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Jimmy Kitts was responsible for two consecutive national high school basketball championships, as well as two Southwest Conference football titles and a Cotton Bowl victory within a 10-year span. At Athens High School, Kitts coached his basketball team to national championships in 1929 and 1930. He became the first high school coach to be purposely hired by a college to attract more Texas schoolboy talent. At Rice Institute, Kitts' first fully recruited team became co-champion of the Southwest Conference in basketball in 1933, and his football team became champion in 1934. Three years later, Kitts' football team captured the conference football championship after going scoreless the first three games of the season. That team later beat Colorado 28-14 in the 1938 Cotton Bowl game. Kitts was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1956.

Jimmy Kitts