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Giles Tippette
October 22, 1984
It was the scarf that did it. The pilot's scarf from the 924th Tactical Fighter Group at Bergstrom (Texas) Air Force Base, of which I'm an honorary member.
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October 22, 1984

An Honorary Coach Finds Maybe It's Best When His Ideas Aren't Honored

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So I said, "Yeah, but on 124, my primary receiver was Dixon, but Weder hit Noble."

He yawned and said, "Probably a little confusion in the backfield. You know how that goes."

Max Corbet, the sports information director, was in the room with us, and as I walked out, still slightly confused, he said, gently, "Coach Tip, don't you know that Weed has the authority to audible off at the line on every play?"

Coach Hess heard him and hurried over to say, "But don't forget the help you gave us with Andy Gamble." He'd averaged 41 yards a punt.

I was stripped of my moment of glory.

Coach Hess and I had one bad disagreement before I left. He wanted the fighter pilot scarf and I didn't want to give it to him. And didn't. The next week he beat Texas A&I, but then he was to play the Southwest Texas State Bobcats. The Bobcats had what at the time was the longest winning streak for a college football team—22 games—and were also the two-time defending NCAA Division II champions. I sent the scarf in the mail.

At the half we were down 17-zip. Coach Hess later told me he'd hung the scarf on the locker room wall where all the players could see it. During intermission he pointed to the scarf and told them, "That's a symbol of a fighter pilot. The most dedicated, the most courageous, the most single-minded and goal-directed men in the world. Let every player rub on that scarf, and let every player, in this last half, be a fighter pilot."

With only 4:49 to go, Weder completed a pass to Charlie Smith, who made a one-handed catch, and then ran for a 20-yard TD to tie the game 24-24.

Next defensive tackle Mike Granger intercepted a tipped pass to give the Lumberjacks the ball on the Southwest Texas 36 with 1:47 to play. Five plays later Wilson kicked a 37-yard field goal to make the final score 27-24 in Stephen F. Austin's favor.

Coach Hess called me about an hour after the game, and I asked him what my chances were for getting my scarf back.

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