Red McCombs to be Honored as 2009 Boss of the Plains

Red McCombs will be honored on May 15, for his professional success and support of the of the National Ranching Heritage Center.

Written by Marsha Pfluger

Red McCombs is owner of Red McCombs Automotive and co-founder of Clear Channel Communications and McCombs Energy Corp.

Red McCombs is owner of Red McCombs Automotive and co-founder of Clear Channel Communications and McCombs Energy Corp.

San Antonio businessman Red McCombs has been selected to receive the 2009 Boss of the Plains Award from the Ranching Heritage Association, based in Lubbock. It will be presented during an award dinner following a 6:30 p.m. reception, May 15, at the Lubbock Country Club, 3400 Mesa Road.

The award will be presented by former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe with opening remarks by Texas Tech University Chancellor and former U.S. Cong. Kent Hance.

The annual award recognizes McCombs’ generosity to the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) museum and historical park. Created in 1999, the Boss of the Plains is presented annually and reserved for individuals who are highly regarded in their professions and who have provided noteworthy support for the NRHC.

A charter member of the RHA’s National Advisory Board, McCombs has provided financial support toward several of the Heritage Campaign projects, including making possible the impressive Red McCombs Main Gallery in the museum’s new north addition.

A well-known businessman, McCombs was born in Spur, and attended Southwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin in both the School of Business and School of Law.

Service and Honors

McCombs has served leadership roles in many national, state and local organizations. He served as chairman of the board of trustees of Southwestern University where he was honored as Distinguished Alumnus, and he served as chairman of the board of visitors of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

McCombs was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, where he was honored when the nationally acclaimed business school was renamed the Red McCombs School of Business. He also has been honored with numerous local, state and national recognitions including the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame, San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame, the National Automobile Dealers Hall of Fame and the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Recently, the National Football Foundation presented him with the College Hall of Fame honor in New York, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame recognized him with the first annual Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement in Sports Award.

McCombs is the former owner of the NFL Minnesota Vikings, the NBA Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs, which he secured for the city in 1972. At age 25, he purchased his first professional sports team, the Corpus Christi Clippers in the Big State Baseball League.

McCombs married the former Charline Hamblin in Corpus Christi in 1950. Their daughters, Lynda McCombs, Marsha Shields and Connie McNab, and their families, including eight grandchildren two great-grandchildren, all reside in San Antonio.

The Boss of the Plains comes from the Stetson Hat Co., whose founder, John B. Stetson, created the first true hat of the American West. The hat and its name were the first registered by Stetson in its long and colorful history. Stetson, recognizing the significance of the Boss of the Plains Award, authorized its use and its name to honor those who lead the way in supporting the National Ranching Heritage Center.

Past Recipients:

  • 1999 - Tom and Evelyn Linebery
  • 2000 - John F. Lott Sr.
  • 2001 - John R. "Rich" Anderson
  • 2002 - Eugene F. Williams Jr.
  • 2003 - Anne W. Marion
  • 2004 - Clarence and Dorthy Scharbauer
  • 2005 - Ruth Lowrance
  • 2006 - Bob Macy
  • 2007 - Jerry M. Worthy
  • 2008 - James L. Burkhart

Individual tickets for the Boss of the Plains Award reception and dinner are $50. A reserved table seating six is $500; a table of eight is $750. Call (806) 742-0498 or e-mail Tim Bynum to make reservations.