Walter Harris, known by the name Jack, had an important impact on the small town of Gunter, Texas. Jack helped benefit the athletic program in many areas. Jack Harris, born in 1918 in Cottle County, Texas, located at the base of the Panhandle, was an influential man remembered by many people in Grayson County.
Jack served in the Army during World War II, stationed in England. Immediately after serving, he went on to complete his studies at North Texas State. Right after college, Jack took on the role of being the Head Football Coach, in addition serving as the Gunter High School principal. Harris planned on using Gunter as a launching pad to his career, and only staying for about one year, but the exact opposite happened. Four years into his career, Harris was promoted to Superintendent. During his time at Gunter, he also taught classes that included: science, history, and drivers ed.
Jack Harris had three children of his own: Barry, Kevin, and Jeannie, in addition to his wife’s three children: Roger, Rick, and Randy Streetman. His kids were just as successful as he was and Kevin Harris even said, “Most of us have had pretty good careers. Athletics and academics was always a big part of our family.”
Harris remained the head football coach for 26 seasons, which elevated him to be the winningest football coach in Gunter with a 132-112-4 record.
Of the 26 seasons he coached, 16 were .500 record or better. Harris’s best season occurred early in his career in 1957 when he led his team to a 12-0 record and won the Regional Championship, which was the furthest teams could advance at the time. In 1976 he helped usher in 1A football, which was 11 man football to the program after only being an 8 man team.
After he retired in 1978, Harris remained a dedicated man to Gunter and stayed involved with the community. Kevin Harris stated, “He worked harder after he retired.” Harris passed away in May 2004, leaving a legacy that the Gunter athletic program will remember forever. He was truly a success in all that he did.
READ: A great article about Jack in the Sherman Paper.
Article written by: Trey Carr and Tyler Rigsby
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