Weslaco, Jim Hudson of La Feria and Fred Edwards fo Donna. There's also Manuel Mehow, now CEO of Coastal Banc, that includes the San Benito branch.

Juan, class of '54, was also a successful athlete in San Benito earning all-district honors in basketball. He has a Bachelor and Masters degree from UT-Austin.

---Juan is the elder son of Mr. & Mrs. Juan (Maria Margarita Danache) Conde of San Benito.

Main Menu