Charles Barthell (Uncle Charley) Moran, football coach and major-league baseball umpire, son of Thomas J. and Allison Moran, was born at Nashville, Tennessee, on February 22, 1878. He attended the University of Tennessee and subsequently spent many years in baseball, both in the major and minor leagues. He played in the Texas League for Dallas, Corsicana, Waco, and Cleburne. In 1903 and 1904 he served as manager for the Dallas Giants. In 1906 he was playing for Cleburne when the team won the Texas League championship. Moran was a pitcher and catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and for twenty-three years was an umpire in the National League. He umpired in the 1927, 1929, 1933, and 1938 World Series. In 1939 he retired from National League umpiring.
From 1909 to 1914 Moran coached football at Texas A&M. During his six seasons there the Aggies recorded thirty-eight wins, eight losses, and four ties, the best winning percentage at A&M up to that time. The rules governing player qualification were somewhat lax during Moran's tenure at A&M. An athlete only had to attend class for one day before a game to qualify for participation. During the 1909 season the Aggies defeated their fiercest rival, the University of Texas, twice. Coach Moran was disliked at the University of Texas, and after 1911 UT refused to play A&M until he was replaced. From 1912 to 1914 the two institutions did not play each other. When he came to A&M and a faculty member asked Moran what he was teaching his players about being good losers, he responded, "I didn't come here to lose." But Texas A&M was dependent on the Texas game, which usually brought in $10,000 to $15,000, to sustain its athletic program. Moran left A&M in December 1914. The 875 members of the Corps of Cadets at A&M gave him and his family a full-dress parade. Texas A&M and the University of Texas resumed their rivalry in 1915.
Moran then coached football at Centre College, Bucknell University, and Catawba College. In 1921, while he was coaching at Centre, he took his "Praying Colonels" to play Harvard, one of the leading teams in the country. Centre pulled off a 6–0 upset, a win cited as possibly Moran's greatest. The next year the heavily favored Praying Colonels went to Dallas to play the Texas Aggies in the 1922 Dixie Classic. A&M won the game 22–14. In his college football coaching career, Moran won 122 games, lost 33, and tied 12, for a .766 winning percentage. He was married to Pearl McGee. They had a son named Tom, who played professional football for the New York Giants in 1925. Moran died of heart disease in Horse Cave, Kentucky, on June 14, 1949. In 1938 a "Charley Moran Day" was held at A&M. During the 1949 Thanksgiving Day game between the University of Texas and Texas A&M a plaque was dedicated to Moran and placed on the A&M campus. In 1968 Moran was named to the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame.
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Tim Cohane, Great College Football Coaches of the Twenties and Thirties (New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1973). Wilbur Evans and H. B. McElroy, The Twelfth Man: A Story of Texas A&M Football (Huntsville, Alabama: Strode, 1974). John D. Forsyth, The Aggies and the Horns (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1981). Caesar Hohn, Dutchman on the Brazos: Reminiscences of Caesar (Dutch) Hohn (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). New York Times, June 15, 1949. Kern Tips, Football, Texas Style (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1964). Roger Treat, The Official Encyclopedia of Football (Cranbury, New Jersey: Barnes, 1979).
Sports and Recreation
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
David S. Walkup,
“Moran, Charles Barthell,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
May 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: