An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

Celebration of Life service set for Bill Little on Oct. 1 at LBJ Library

A Celebration of Life service for legendary Longhorn Athletics administrator Bill Little, who passed away Aug. 25, is set for Sunday, October 1, at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium in the LBJ Library (2405 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX 78712) on The University of Texas campus.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to three of Little’s favorite organizations: Friends of the Daily Texan, which ensures long-term funding of scholarships for staff members of The Daily Texan; the Texas Exes Cheer and Pom Alumni Network Operating Endowment; and Hospice Austin.

The full story on Little’s passing can be found here.

Bill was inducted into The Daily Texan Hall of Fame, sponsored b y friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.  in 2020.

In the announcement about his election into The Daily Texan Hall of Fame, it was noted that Little was the face—and the voice—of Longhorn athletics for more than 50 years.  And The Daily Texan was the starting point in that career. Long before sports reporting turned digital, Little, as sports editor of the Daily Texan, was hammering out copy on a manual typewriter.

After achieving a Bachelor of Journalism degree from UT in the summer of 1965, he spent two years working full-time as a sportswriter for the Austin American-Statesman. He then moved to Oklahoma City to write for The Associated Press.  After his two-year stint with The AP, Little returned home to Austin and to The University of Texas for good.

“I saw there was this really good job in public relations at The University of Texas,” Little said. “I called Coach Royal, and I said, ‘Coach, I want to come back.’ And he said, ‘I’d like to have you back.’ And that was the extent of my job interview. I started that spring.”

At the time of his entry in to the Hall of Fame,  he talked about his career:

“I always found that, if you can write something that can make a difference to somebody, it can change a life,” Little said. “I was a bad golfer and a worse tennis player. I wasn’t big enough to play football, and I was too short to play basketball, so my only gifts were to write and talk. And, if I was going to do what God put me on this planet to do, then I needed to do those things.  It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to people.”

Upon his retirement in 2014, Little said, “Texas Athletics has pretty much been my life for close to 60 years. But now, I think I’ve earned the right to set my bucket down.”

Little’s Texan career began in the summer of 1961, when he began writing for the sports staff.

“Looking back at the old clippings, I discovered I had been named the Texan “Male newcomer of the year” during my sophomore year (1961-62). We published a “Summer Texan” back in those days, and our “new students edition” was quite popular,” Little said.  “Summer was a great time to get started writing for the Texan, so I was fortunate to wind up being the sports editor for the new students edition  As best I can tell, my first pay check from “Texas Student Publications” came that summer of 1962.

“That September, I was Associate Sports Editor and was given a Hearst Award for writing a story on the death of a sophomore football player named Reggie Grob, who died after suffering a heat stroke on the first day of football practice.

From 1962 through 1964 I worked as member of the Texan permanent staff, serving as Texan Sports editor, before resigning in the fall of 1964 to work full-time for the American Statesman. In those days, with a limited student sports staff both on the Texan and in the UT Athletics “Sports News” office, I was able to do double duty.  I also picked up extra money covering high school sports for the American Statesman.

“Working in the SID office, as well as for the Texan, I developed a relationship with Coach Royal.  I was fortunate to be sports editor of the Texan (as well as earning a whopping $50 per month as a student intern in the athletics department) during the 1963 football season.”