I missed Ty Cashion's book "Pigskin Pulpit" when it was first released a few years ago but with the re-release in paper back this year (2006) I had the opportunity to read it. I think the reason I didn't read it the first time was the title. I thought it was another "Glory" of High School Football book. Had I just paid attention to the subtitle "A Social History of Texas High School Football Coaches" my history buff inclination would have made reading this book a no brainer.
Ty Cashion was ordained to write this book. A professor of history at Sam Houston State University and more importantly the son of a Texas High School football coach, Ty had the knowledge to tell the story and the access to interview, by my count, at least 82 different Texas High School football coaches, many of which are no longer with us.
Some 40+ years ago, when I was a kid, I would listen to Texas High School football play off games on the radio. The radio announcer start by saying something like this: "Broadcasting from P.E. Shotwell stadium in Abilene, Texas …".
P. E. Shotwell, Darrell Tully, and Gordon Wood may just be the name of Texas High School football stadiums for football fans of the current generation but they are just three of the many coaches that made Texas High School football what it is today. Many young athletes dream of "going pro" and signing multimillion dollar contracts. School boy football players born into the depression era of the early twentieth century just dreamed of the chance to play college football, get an education and coach football. It was their ticket off the farm and a way to a better life.
Ty Cashion chronicles the path to their goal and how the experiences that they had impacted several generations of young men in Texas. If you ever knew a coach, if you ever played for a coach, if you ever learned from a coach, if you ever cussed a coached, if you ever idolized a coach …, you need to read this book.Texas Bob