Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Col. Willie Tate

75 years ago former John Tarleton Agricultural College student Willie Tate was a star athlete at Texas University (University of Texas). The May 16, 1936 JTAC states that Tate, John Tarleton Agricultural College Ex of '35 stars at State University! He played three years on the Tarleton basketeers to gain that finished trim and experience that made him one of those outstanding freshman basketball stars of the Southwestern cage game.

Willie Tate was on the Plowboy conference champions of '31-32 and the undefeated teams of '33-34 and '34-35, under coach W.J. Wisdom. His one-handed looping shots and teamwork were factors in the records he helped the Plowboys set! At the University of Texas Tate continued to excel and received high scoring honors against Rice and other teams making him an outstanding varsity basketeer for the Longhorns!

Col. Tate entered the military as a private with Texas' 36th division in 1940. He was one of the first selected to attend World War II officer candidate school and was Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. He commanded a company and batallion in France, Holland, and Germany. He also served in Korea and Okinawa, and was on the Army General Staff in Washington D.C. four years. Col. Tate was twice awarded the Legion of Merit. He retired in 1970 after 30 years of active service. He then joined the faculty of Galveston Community College. After his second retirement in 1983, Col. Tate and his wife moved to Stephenville, where he was a member of the Tarleton Alumni Association for many years and served on the Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Tarleton Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.

Col. Tate will soon be moving to Lubbock to be near his family. Today at 3:30 pm in the Wisdon Gym foyer a special reception is being held in honor of Col. Will Tate's lifelong contributions to Tarleton State University! A special program will begin at 4 pm. Col. Tate has been a great supporter of Tarleton and we wish him well! Hope everyone can attend the reception!

Grassburr, 1936.

JTAC, May 16, 1936, October 6, 1988.

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