The Commerce Journal

April 12, 2013

Hawkins, McCord to serve as honorary coaches at blue-gold game

The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — A&M-Commerce fans coming to the 2013 Blue vs. Gold spring football game on Friday, April 19 will notice a pair of legendary Lions roaming the sidelines once again. Lion Athletic Hall of Famers Ernest Hawkins and Sam McCord will serve as the honorary coaches of the game, announced today by head coach Colby Carthel.

“The tradition that exists here at A&M-Commerce is one of the richest in the country, and we felt the best way to honor that tradition is to bring back two of the legends that helped establish it,” said Carthel. “It will be our teams’ honor to have these two great men leading the charge next Friday night.”

Hawkins, who will coach the Blue team, is the all-time winningest football coach in Lion program history, compiling a 132-92-6 record from 1964-85. During his time on the Commerce sidelines, Hawkins coached over 50 All-Americans, including over a dozen players who went on to play in the National Football League, and led East Texas State to the 1972 NAIA national championship.

“Coach Hawkins is a titan when it comes to the history of LSC Football, and has been a loyal member of the Lion family for nearly 60 years.  His presence and counsel has been greatly appreciated by myself and our staff throughout this spring,” said Carthel.

McCord, who will coach the Gold team, was a three-time All-American, picking up first team honors in 1958 and 1959 while leading the Lions to a 28-3 record and three-straight Lone Star Conference titles during that span. A three-time All-LSC first team selection, McCord still ranks among the A&M-Commerce all-time leaders in both rushing yards and total offense.  

“’Stumbling’ Sam is one of the most highly decorated football players in school history,” commented Carthel. “And he continues to make his mark on this program, as he wrote the very first check to help jump start our weight room renovation project this spring.”

The 2013 Blue vs. Gold spring football game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on Friday, April 19. The event is free to the public as gates open at 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to tailgate prior to the game with bounce houses available for families once the gates open. Following the completion of the game, fans are welcome to come down to the field and get autographs from their favorite Lion players.

There is an extra bonus for current A&M-Commerce students as they will have two opportunities to win a $1,500 scholarship during the game. Two students will be selected at 6:55 p.m. Friday evening, and then will get a chance to kick a 25-yard field goal in between either the first and second quarters or during halftime. If the kick is good, the scholarship is theirs.

In order to be eligible to compete for the chance at the scholarship, each interested A&M-Commerce student must complete each of the following five criteria:

• “Like” the A&M-Commerce Lion Athletics Facebook page

• Follow @Lion_Athletics on Twitter

• “Like” this story about the scholarship opportunity on Facebook

• “Share” this story about the scholarship opportunity on Facebook

• Send an e-mail to with your name, year at A&M-Commerce, major and Twitter handle

The two contestants will be announced at 6:55 p.m. on Friday, April 19 prior to the beginning of the Blue vs. Gold spring football game at Memorial Stadium. The spring game is free to the public as gates open at 6 p.m. Spots for pre-game tailgating will be available as well as bounce houses set up for families to bring children.

Following the game, the A&M-Commerce football players will be available to sign autographs for the fans. Also, the A&M-Commerce Campus Activities Board is sponsoring a Lionyard Spring Concert, featuring Kirko Bangz after the spring game in the lawn area between the Science and Art buildings.

For more information on the scholarship opportunity, or for information surrounding the A&M-Commerce Blue vs. Gold spring game, contact the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department at (903) 886-5558.