History of San Antonio Quarterback Club
The San Antonio Quarterback Club is the oldest continuing quarterback club in the nation.
It all began in 1947 when Ed Sien Jr. served as the first president. The club had been in the planning stages for months and finally in September of ’47, they began to meet every Monday for lunch.
During the years, the group met at the St. Anthony Hotel, Pearl Jersey Lilly Room, Ft. Sam Houston Officer’s Club, The Bright Shawl and currently at Earl Abel’s Restaurant on Austin Highway.
Many prominent San Antonians have served as the club president including the late Judge Adrian Spears in 1961, former University of Texas All American, the late Randall Clay, the late John Monfrey in 1965 and two years later, B.J. “Red” McCombs and in 1971 it was the late Wayne “Red” Shaw. Joe Bill Fox served as prexy in 1974 followed by Pat Shannon in 1975.
Pat O’Connell was elected president for the 1980 season and the one-time Athletic Director at UTSA, the Universities of Houston and New Mexico, Rudy Davalos served as headman in 1982. In 1992, Jerry Comalander, Athletic Director for the NEISD and member of the Texas Coaches Hall of Fame was president.
Through the years some other presidents were Ezra Corley, George Frost, Ken Batchelor, former star Longhorn lineman, Menan Schriewer, the son of “Red” Shaw, Rick in 1999. Also O.C. Haley, banker Charles Huey, Dr. Bill Gordon and Paul Darr.
In 1998, the SAQB elected the first woman to ever hold the presidency of any quarterback club, the late Trudy Sanders, an honored Baylor University graduate who died from the effects of breast cancer.
The son of Coach Henry Frnka, Ed in 2009. Current president is James O’Brien.
In 2007, the San Antonio Quarterback Club voted to donate all of its
receipts each year to Gridiron Heroes, an organization founded in 2005 by Eddie Canales and his son Chris after Chris suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury while playing defensive back for the San Marcos Academy.
The father-son team has gained national recognition for their financial aid and personal assistance to young players and their families who have been injured playing football.
They have been featured on a network special concerning spinal cord injuries and Peter Berg, producer of the hit television series, “Friday Night Lights’ has spotlighted them on the show.
Eddie and Chris have spent days on the road from coast-to-coast offering their services to families of young men who have suffered traumatic injuries and in some cases, the gridiron heroes succumb to those injuries
Throughout the years, the quarterback club has enticed some of the nation’s greatest football players to be guest speakers and the make the appearance without charge knowing all proceeds of the event goes to Gridiron Heroes.
Past president Rick Shaw recalls attending the club meetings with his a winning Dad, “Red” Shaw when the sessions were held at the St. Anthony.
He fondly recalls the meetings that featured speakers like Darrell Royal, Jackie Sherrill, George Blanda, Fred Akers and Jack Pardee.
There have been famous sports personalities and players who have addressed the Monday luncheons. Fred Akers, R.C. Slocum, Drew Pearson, Linus Baer and Warren McVea. Bill Yeomann, Gene Staullings, Mack Brown, Mike Sherman, June Jones, Art Briles, Mike Leach, David Bailiff sportswriters and broadcasters. The club has also listened to young men who have etched their names into various halls of honor. Jack Pardee who
Starred at Texas A&M and later in the pros, and the winningest coach in Aggie history R.C. Slocum. Another guest speaker of note; The late JimWacker who made everyone believe when he said “it’s unbelievable”.
Jacob Gutierrez who played at Oklahoma, Anthony Priest Holmes who played for Marshall High School and was all-pro with Kansas City.
The club also invites leading high school coaches like Jim Streety of Madison High School, Danny Padron of O’Connor, now coach at Texas Lutheran University,
Small college coaches are also invited to be guest speakers like Mike Santiago of the University of Incarnate Word and Mohr of Trinity
D.W. Rutledge who installed a winning tradition at Judson High School is now Director of the Texas Coaches Football Association in Austin.
Former Texas Tech Coach Spike Dykes is a favorite with his wit and story telling ability. Larry Coker, the coach at UTSA told of how difficult it is to give birth to a new program and then wait two years to initiate it. Coker won a national title his first year at the University of Miami.
Shaw also related that one of his most memorable meetings was when former Texas Longhorn All American and all-pro quarterback with the Detroit Lions, Bobby Layne was guest speaker.
Bobby was known for bending the elbow and showing up for games and events somewhat inebriated Rick says Layne was accompanied on the trip from Austin by Coach Royal, “Rooster” Andrews and assistant coach Mike Campbell. After Layne pretty much colored the atmosphere blue with his descriptive language, the group retired to Shady Strickel’s “Martini’s Club.”.
A golf tournament was scheduled the next day and most of those who had been in the entourage showed up on time. Not Bobby. As “tee” time approached a limousine pulls up and out staggers Layne. Even though he was more than three sheets to the wind, he still shot an 84 that day.
Another Shaw memory……”Red” Shaw had suffered a stroke and was in serious condition. Darrell Royal was the headliner for the session and after it was over, Rick asked Coach Royal if he could stop by the hospital just to say hello. Darrell said he wouldn’t just stop by, he wanted to visit with “Red” for awhile.
The Dallas Cowboys have been well represented as guests In addition to Pearson, there was “Hollywood” Henderson, D.D. Lewis and Burton Lawless, Harvey Martin and Billy Joe Dupre as well as Jerry Tubbs..
NFL Hall of Famers Raymond Berry and Don Maynard have also been guests.
Sportscasters Ron Franklin and Connie Alexander, one from the past, one of the present have been headliners.
The late Tom Moseley, when he was president in 1991 honored San Antonio’s only Heisman Trophy winner by hosting a downtown hotel banquet for Ty Detmer who had made All American at BYU and played a dozen years in the NFL as did his brother Koy who had set a Texas passing record while playing at Mission High School for his Dad, Sonny.
In 2001 the SAQB began the annual tradition of selecting the outstanding coach and players each season.
The awards were named in honor of legendary high school coach Pat Shannon, “Red” Shaw and Pat Knight, former New York Giant who became a heralded NFL official and an offensive lineman award was named for Menan Schriewer. .
The club had its beginning with a few dozen members in 1947 but today membership is approaching 200 and every Monday beginning in September, it’s a special lunch time at Earl Abel’s as the San Antonio Quarterback Club is now more than 63 years old and continues to promote high school football and support the young men who play the game.