Athletic Hall of Honor
2015 Athletic Hall of Honor
Emmett Adolph Acker ’53
Emmett Adolph Acker was “more of a doer than a talker,” says his widow, Ella Mae Acker. What he did on the field—as a football player at Schreiner Institute and Southwest Texas State, and then as a public school coach and teacher for 31 years—spoke for him.
“One of Adolph’s most cherished roles in life was that of mentoring youth,” says Roy A. Brown, one of those who nominated Acker for the Athletic Hall of Honor. “He took great pleasure in helping to transform lives through education, church and sports.”
After graduating from Boling High School as a track and football letterman, Acker wanted to play football at Texas A&I, but the coach said he was too little to be a college lineman. He sat out a couple of years, working on his parent’s South Texas ranch.
Richard “Red” Johnson, a classmate at Boling, had received a football scholarship to Schreiner in 1949 and played for two years. He wrote to Acker, telling him he should try out there. Acker finally applied and ended up with a full scholarship. For two years he was a standout tackle on both defense and offense for the Mountaineers. During one particular game in fall 1951, he helped Schreiner defeat conference foe Arlington State, recovering a fumble for a touchdown and tackling a runner for a safety.
He was also a standout off the field, serving as a military company captain and being named to the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society. “He had a deep love for Schreiner,” says Mrs. Acker. “He appreciated very much having a scholarship and being afforded the opportunity to go to college.”
At Southwest Texas State he earned a scholarship, was a guard on the Bobcats’ 1955 Lone Star Conference co-champion team, and met Ella Mae Golden. Just before graduation with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Dean William Weir offered him a teaching and coaching position with Schreiner’s high school. Acker accepted, but was drafted into the U.S. Army. Weir repeated the offer to Acker after his honorable discharge two years later, but Acker had already accepted a position with the McMullen County school district in Tilden, Texas.
Ella Mae and Adolph married after his return from the Army, and both taught for six years in Tilden. Acker then joined the staff at Lamar Junior High in Rosenberg, where he taught and coached for 25 years.
In retirement, the Ackers moved to the family ranch south of Tilden. He loved to garden and travel, and attended Recall at Schreiner and reunions of the 1955 SWTS football team up until his death from cancer on July 18, 2011.
“He was a fine, wonderful Christian man,” says Mrs. Acker. “What you saw on Sunday in church was what you saw all week long.”
Also see: Past Athletic Hall of Honor