, Port Arthur, Texas

August 5, 2013

Former Bridge City coach Chief Wilson dead at 85

The Port Arthur News



    H.W. “Chief” Wilson, who coached the Steve Worster-led Bridge City Cardinals to the 1966 3A state football championship, passed away early Monday in College Station. He was 85.

    Wilson was at Bridge City from 1962-73, compiling an 80-43-6 record, but he’s inexorably linked to the four years when the rampaging Worster thundered through opposing defenses. Worster, who started as a freshman and later became a star at the University of Texas, was a three-time all-stater who rushed for 5,422 yards for the Cardinals.

    The glory years for Wilson and Worster were 1965, when they went 11-2-1 and reached the semifinals, and 1966, when they claimed the title with a 13-1 record. BC’s only defeat that year was to 4A Nederland. The Cardinals routed McKinney, 30-6, in Waco in the title game.

    Wilson came to Bridge City after a two-year stint as head coach at Weatherford where his teams went 5-4-1 and 2-8-0. His coaching career started under legendary Bum Phillips at Nederland in 1952. He stayed with the Bulldogs for six years and was on Emmitt McKenzie’s staff when Nederland won the 1957 4A championship game.

    From Nederland, he rejoined Phillips at Jacksonville at 1958, then followed him to Amarillo for the 1959 season.

    “Chief was an excellent football coach,” Phillips said Monday from his home in Goliad. “He knew the game, and just as importantly, knew his players, and how to help them reach their fullest potential.”

    Wilson is survived by Ramona, his wife of 61 years, son Rusty, daughters Monica Jaynes and Renae Vargo, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Funeral Chapel at 2901 Texas Ave. in College Station.