WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Former World War II veteran and head coach at Burkburnett, Rider, and Wichita Falls High School, Joe Bob Tyler has been voted into the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor.
Tyler joins eight other Wichita Falls ISD coaches in the THSCA Hall of Honor, including Leo Brittian, Donnell Crosslin, Joe Golding, Hunter Kirkpatrick, Thurmon “Tugboat” Jones, Ted Jeffries, C.R. “Pat” Pattison and Earvin Garnett.
Tyler is considered one of the greatest single wing coaches of all time and was a prominent coach in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area for over four decades.
High school, college, and military service
Joe Bob Tyler was born in 1923 in Oklahoma. His family eventually moved to Burkburnett, where he played football at Burkburnett High School.
Tyler was a stand-out lineman, earning an Oil Bowl selection as a player in 1942.
Tyler played his college football at Northeast Junior College (now the University of Louisiana – Monroe), but left to join the United States Army and serve in World War II.
While serving in the Army, Tyler was taken captive during the Battle of the Bulge, where he remained a prisoner of war in Germany for four months until he and other prisoners were liberated in May 1945.
After returning home and recovering, Tyler made it back onto the football field the very next year, becoming ULM’s first All-American in football.
Tyler began his coaching career with the Burkburnett Bulldogs, where he served as head coach from 1949 to 1955.
Tyler left Burkburnett to serve as an assistant coach under Joe Golding at Wichita Falls High School in 1956, where he would remain until 1960.
Tyler became the first head coach of the Rider Raiders in their inaugural season in 1961. He led the Raiders to an 8-1-1 record in just his second year with the program, and lead the school to its first district championship in 1965.
Tyler would remain at Rider High School until 1969, when he left Wichita Falls to take over as head coach of Haltom City High School.
Wichita Falls saw the return of Coach Tyler in 1980, when he returned to Wichita Falls High School in 1980 to become the Coyotes’ head coach, leading them to the state quarterfinals in 1985.
In 1990, he became an assistant coach at Midwestern State University until 1992.
Tyler was named to the Oil Bowl Hall of Fame and ULM Hall of Fame before he passed away in 2010 at the age of 86.
Honors and awards
- Oil Bowl player selection (1942)
- All-American at Northeast Junior College (1946(
- 2x Oil Bowl Coach (1979, 1985)
- 2x named TRN’s Coach of the Year (1985, 1986)
- Inducted to Oil Bowl Hall of Fame (2000)
- Inducted to University of Louisiana at Monroe Hall of Fame (2002)