The Texas Longhorns family woke up to sad news on Monday morning, after head coach Mack Brown announced on Twitter that one of their own, the legendary James Street and a member of the Texas Longhorns Hall of Honor, had passed away after suffering a fatal heart attack at the age of 65.
Street was a two-sport athlete at The University of Texas from 1966-1969. It was he who helped popularize the Wishbone offense, and he is best known for leading the Longhorns to victory in two of the most important games in the program’s history.
The first came against the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1969 in a game that many have dubbed “The Game of the Century,” when the No. 1 Longhorns traveled to Fayetteville to face the No. 2 Razorbacks. Trailing 14-0 in the fourth quarter, Street went on to lead his team to a 15-14 victory which included one of the most iconic moments and memorable plays in Longhorn football history.
With less than five minutes left in the game and facing a 4th down and 3 from their own 43-yard-line, Coach Darrell Royal called for a “Right 53 Veer” pass, a deep route to the tight end. Street bravely looked at the coach and said, “Are you sure?” Royal responded with, “Damn right I’m sure. Now get out there and run the play!” And so Street did.
After noticing that Arkansas players had been looking into the huddle all day, Street, looking at teammate Cotton Speyrer but talking to Randy Peschel, said, “Randy, I’m looking and pointing at Cotton, but I’m talking to you.”
The 44-yard completion from Street to Peschel into double coverage set up what would end up being the game-winning touchdown.
Two games later, Street would lead the Longhorns against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1970 Cotton Bowl Classic. The Longhorns defeated the Irish by a score of 21-17, securing their second consensus National Championship.
Not only was Street the star quarterback for one of the best teams in Texas football history, he was also an all-conference pitcher for the Longhorn baseball team. During his baseball career, he tossed two no-hitters and helped lead the Longhorns to two Southwest Conference titles.
Years later, his legacy was revived when his son Huston Street–also a pitcher–helped lead the Longhorns to the 2002 National Championship. To this day, many consider him to be one of the best closers in college baseball history.
Street and his family have been a part of the Longhorn family for over fifty years and many of the greatest moments in Texas Longhorns history revolve around him. A true Longhorn legend, he will never be forgotten.