SAD NEWS: Former Texas Standout QB Legend, Mike Cotten Passes Away At 84.

Following a brief illness, Mike Cotten, a 1961 Texas Athletics Hall of Honor inductee and former University of Texas football player (1959–61), passed away on Saturday. His age was eighty-four.

Cotten, an Austin native who was born on December 12, 1939, in Uvalde, Texas, started two seasons as a quarterback and was named to the All-Southwest Conference team in 1961. He oversaw Darrell Royal’s renowned Flip-Flop offense.

Cotten was a lifelong Longhorn who never thought about attending another school or paid a visit to another campus after graduating from Austin High School. At that time, he was even Royal’s neighbor in Austin.

Cotten entered at the Texas and immediately led the freshmen team to an undefeated season, the first for that team since 1941, after guiding the Austin High Maroons to the state playoffs.

The following year, 1959, he transferred to the varsity squad, sharing quarterbacking duties with Bobby Lackey. He also played defensive back for a 9-2 team that ended No. 4 in the country and shared the SWC title before losing to No. 1 Syracuse in the Cotton Bowl.

In 1960, he took over as the starting quarterback as a junior. Despite the team’s 7-3 record, they managed to defeat No. 11 Baylor and end the season in a 3-3 draw with No. 9 Alabama in the Bluebonnet Bowl. That year, he led the club in total offense and scoring.

He co-captained Royal with Don Talbert in 1961 as a senior, leading one of the most successful offensive units in Southwest Conference history. Cotten was always the perfect team player who only wanted to win, even if All-American tailback James Saxton spearheaded the rushing attack for a large chunk of that era.

Cotten majored in government at UT and knew he wanted to practice law as soon as he arrived in Texas. After enrolling in the UT Law School in 1962, he completed his studies in 1965.

In 1968, Cotten started working at Clark and Thomas as an attorney following a three-year tour as a captain in the United States Marine Corps, where he served in Vietnam. Cotten joined the business as a partner in 1975, and it eventually changed its name to Clark, Thomas, Winters & Shapiro.

In addition to being inducted into the Hall of Honor, Cotten was among the founding members of the Stadium Veterans Committee when it was established in 1996.

Lesley Childress of Jackson, Mississippi, and Ashley Putman of Austin, Texas, are Cotten’s daughters who survive him.

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