Local Sports Legend Remembered In Hawkins

Everyone who knew Robert Lowrance, or "Coach" as they called him, remember his firm grip.

"He had these powerful hands," said Jason Boyd, former Athletic Director at Hawkins.  "He had powerful hands all his life. I mean, he ripped your hand and just about made you call for mercy."

Many in Hawkins refer to his coaching career as the "glory days," when he led his football teams to four regional titles and 11 district championships.

"His record was unbelievable as a coach, many district titles," said Boyd.  "Just the stories of what he could get out of his players and what the players would do for him was just phenomenal."

Those achievements were recognized. Coach Lowrance was inducted in Stephen F. Austin's Hall of Honor in 2004 and the Hawkins Stadium is named in his honor.

"If you sit in the stands of Hawkins they will still talk about Coach Lowrance," said Boyd. "These are men in their 50's and 60's now and just the respect they have for him as a man and as a coach. He left a lasting impact on these young men."

Off the field, Coach Lowrance was a loving husband and father of three.

"We used to say we had won the lottery," says Lowrance's daughter Mary Ann Williams.

"He could always think of some way to make things a little easier than they were," said Juanita Lowrance, Robert's wife of 67 years.

His family said he was a generous man and a great role model.

"We never heard him say anything bad about anybody. He truly liked everybody," said Williams.

"I never did have many dates in high school because all the guys were afraid of daddy," said Lowrance's daughter Nancy Walker.  "We've laughed about that quite a bit. It took a special person to take us out, usually somebody from out of town."

Remembering a great man, whose legacy will live on and have a firm grip on East Texas for years to come.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins High School's auditorium. Visitation is Monday from 4 - 7 p.m.

Courtney Lane, reporting  clane@kltv.com