TCU football legend Jim Swink ’57, whose shifty moves as a running back earned him the nicknames “Ol’ Swivel Hips” and “The Rusk Rambler,” died in December at his East Texas home. He was 78. Swink’s elusive running style, especially in the open field, made him one of the most acclaimed halfbacks...
“He was one of the five best players in TCU history and should have won the Heisman,” national sportswriter and TCU historian Dan Jenkins ’53 told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2005.
Swink’s elusive running style, especially in the open field, made him one of the most acclaimed halfbacks in Southwest Conference history and helped the Horned Frogs to a SWC crown in 1955 and back-to-back Cotton Bowl appearances in 1956 and 1957 under coach Abe Martin.
Swink was a popular speaker at campus pep rallies in the 1950s. He served in student government and was a standout student, while playing football and basketball for the Horned Frogs. His wife Jeannie told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that he was most proud of being an Academic All-American.
Swink was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 and served as a medic and surgeon at the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Ku Chi, South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. He earned the rank of captain and was awarded a Purple Heart, Air Medal and Bronze Star.
He returned to Fort Worth and established an orthopedic surgery practice, which he maintained for 35 years.
Swink also is remembered for being the object of the famous University of Texas expression, “Hook ’em, Horns.” Before No. 8 TCU squared off with the Longhorns on Nov. 12, 1955, Texas students had heard of Swink’s evasive style and developed the oft-heard phrase.
“They had a guy in their student body that knew our team and spread the word that they needed to stop me from running,” Swink told the magazine in 2006. “The Texas players obviously had heard about how string a team we had, too. So they came up with ‘hook him’ because they wanted to catch me, trip me up, slow me down. And that game was the first time they used that.”
It didn’t work. Swink had one of his best games, rushing for 235 yards on 15 carries for a 15.7-yard average and scored a school-record 26 points. The Frogs romped the Longhorns, 47-20.
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