August 22, 1893|
|Died||November 17, 1941
Waco, Texas, United States
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||197 pounds (89 kg)|
|Jersey #(s)||15 (1922), 5 (1925-1926)|
|Awards||2x NFL Champion (1922, 1927)|
Louisville Brecks (player-coach)
Rock Island Independents
Buffalo Rangers (player-coach)
New York Giants
James Marcellus Kendrick was a professional football player during the early years of the National Football League with the Toledo Maroons, Canton Bulldogs, Louisville Brecks, Chicago Bears, Hammond Pros, Buffalo Bisons, Rochester Jeffersons, Rock Island Independents, Buffalo Rangers and the New York Giants. Kendrick was a part of the Bulldogs' 1922 NFL championship team and the Giants' 1927 NFL Championship team.
Jim, born in Hillside, Texas on August 22, 1893, was the youngest of nine children to J. M. and Lura Kendrick. In 1904 his family relocated to Waco, Texas where Jim attended Douglas Select School. The school did not have a football team at the time, however Jim did excel on the school's baseball team. In 1911, he was elected as his senior class' president.
Jim did not play organized football until he entered Texas A&M University. There he earned All-Conference honors as an end in 1915. During the 1915 season, Kendrick and the Aggies defeated their rival Texas Longhorns 13–0. Jim also played baseball and basketball for the Aggies.
In 1916, Jim was a lieutenant in the Texas National Guard. He was part of the Second Texas Infantry Regiment. That year he was part of a force called up to track down the Mexican bandit Poncho Villa. Jim served in the US forces under the legendary General Jack Pershing. Jim joined the United States Army in 1917 and was in France during World War I.
During this era, many military units created football teams. In Jim's team won US National Guard Championship in 1917. The team won eight games and was only scored on once. Kendrick also played for the 36th Division in the 1919 American Expeditionary Force championship game in Paris.
When the war ended, Jim became an assistant football coach at Baylor. In 1922, Jim played professional football and signed with Canton Bulldogs of the National Football League. Jim played for the Bulldogs however he would occasionally sneak into the line-up for the Toledo Maroons for a few games. That year the Bulldogs won the 1922 NFL Championship.
In 1923, Jim accepted an assistant coaching position at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He also coached the school's baseball and basketball teams. On Sundays, he played for the Louisville Brecks. The team was 0–3 in NFL competition. In 1924 Jim played for Chicago Bears and still kept his coaching position at Centre and during the off-season, Jim managed and played for the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate in Bradenton, Florida. In 1925, Jim began playing for the Hammond Pros. However the Buffalo Bisons wrestled him away from his contract to play football for them.
In 1926 Jim was chosen to form a team for the Buffalo Bisons, composed only of players from Texas and Oklahoma. The team was renamed the Rangers, after Texas' legendary peacekeeping force. The team ended the season with a final record of 4–4–2. However, the Bisons only won two games overall in the three other seasons without Hughitt (1925, 1927, 1929), each year with a different head coach. Kendrick played in 8 games for the New York Giants in 1927. The Giants then won the 1927 NFL Championship, Jim's second title.
In 1928, Jim was named the head football coach at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. He coached the Rattlers for just one season. In 1933 Jim was coaching the Blanco Tree Army Reserve football team for the Civilian Conservation Corps. That year a traffic accident occurred as the team was en route to a playoff game. Two players were killed and others wounded. Jim suffered severe injuries to his right arm, but selflessly insisted that doctors attend to his men first. As a result, the arm became infected and had to be amputated two inches above the elbow. For this act of heroism, Jim Kendrick was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, awarded to army personnel for heroic deeds performed during peacetime, by the United States War Department.
Kendrick later became a college game official, presiding over several major games during the mid-to-late 1930s. He also was active in the oil industry and remained working their until his death.
At age 48, Jim died in his hometown of Waco, Texas on November 17, 1941, as the result of a stroke. He was survived by his wife Lucile and four sons (James M. Kendrick,Jr., Charles E. Kendrick, Jack I. Kendrick and Gardner S. Kendrick).