James Clark Hudson
March 31st, 1943 to June 25th, 2013
James Clark Hudson succumbed to injuries sustained from a career in football medically known as Parkinson’s Traumatic Dementia Encephalopathy on June 25, 2013. Jim was born in Steubenville, Ohio, on March 31, 1943 and grew up in the Rio Grande Valley.
A multi-sport high school star in La Feria, Texas, Jim was recruited by both UCLA Basketball Coach, John Wooden and The University of Texas Football Coach, Darrell Royal. Jim often joked that he chose to play football at Texas because the Greyhound Bus from La Feria to Los Angeles dropped him off 9 miles from the UCLA Campus and he didn’t want to walk that far; so, he chose The University of Texas where the bus station was close enough to walk to the coach’s office.
Jim played quarterback and defensive back for The University of Texas from 1962-1964 seasons. In 1963, Texas won the NCAA National Championship and in 1965 Texas defeated No. 1 Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Jim’s 69-yard touchdown pass to George Sauer helped win the Orange Bowl game and drew the attention of the New York Jets scout who was there to watch Alabama quarterback Joe Namath. Jim not only became a Jet, he became a roommate and lifelong friend of the quarterback Texas defeated that day.
In 6 seasons starting as safety with the New York Jets, Jim intercepted 14 passes, including a key interception near the end of the first half in the Jets’ 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Jim was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the University of Texas Hall of Honor. Although complications from football injuries eventually took his life, Jim was forever grateful for the quality education and lifelong friendships formed during his time at The University of Texas and as a New York Jet.
Jim was most thankful for the direction of his high school coach, Ronald Keller, UT coaches Darrell Royal and Mike Campbell and New York Jets coaches Weeb Eubanks and Walt Michaels.
After his time in the NFL, Jim returned to Austin to a career in real estate development. He continued to pursue his love of sports by coaching baseball, football and basketball at the West Austin Youth Association. Eventually, his childhood love of horses led him to become a successful thoroughbred trainer for over 25 years. The racing in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas kept his competitive spirit going and more close friends were made, especially the Louisiana gang.
Jim’s hunting, fishing, gin, and golfing buddies were a very important part of his life. He met the same “Lunch Crew” weekly for over 40 years.
Jim was a strong man softened by the love of his family. He is survived by his best friend and wife of more than 30 years, Lise, his children, Cade Hudson, Callie Hudson, Heather Yates and husband Joe David, Link Hudson and wife Susan, Treg Hudson and wife Natalie, and 9 beloved grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Ted Hudson and wife Jodi, Carl Hudson and partner Mark, Earl Hudson and wife Gaye, sister, Janet Finley, many nieces and nephews, and mother-in-law, Jennie Karotkin, a mother-in-law he actually enjoyed spending time with.
Jim was preceded in death by his brother, Buzz Hudson and his nephew, Carson Starkey, who died too young and touched Jim’s heart.
Thanks to the wonderful care of neurologist Dr. John Bertelson and Kim Butrum who so carefully walked Jim and his family through his debilitating disease as well as Dr. Enrique Spindel and his staff for over 15 years of exceptional care. A very special thanks to Jim’s buddies, Elvis Ehigie and Jamal Turner, who were so much more than caretakers for Jim until the very end of his life and now a part of our family. Jim’s end of life services would not have been the same without the care and guidance of Hospice Austin nurse Patty Almond.
Jim said, “I never missed a thing I wanted to do.” He lived an abundant life with many adventures and appreciated all that was bestowed on him. Not many people can say, “I lived my dream.” Jim did.
Honorary Pallbearers include Cookie Baumel, Brett Brinkman, Earl Campbell, Louis Coco, Rick Coleman, John Covert, Tad Dowd, Jimenez “Meno” Flores, Jim Gaunt, John Hadl, Al Hassan, Bill Heiligbrodt, James Treg Hudson, Curley Johnson, Salem Joseph, Pete Lammons, Tommy Lucas, Buddy McGraw, Louis Murillo, Joe Namath, Ed Padgett, Joe David Yates and Bob Young.
Memorial Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 1st at Riverbend Church, The Smith Family Chapel with reception immediately following at the University of Texas Alumni Center.
Jim requested that his brain and spine be donated to medical research to help further the prevention of football-related brain and spine injuries. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, Lawrence Crimmins, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, L219, Boston, MA 02118.