Pete Cawthon

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Pete Cawthon
Pete Cawthon.jpg
Pete Cawthon, c. 1930s
Sport(s) Baseball, basketball, Football
Playing career
1917–1919 Southwestern (TX)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Beaumont High School
Austin College
Texas Tech
Alabama (assistant)
Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
Texas Tech

Peter Willis Cawthon (March 24, 1898 – December 31, 1962) was the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team from 1930-1941.

Cawthon graduated from Houston Central High School in 1917 and went on to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He lettered in baseball, football, and basketball during his freshman year. When the baseball coach left to fight in World War I, Cawthon took over the position. Cawthon earned four letters his sophomore year and was selected as an All-State halfback.

In 1919, Cawthon took his first regular coaching job at Beaumont High School before becoming the baseball and basketball coach at Rice Institute (now Rice University) in 1920. The following year, he moved on to coach at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he established the Cawthon Trophy, given annually to an outstanding individual at the school on the basis of athletic participation, leadership, and sportsmanship. His record at Austin College was 34-25-4 from 1921–27, and AC won the 1923 Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association title in 1923.

In 1930, he was hired by Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University). By 1932, the Matadors (now the Red Raiders) became the highest-scoring team in the nation. He coached at the school through the 1940 season. During his tenure, he compiled a record of 76–32–6. His 18-year collegiate head coaching record was 110-57-10 for a .650 all-time winning percentage.

He later served as line coach in football with the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 1942 season. From 1943-1944, Cawthon coached in the National Football League for the Brooklyn Dodgers-Tigers. He posted a 2-18 record during his time in the NFL. From 1952 to 1953, Cawthon served as athletic director at the University of Alabama.