HMRC Thursday: Emmett Brunson, Rice Ticket Master, 1961

I ran across this picture of Emmett Brunson in the Houston Post photo collection in the downtown archives last week and I fell head over heels. Just look at the look on his face! He wasn’t going to slap on a smile just because some photographer showed up. I really respect that.


Anyway, Brunson was a Rice alumnus (’29), a major part of the 1928 Southwest Conference championship track team, then long serving Rice track coach and Business Manager for the Athletics Department. They took his picture for a story that’s ostensibly about the high demand for football tickets during the 50th anniversary season of Rice football but which wanders around quite a bit in a pretty interesting way talking about Brunson himself:


Fifteen years ago when I went to clear out the ticket office before the renovation of the gym began it stilled looked like what you see in the photo. It’s hard to estimate how many old tickets were in there but ten thousand is a decent guess. I did save some, by the way, and they’re now in the Woodson’s Rice Athletics Collection.

Two other quick things about Brunson, First, that’s him two to the right of Coach Ernie Hjertberg in this picture of the 1927 track squad.

And second, when he was a sophomore he led the freshmen around downtown in the slime parade. You might not guess that from his 1961 photo.

Bonus: The aftermath.


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9 Responses to HMRC Thursday: Emmett Brunson, Rice Ticket Master, 1961

  1. William A. Wheatley says:

    Enjoyed the aftermath pictures. Aftermath there was tensor analysis.

  2. William Ćooke ‘75 says:

    Sad. Like reading about Rome before the fall.

  3. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    Mickey H. does not tell us much about Brunson’s remarkable run as head track and field coach, which ended in 1970. Take a look at this link.

  4. James Medford says:

    As of 1961, “Rice Stadium has been sold out seven times.” That answers a question I’ve had for a long time regarding the number of times Rice Stadium sold out in the days before professional football came to Houston.

    • grungy1973 says:

      Now we know SMU in ’50 and UT in (’60 or ’66? The date appears to be 1961 (or ’67).
      Does ’61 map well to the 50th anniversary of Rice football?
      It’s the 50th year…
      They’re talking about “last year”.
      Now, when were the other five sell-outs?

      • James Medford says:

        The article was written in 1961 (per Melissa’s headline), so he was referring to the UT game in 1960.
        Rice first played football in 1912, so 1961 would have been the 50th season, but not the 50th anniversary.
        The A&M game in 1957 was a sellout. The Aggies were #1 in the nation until Rice upset them 7-6 that day.
        So SMU in 1950, A&M in 1957, and UT in 1960 were sellouts. My guess for the four remaining sellouts would be a mix of UT, A&M, and LSU games.

  5. Kathy (Lewis) Amen '71 says:

    I loved reading Mickey Herskowitz’ columns when growing up in Houston. Thanks for bringing back those good memories!

  6. A. Tucker says:

    I’m one of Emmett Brunson’s granddaughters, and I don’t have this particular article in our “archives.” Thank you for sharing!

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