James Street (American football)
|Jersey #||16, 5|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
August 2, 1948|
|Died||September 30, 2013
|High school||Longview High School|
James Lowell Street (August 2, 1948 – September 30, 2013) was a two-sport star athlete at the University of Texas. As quarterback, he led the team to the 1969 National Championship in football and posted a perfect 20-0 record, the most wins without a loss in Longhorns history. As a pitcher he was a two time All-American who threw the last perfect game in University of Texas history.
James Street was born in 1948 in Longview, Texas, the son of Helen Frederick (Eaton) and Grover Wilson Street. He had a hardscrabble childhood that became more difficult at 12 when his parents divorced and his father moved back to Oklahoma. James worked odd jobs in junior high and high school to help feed him and his twin sister. At Longview High School he lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track, but was not heavily recruited.
Street arrived at Texas as a seventh-string quarterback in 1966.
After playing only a handful of plays in two blowout games in 1967, Street came into the 1968 season as the backup to Bill Bradley. That year, Darrell Royal and assistant Emory Bellard introduced the wishbone. After tying #11 Houston in the first game and a slow start in the second against Texas Tech, Street took over at quarterback. "Hell, you can’t do any worse. Get in there," Royal reportedly said when replacing Bradley with Street. Despite running up 22 points in the 3rd quarter, Texas would lose that game, but Street would never find himself on the losing side again. He engineered the Longhorns' offense from that game to the 1970 Cotton Bowl Classic, reeling off 20 straight wins without a loss. He ended his junior year playing what may have been the best game of his career in the 1969 Cotton Bowl against Tennessee. In that game he twice broke the school record for longest touchdown pass in a bowl game, first with a 78-yard TD pass to Cotton Speyrer in the 1st quarter and then with a 79-yard TD pass in the 3rd. He threw for 200 yards and was named one of the game's three "Outstanding Players."
As a starting quarterback in his senior campaign, he led the Longhorns to a perfect season, beating Arkansas in "The Game of the Century" for one half of the National Championship and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic for the other half. The Arkansas game is the one for which he is best known. In that game he ran for a crucial 42-yard touchdown and hit Randy Peschel on a game-saving fourth-and-3 to set up the winning touchdown. The Longhorns were declared National Champions by President Richard Nixon, who had attended the game. In the 1970 Cotton Bowl, Street led the Longhorns to a come-from-behind win after Notre Dame took a 10-point lead. In the 4th quarter, down by 3, he initiated a game-winning touchdown drive that featured two fourth down conversions. The last was converted on a Street pass, thrown under duress and short, that was caught by a diving Speyrer just before it hit the ground. Texas scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:08 on the clock. After the game, he was congratulated by former President Lyndon Johnson who had attended the game.
- UT – Longest pass in a bowl game, (79), broke his own record set earlier in the game
- UT – Longest touchdown pass in a bowl game, (79), broke his own record set earlier in the game
- UT – Most wins without a loss, career (20-0)
- UT – Highest Average Gain Per Pass Completion (min. 30 completions), season (17.5), surpassed by Eddie Phillips in 1970
- Cotton Bowl – Most yards per attempt, game (15.4)
- Cotton Bowl – Most yards on touchdown passes, game (157)
- Cotton Bowl – Passing yards, career (307), surpassed by Joe Theismann in 1971
- UT & Southwest Conference – Best winning percentage (minimum 1 season), career - 100%
Bold means still active
Street was a two-time 2nd Team All-American baseball player who posted a 29-8 record on the mound. He made the All-Southwest Conference Team three years in a row and was the team's MVP every year. In 1968, he led the team in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts. He threw a no-hitter in 1969 versus SMU and another in 1970 versus Texas Tech. The Texas Tech no-hitter was a perfect game, the only one in the history of the Southwest Conference or the University of Texas. He helped Texas win three Southwest Conference titles and go to three straight College World Series, finishing as high as 3rd in 1970.
- Southwest Conference & UT – Most no-hitters, career (2), tied Bobby Layne, tied by Burt Hooton and Greg Swindell
- Southwest Conference & UT – Most perfect games, season and career (1)
- UT – Opponents batting average, career (0.198), surpassed by Hooton in 1971
- UT – Complete games, career (21), surpassed by Hooton in 1971
Street was drafted in the 31st round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cleveland Indians, but after suffering an injury at the 1970 College World Series he chose not to play in the Indians' farm system, thereby ending his career.
After struggling with alcohol, Street gave up drinking and in 1991 started a successful career as a structured settlement financial adviser, owning his own business, the James Street Group. He had five sons, including three who won National Championships playing baseball for Texas. His oldest son Ryan Street, from his first marriage to college sweetheart Shanny Lott, became an architect. From his second marriage to Janie Street he had four sons, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Huston Street, former Longhorn and minor league pitcher Juston Street, former Longhorn pitcher Jordan Street and Pepperdine infielder Hanson Street. Juston Street went into acting, and one of his first film appearances was playing his father, James Street, in the film My All American.
- Frei, Terry (19 June 2011). "Rockies' Street lives lessons from dad, on and off field". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Henry, Hayden (2013-10-01). "Remembering Lobo, Longhorn great James Street". Longview News-Journal. Longview, TX. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
- Bohls, Kirk (2013-09-30). "Legendary UT quarterback James Street dies". Austin American-Statesman. Austin. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
- "Cotton Bowl 2012 Media Guide" (PDF) (Press release). Dallas, TX: Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. 2012. p. 48. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
- "Juston Street - 2008 baseball". Texassports. 2008. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
- Flores, Davis (30 September 2013). "James Street dies; guided Longhorns to '69 national title". KENS5. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.