Tex Richards

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Tex Richards at the University of Pittsburgh in 1910

Robert "Tex" William Richards, Jr. (August 9, 1889 – November 7, 1918) was a football player on the University of Pittsburgh Panthers team from 1907 to 1910. He was the captain and fullback of the only undefeated and unscored-upon team in the history of the University of Pittsburgh. That team, coached by Joseph H. Thompson was considered by many to be that season's national champion.[1]

Early years[edit]

Richards was the son of Robert William Richards Sr. and Hannah Sarah Richards. Robert Sr., an American of Welsh descent, was a traveling bookseller in the Pacific Rim in the 1880s, when he met a Melbourne school teacher, Hannah Sarah Harrex. They were married in 1888.

Robert Jr. born was in Melbourne, Australia. He had three younger siblings: David John, Harry Charles and Ethlyn Ruth; Harry and Ethlyn died as children in Australia. Robert Sr., Hannah, Robert and David immigrated to U.S. in 1901 and settled in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

Robert was a good student and a 1905 graduate of Wilkinsburg High School. His mother Hannah was Head of Household for Andrew Mellon, future US Secretary of the Treasury, and his family. For a time, Robert and David also worked for the Mellon family as bodyguards.

College years[edit]

The 1910 Pitt team featuring Richards

Robert graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was president of his class and a member of Alpha Alpha Fraternity. He was a four-year letterman in Track and Field and football. Robert's brother David also played on the 1909 and 1910 teams. Robert returned to Pitt to help with subsequent teams after 1910. He was an active alumnus, participating in dinners and events.

Personal life[edit]

In 1915 Robert married Jennie Elton Wyatt. In 1916 they had their first and only child, Darlie Virginia. Robert worked at the Standard Steel Car Company in Butler, Pennsylvania, as a mechanical engineer. For a time he served in the National Guard. He died from the Spanish flu pandemic in Butler in 1918.[2]

College Football Statistics[edit]

The 1910 undefeated and unscored upon Pitt team was considered by many to be that year's national champion

University of Pittsburgh Football Seasons 1908-1910

1908

11 Wins/1 Loss

Points for Pitt 140/Points for Opponents 36

Total Touchdowns: 16

"Tex" Touchdowns: 6

1909

6 Wins/2 Losses/1 Tie

Points for Pitt 94/Points for Opponents 11

Total Touchdowns: 15

"Tex" Touchdowns: 7

1910

9 Wins/0 Losses

Points for Pitt 282/Points for Opponents 0

Total Touchdowns: 42

"Tex" Touchdowns: 13 reported by press; 11 reported by The Owl University of Pittsburgh Yearbook

1908-1910

26 Wins/3 Losses/1 Tie

Points for Pitt 516/Points for Opponents 47

Total Touchdowns: 73

"Tex" Touchdowns: 26 reported by press; 24 reported by The Owl University of Pittsburgh Yearbook

"Tex" Touchdown Percentage: 35.6% based on press coverage; 32.8% based on The Owl University of Pittsburgh Yearbook

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Guy, Richard R., "Football Season Closes with Pitt Victory", The Gazette Times, November 25, 1910.

The Owl, University of Pittsburgh yearbook, 1912.

"Robert W. Richards Pneumonia Victim", Eagle, November 8, 1918.