DENTON, Texas - North Texas Athletics Hall of Fame member and former director of athletics Fred McCain passed away Tuesday following a lengthy illness. He was 90.
McCain served the University of North Texas for over 40 years, as a standout quarterback from 1945-48, a football coach from 1950-71, director of the UNT Coliseum from 1973-82 and director of athletics in 1972 and again from 1982-87. He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.
McCain came to North Texas during a time that the football team was suspended due to World War II. He was on the 1946 team that resumed play and went to the school's first-ever bowl game, the Optimist Bowl. In 1947 he was the quarterback that led his team to 10-2 record, and an appearance in the Salad Bowl. The 10 wins by the 1947 team is still a school record for wins in a season.
As an assistant football coach under Odus Mitchell in the 1950's, McCain helped break the color barrier by recruiting Abner Haynes and Leon King to the football program in 1956. The actions of McCain and his fellow coaches are still widely recognized as the first integration of collegiate athletics in the state of Texas.
As the director of athletics, McCain helped turn the football program around, hiring Corky Nelson to take over a program that went from 2-9 to a Southland Conference championship in two years.
McCain received two degrees from North Texas, a bachelor's degree in 1948 and a master's in administrative education in 1949. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and his children, Ray and Karen.