WACO – Hollis Biddle, one of the deans of Texas sportswriting, died March 13 at age 81.
Biddle worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald for 55 years, spending more than three decades in the sports department before joining the marketing department in 1983. He became the paper’s special projects director later in his career.
Dave Campbell worked alongside Biddle for many years and considered him “my right-hand man” for a number of projects, both at the Tribune-Herald and Texas Football Magazine. Biddle handled the design and layout of the magazine. Biddle also worked with Campbell as the production manager for the Baylor Bear Insider Magazine for 15 years.
Biddle was born June 10, 1935, in Waco. He served as the editor of the student newspaper at Waco High School and received the first Harlon Fentress Journalism Scholarship at Baylor University in 1953.
He won numerous awards for his writing for the Tribune-Herald from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Texas Sports Writers Association. In 2011, he was presented with the Dave Campbell Award from the Texas Sports Hall of Fame for his longtime contributions to football in Central Texas.
The Tribune-Herald still awards the annual Dave Campbell/Hollis Biddle Super Centex Scholarships to two Central Texas student-athletes each year, in honor of Biddle and Campbell, who created the first Super Centex teams in the 1950s.
Biddle is survived by his wife, Ethel, son Robert and numerous other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Anjanette.
Memorial services were held March 18 at Lakewood Christian Church in Waco. Burial was in the Friedens Cemetery, Riesel.
Memorials may be made to Lakewood Christian Church, 6509 Bosque Boulevard, Waco, Texas 76710, or a favorite charity.
NAVASOTA – Marvin Longabaugh, 56, an attorney who started the weekly Navasota Star newspaper in August, died March 4 at his home.
A native of Gainesville, he was born July 9, 1960. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1982 with a bachelor of business administration in management information systems.
He owned and operated a polling company, Magellan Research, in Las Vegas, Nevada for 11 years. He started the business while attending William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas. Following graduation and more training at Harvard University, he served as a judicial clerk for the Supreme Court of Nevada. He earned a master of law in trial advocacy at Temple University in 2008 and relocated to Navasota in 2012. He practiced law for more than 16 years.
He was active in the Navasota community, supporting chamber of commerce and economic development efforts as well as tourism events. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Navasota.
Editor & Publisher magazine featured Longabaugh and the Navasota Star in its November edition. He told E&P that he started the weekly to return a sense of community by focusing on local news about the people of Navasota.
The newspaper has ceased publication. The final edition, published March 9, was a memorial to Longabaugh and his contributions to the community.
He is survived by his wife, TJ Longabaugh, a brother, a sister, and several nieces and nephews.
Celebration of life services were held March 19 at the Navasota Center. Memorials may be made to the Navasota Kiwanis Club, Friends of Grimes County, Friends of the Navasota Animal Shelter or the Navasota VFW Post 4006.
DALLAS – A memorial service for longtime Dallas sportswriter David McNabb is set for 2 p.m. April 15 at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas.
McNabb, 60, a former Dallas Morning News sportswriter, died Feb. 26 of colon cancer in hospice care at his home in San Francisco, where he had lived for the last year.
Most of McNabb’s career was spent with The Dallas Morning News as either a staff writer or freelance journalist. His investigative reporting of Southern Methodist University football recruiting policies helped expose violations that led to the NCAA’s suspension of the program in 1987. He covered a wide range of sports and was considered an authority on Texas high school sports, especially football.
McNabb was born in Arlington, where he graduated from Sam Houston High School in 1974. He received a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1979. He worked briefly as an office-equipment salesman before continuing his education at the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.
In Austin, McNabb met Reid Laymance, now deputy sports editor at the Houston Chronicle, while the two worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan. In 1983, McNabb was back in Arlington writing for a community newspaper when Laymance, then The News’ high school sports editor, recruited him as a freelance writer.
McNabb joined the paper full time in 1985.
McNabb covered the Southwest Conference for The News, a beat that led to his work on the SMU scandal.
In 1978, McNabb married Lauren Tilley. After they divorced in 1994, McNabb asked to be transferred back to high school sports because travel requirements had made caring for his two young sons a challenge.
McNabb guided many young journalists at The News, including Jean-Jacques Taylor, now a columnist with ESPN.
McNabb left The News in a 2004 staff reduction, but he continued to freelance for the newspaper. He joined the staff at Parish Episcopal School, where he worked in communications for more than five years.
He remarried in 2000, and a year ago the McNabbs moved to San Francisco, where Lisbeth McNabb is an executive at a high-tech company. David McNabb continued writing for The News and was a contractor for WFAA-TV (Channel 8.) His last article for The News was published Dec. 29.
In addition to his wife, McNabb is survived by his sons, Darby McNabb, Max McNabb and Ben Tuttle; a sister and a brother.