Robert E. "Swede" Lee
Under Swede, the Hogs went 13-0 (AAA) in 73,74,75

 

TEXARKANA 1973

Head coach: Robert "Swede" Lee; Record: 13-0

Swede Lee returned to Texarkana and immediately led the Razorbacks out of racial difficulties and to the state championship, recording the first perfect season in Texarkana history. Ironically, Lee played for crosstown rival Texas High and played under Darrell Royal at the University of Texas. It was Lee's second coaching stint at Texarkana, returning to the school as the highest paid coach in the state at $20,000 per year. It was certainly a worthwhile investment as the Razorbacks won three straight state championships and dominated the second-largest classification during that time. The '73 team was led by a quartet of Associated Press Super Teamers: Graylon Wyatt, Robert Williams, Mike Trammell and Earnest Cheatham.

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1975 Champs

 

< Photo taken by Scott Raschke ... he recalls that night in 1975 when the Arkansas High School Razorbacks won their third consecutive AAA State Championship under Coach Swede Lee. This made the Class of '76 the only class in the school's history to be State Champions as Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

 "Every time I see that picture, the memory of that night comes back to me as vividly as if it were yesterday. I was yearbook and newspaper photographer, one of them ... I remember being pretty darned impressed with myself that I was on the sidelines at War Memorial Stadium. Without looking at a story on it, I could not tell you who we were playing or what the final score was. I just remember, as the game ended and the celebrations began, being so excited and trying like the dickens to contain myself enough to get some useful pictures.

 I remember hoping beyond hope when the guys hoisted Swede on their shoulders, and he looked at me and right into my camera and stuck his 'We're No. 1 sign' up, thinking 'I hope this is in focus ... I hope the exposure is right ... I hope it doesn't blur ... please let him be in the frame ...!!'"

"Here it is 33 years later, and I have chills on my neck, just describing this."

 

MONEY'S WORTH?
Texarkana (Ark.) High School decided last spring (SCORECARD, April 23) to pay a $20,000 salary to lure Coach Swede Lee back from Texas A&M , where he was an assistant. Lee had been a big success at Texarkana before going off to A&M, but the high school's football fortunes plummeted during his absence. A minority of citizens objected to the salary, which was higher than that paid to any other member of the faculty, including the superintendent of schools. Now, however, the returns are in, and the opposition would have a rough time rousing any anti-Lee sentiment. The Arkansas high school had not defeated its state-line rival, Texarkana ( Texas ), since Lee's last previous year of tenure in 1964. This year it not only beat the Texas high school, it won 13 straight games and the Arkansas class AAA championship. If that isn't worth $20,000, what is?

 

Robert E. "Swede" Lee has spent 29 of his 55 years on one side or the other of the state line at Texarkana. He is part Texan. He is part Arkansan. He is 100 percent Texarkanan, first as the legendary football coach at Arkansas High School and, for the past 11 years, as chief executive officer of the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce. Appropriately, the chamber office is located on State Line Avenue, which divides the city in half. That's where the division ends, Lee says. Other than an annual grudge match between the local high school football teams, competition between Texans ...

 

 

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