AUSTIN (KXAN) — Julius Whittier’s statue will be unveiled in the north end of Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Friday before the Longhorns’ game against Iowa State, Texas Athletics announced on Monday.
Whittier, Texas’ first Black football letterman and a trailblazer in the Longhorns football program, is a Texas Athletics Hall of Honor member and a national champion with the Longhorns in 1969 and 1970. The 1970 team is also being honored Friday for the 50th anniversary of that national championship season.
The 12.5-foot tall statue of Whittier has been in production since UT announced the commissioning of it in early July. The 11-foot bronze sculpture sets atop an 18-inch black granite base, according to UT Athletics.
In June, Texas student-athletes called on the university to make several changes toward racial inclusivity and anti-racism on campus. In July, university leaders announced efforts to “promote diversity, inclusion and equity and to more fully support Black students on campus.” A statue for the three-year varsity letterman was one of the university’s initiatives.
Whittier earned three varsity letters as an offensive lineman and tight end at Texas. Though not eligible to play on the varsity team as a freshman per NCAA rules, he enrolled at UT and joined the program as a scholarship student-athlete in 1969.
After completing his undergraduate, graduate and law degrees at UT, Whittier worked as a senior prosecutor in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office before retiring in 2012. Whittier died in September 2018.