Rice Institute Owls football player Percy Arthur # 15
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute Owls football player Percy Arthur, in uniform number 15, accompanied by text headlining his achievement and entry into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: Now and forevermore this man holds a special place in the history of Rice athletics, for he was captain of the first Owl team to win a Southwest Conference football championship. The year was 1934, and the success that season of the Rice Institute grid team was credited with a significant gain in prestige for the Southwest Conference as a strong league on the national level in college football. The famous ’34 Owls beat Purdue in early season on the same day Texas upset Notre Dame to prove Texas teams could play with the best. Later that fall Rice defeated Texas in a dramatic game that earned the first-ever SWC crown for the Owls under new head coach Jimmy Kitts. Bill Wallace was the All-America star who later was named to the National Football Hall of Fame, while he and teammate John McCauley were known as the “Touchdown Twins.” Two team members in “Red” Bale and Harry Fouke went on to become athletic directors in the Southwest Conference. But the man who had the most playing time and was the inspirational leader as the The [sic] Captain was Percy Arthur. He made Associated Press’ All-America Honorable Mention. Percy Arthur was a home town lad who helped the comparatively young institute of higher learning to become famous nationally. He was an all-city center for Reagan High of Houston and later was named to the all-time Houston high school team of all players for the era of 1900-1950. After his stellar play for the Owls under Coach Jack Meagher and then Kitts’ title team of his senior season, Captain Arthur became Coach Arthur as an aide to Kitts for the 1937-38-39 Owl teams, and the ’37 club under the Captain Charlie Moore (also to come a long time Owl aide) won the second SWC title for Rice, and became the school’s first bowl team by beating Colorado in the Cotton Bowl game of Jan. 1, 1938. In 1940 Percy Arthur left Rice and the world of athletics to become an insurance man. Not only was he highly successful in that field, but he continued his interest and support of Owl sports, and published two books on the duties of an athletic team captain, “You Are the Captain” (1963) and “Handbook for Team Captains” (1973). He is also known as Colonel Arthur, since that was his rank when he was in the Air Force in World War II, and continued active in the reserves for many years. He received his B.S. degree from Rice Institute, 1935, and an M.A. from Columbia in 1936. Percy Arthur married the former Ivy Alice Riu in 1940, and at this writing in 1980 the couple has three grown children and three grandchildren. Captain Arthur truly is one of the great name players of all Rice Owl football history.
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63918
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