George Courtney McCarty, 96, died at his home in Marble Falls, Texas, on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011. Memorial services will be at 1:00 P.M., Saturday, Dec. 17 at First United Methodist Church in McLean, TX, with the Rev. Thacker Haynes officiating. Arrangements are by Robertson Funeral Directors of McLean. George was born Oct. 18, 1915, to Tom and Lucy McCarty in Bassett, Texas. In 1919, the McCarty's moved to McLean, Texas. Upon graduating high school in 1937, George received a football scholarship to New Mexico A&M (now NMSU). His academics were interrupted by World War II when he enlisted in the Army. He reached the rank of Lt. Col. in the Army Air Corps as a B-17 Bomber Pilot and flight instructor. He married Marietta Young on April 1, 1942, and they had two children, Sandra and Mike. George resigned from the military in 1946. He spent a year coaching high school football in his hometown of McLean, Texas, before returning to New Mexico A&M in 1947 to complete his college education. He was soon hired as their freshman basketball coach in 1948 and finished the season with a 21-3 record. In 1949 he became the head basketball coach and soon after he was named the Athletic Director where he remained until 1953. During his stint at there, he took the school to its first NCAA tournament. In 1953, he became the head basketball coach at Texas Western College (now UTEP) and won several Border Conference Championships. During the 1950s, George recruited and played black players at a time when all-white college sports teams were common. Charles Brown was the first black athlete George brought to Texas Western; he was also the first black athlete in a major sport at a major university in Texas as well as the first in the states that made up the Confederacy. In 1960 George took on the role as Dean of Men and the following year was named Athletic Director at Texas Western. As AD he was personally responsible for hiring Don Haskins, an unproven high school girls coach, despite the strong objections of many. Haskins, under George's leadership, lead the Miners to the 1966 Basketball National Championship captured in the film Glory Road. George left UTEP to become the Athletic Director at the University of Wyoming from 1970-1980. In 1980 he retired and moved to Albuquerque, NM, where he was hired as the President of the Lobo Club heading up athletics fundraising at the University of New Mexico from1980-1985. He was preceded in death by his brother Hershel McCarty; wife Marietta McCarty; son, Mike McCarty; daughter, Sandra Ashmore; and his first grandchild, Rusty Ashmore. Survivors include his sister Julia Kostka of Arlington Heights, Il; son-in-law Rucker Ashmore of Spicewood, TX; grandson Todd Ashmore of Spicewood, TX; granddaughter Amy Cozby and husband Trey of Marble Falls, TX; granddaughter Carol Ashmore of Austin, TX; granddaughter Rebecca McCarty of Garland, TX; four great-grandchildren Courtney, Calley, Clay and Cacey Cozby of Marble Falls, TX; nephew Joel McCarty of Dallas, TX; sister-in-law Naomi McCarty of McLean, TX; and niece Mary Lee Bayless of Borger, TX. The family suggests memorials be made to George C. McCarty Endowment Fund, Dept. of Athletics, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003-3590.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News from Dec. 9 to Dec. 10, 2011