Vic Prince coached in Pirate football ‘glory days’

January 11, 2014

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As his name implies, Vic Prince was a part of Granbury Pirate football royalty.

He was coaching here in what folks now call the “glory days,” when the Pirates were considered one of the best teams across the entire state.

Prince, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 80, was an assistant under head coach Fred Weir when the Pirates enjoyed the best season in school history. In 1966 they reached the Class 2A state championship game, finishing 14-1 following a 29-7 loss to Sweeny.

A year later Prince became the head coach. He guided the Pirates to their last playoff victory, advancing to the second round in 1967 and finishing 9-1-1 after the team tied Crane 0-0 in the area round, losing on penetrations.

And that was a time when you’d better win your district if you wanted to play more than the regular season. Second place meant play harder the next season, and no one dreamed that some day third- and fourth-place teams would ever advance to the postseason.

Prince chronicled those great days in bound volumes that were his prized possessions. Each year had its own edition, complete with newspaper clippings, stats, photos, and, of course, game-by-game results.

Prince’s teams won or shared three district championships. He once missed out on the postseason with an 8-1 record after losing a coin flip. His overall record in five seasons was 31-17-3.

If you include his final two seasons as an assistant under Weir, the Pirates were 55-19-3 in a seven-year stretch with Prince.

But more than any victories, more than any statistics, Prince was best known as simply being a “good man.”

“He was a good friend, and he was a good coach,” said long-time friend and fellow former Pirate coach Gerald Hayworth. The duo worked together following Weir’s departure.

“He was a Pirate until the day he died. He bled purple and gold – back when the school colors were purple and gold.”

Prince retired in 1993 as a Granbury school administrator. But he still followed his Granbury teams.

“He loved the Lady Pirates,” said longtime friend and Lady Pirate coach Leta Andrews.

“He was such a sweet man, a friend to everyone he came in contact with.”

Vic and his wife Lula Mae met in 1958 when he was coaching six-man football in Star. They married in the middle of two-a-day workouts and were together until his death.

“He was always a special person to talk to. He and Lula Mae were such great people,” said Hayworth.

After leaving Granbury, Prince coached in Gatesville for four seasons before deciding it was time to return home. He and Lula Mae never moved from Granbury again after their return in 1976.

The Princes were regulars at Granbury sporting events until he became too ill to attend. He still stayed on top of each sport and was ready for a conversation about it when someone wanted to chat.

Prince’s final words in a recent story summed up his affections for Granbury.

“This has been a wonderful place to call home.”

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