Darrell Tully – SBMSA Football Legend

The following excerpt was taken from the Houston Chronicle article “Who was the man behind Tully Stadium’s name?“, author: Elliot Lapin.

Tully was the district’s athletic director from 1957-1978. From 1957-1964, he also served as the head football coach at Spring Branch High School, which was the district’s only high school until 1962.

After graduating from Eastland High School just outside of Fort Worth, Tully attended East Texas State (now Texas A&M-Commerce) and played football there.

He was selected in the 1939 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions and played one season in the NFL.

Tully came to Spring Branch ISD from Galveston Ball High School, where he had been the head football coach from 1953-57.

The year before Tully came to Ball, the team went 0-10. In his first year there, the team went 2-8. In his second year, the team went 10-0 and was ranked the No. 1 team in the state for a while. “I thought of him as my second father. He was my mentor at (Galveston) Ball High School and also here at Spring Branch,” said Wayne Schaper, Sr., who played for Tully at Ball. “You couldn’t find a better man anywhere on Earth. That was a man you respected and looked up to at all times.”

It was Tully who brought Schaper, Sr. to Spring Branch, inviting him to be the baseball coach and a math teacher at the newlyopened Memorial High School. Schaper, Sr. would go on to serve Spring Branch ISD for 41 years as a teacher, coach, Memorial High School principal for 21 years, administrator and school board member.

The Tully line 

When Darrell Tully came to Spring Branch ISD, there was only one high school in the district. 

When he retired, there were six high schools in the district.

Tully selected head football coaches at each of the new schools from either coaches he had coached with or players he had coached.

Memorial’s first head football coach, Charles Churchill, had taken over for Tully when he left Ball. Oscar Cripps, Stratford’s first head football coach, had played for Tully at Ball.

Tully named one of his assistant coaches at Spring Branch High School, Paul Register, head coach upon his move to become a fulltime athletic director.

“He was a heck of a guy. His biggest asset to me was his loyalty to his coaches,” former Spring Branch ISD athletic director Mike Williamson said.

Tully hired Williamson in 1961 to be a baseball coach and an assistant football coach at the new Memorial High School and named him as Memorial’s head football coach in 1969.

In 1975, Tully asked Williamson to become an associate athletic director for Spring Branch ISD after Churchill had served for a year as interim athletic director.

Williamson succeeded Tully as Spring Branch ISD athletic director upon his retirement in 1978.
L.T. Jones succeeded Williamson in that position, and current athletic director Paige Hershey succeeded Jones.

Williamson had first hired Hershey right out of college as a coach at Spring Woods High School.
“We all come from the Tully line. He’s the father of all of us,” Williamson said.

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