For the Daily News
The “Celebration of Life” service for Emory D. Bellard, former Mississippi State University football coach, is set for 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church of Georgetown, Texas.
Bellard’s cremains will be scattered, in the future, according to his wishes.
Bellard, 83, died at the Tiffin House in Georgetown, Texason Feb. 10, 2011, of Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ALS. He was born December 17, 1927, in Luling, Texas.
He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Susan; son, Robert “Bob” Bellard and his wife Amy; their children, Jacquelyn “Jacque” Bellard and her son, Aiden, and Jessica “Jessi” Bellard; the children of Emory Jr., Emory D. “Trip” Bellard III, Cass Bellard Lynn, her husband Joey Lynn and Cass’ son Reed; the children of his daughter, Deborah Lynn; Eric Norris and J.J. Eiler and numerous other relatives.
Emory grew up in Luling, Texas, on “Davis Hill” surrounded by his 20 first cousins, all boys, that comprised his first football team. They would take on any other team in Luling, Texas. Emory’s nickname was “Chico” (little boy).
Emory lettered in the 5th grade at Luling – which was considered Jr. High at that time – and his letter sweater was a size 28.
At the age of 12, Emory’s father was badly injured in an oil field accident and Emory’s family moved to Port Aransas so his father could recuperate, yet he subsequently died. His mother, Louie, managed the Angler’s Courts and Emory became very adept at cleaning fish and helping to make the beds for all the guests that stayed there.
He crossed to the mainland on the ferry to play football at Aransas Pass High School and graduated from there in 1945. Emory also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout while in high school. He attended the University of Texas and played football his freshman year, breaking his leg, and after his sophomore year transferring to Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State, where he graduated in 1949. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college and his mother was always so proud of that fact.
Emory’s working life – or his coaching career spanning 43 years – is storied. His first head coaching job at Ingleside (1952-1954) brought him back-to-back Regional Championships (as far as 3AAA played at that time) and a 24-game winning streak; two State Championships at Breckenridge (1955-1959); one State Championship at San Angelo (1960-1966); being hired at the University of Texas (1967-1971) and becoming Coach Darrell Royal’s Offensive Coordinator, and inventing the Wishbone Offense which helped to provide back-to-back National Championships for the University of Texas in 1969 and 1970; (also, two National Championships for the University of Oklahoma (1974 and 1975); three National Championships for the University of Alabama (1973, 1978 & 1979) and, revolutionizing football in the 1970’s-80’s and beyond); his being hired at Texas A&M as Head Football Coach and Athletic Director in 1972 and bringing Texas A&M’s football program to National recognition all the while implementing women’s athletic programs into the University; his leaving A&M (1978) and taking the Head Football Coach job at Mississippi State (1979) and beating the University of Alabama (1980) – the returning National Champion and ranked Number One in the Nation – for Mississippi State’s game of the century (voted 2007); then retiring (1985) for three years, but going back to coaching once again at the High School level for Spring Westfield High School and taking the teams to the playoffs every year while there, retiring for good in 1993.
Some of Emory’s Honors and Accolades include: 1960-Head Coach, Texas High School All-Star football game, Dallas; 1962-West Texas Coach of the Year, San Angelo Standard Times; 1966-President, Texas High School Coaches Association; 1975-AFC College Coach of the Year, The Sporting News, St. Louis, Mo.; 1975-Academy of American Football Gold Cup, saluting Emory Bellard for inventing the potent Wishbone formation; 1976-Hall of Honor, Texas High School Coaches Association; 1978-Distinguished Alumni Award, Southwest Texas State University; 1992-Hall of Fame, Coastal Bend Coaches Association; 1993-Distinguished Coach Award, the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame; 1993-Hall of Honor, Greater Houston Football Coaches Association; 1994-Athletic Hall of Fame, Texas A&M University; 1995-Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Waco; 1995-The Morris Frank Touchdowner Award, Houston Touchdown Club; 1996-Lifetime Achievement in Coaching, All-American Football Foundation, Mobile, Alabama; 1999-Athletic Director Lifetime Achievement Award, All-American Football Foundation, Dallas; 2001-Emory Bellard Night, Alamodome, San Antonio, honored by Texas Football Magazine; 2004 Athletic Hall of Fame, Aransas Pass I.S.D.; 2007-Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame, Abilene; 2010-Bobcat Athletic Hall of Fame, inaugural class, San Angelo; 2011-Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, to be inducted posthumously in April, 2011; - The “T” Association, Texas State University, to be inducted posthumously in November, 2011, as an “Honorary” Member.
On October 7, 2010, The Texas Sports Hall of Fame honored Emory with an “Emory Bellard Night” giving Emory his own “case” to house a portion of the memorabilia highlighting his career.
On Nov. 19, 2010, The 12thMKOT Foundation at Texas A&M honored Emory at their annual Scholarship Dinner, raising $100,000.00 and announcing the opening of the “Emory Bellard ALS Clinic” at Scott & White Health Care, Round Rock, which will service all peoples of Central Texas that have ALS. The dedication of the clinic and presentation of the $100,00,00 check to Scott and White was held on Dece. 20 in Round Rock.
Emory’s retirement life – or his golf game career – spanned almost 17 years and was not, quite, as storied. It began at Meadowlakes, Marble Falls, Texas, in 1994, when he married Susan. He worked very hard trying to dominate the game. He shot his age for many years, this becoming easier as he aged. Emory and Susan played golf for 10 years, in many leagues, at Meadowlakes. They then, moved to Berry Creek – with the number three green out side their backyard fence – and Emory continued playing golf with the MGA, the Friday Golf Gang, the Sunday Couple’s Gaggle group, and the Couples Golf League. He had to give up playing golf in August of 2010.
While in Marble Falls, Emory teamed with Spike Dykes to host the Emory Bellard-Spike Dykes Golf Tournament that supported the Kids-Care-A-Van (Seton Highland Lakes) and raised over $1 million in seven years to give medical care for the children of Burnet County that might not otherwise receive attention.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Emory’s name to any of the following: the Emory Bellard ALS Clinic, % Scott & White Health Care Foundation, 2401 South 31st St., Temple, Texas, 76508; Texas Sports Hall of Fame, 1108 University Parks Dr., Waco, Texas, 76706; Kids-Care-A-Van, % Seton Highland Lakes, P.O. Box 1219, Burnet, Texas, 78611; Humane Society of Williamson County, 10930 Crystal Falls Pkwy, Leander, Texas, 78641.
Arrangements under the care and guidance of Ramsey Funeral Home & Crematorium, Georgetown, Texas 78633.The family invites friends to leave a message or memory in the memorial guestbook at http://www.ramseyfuneral.com .