Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

About Southwestern

Life Trustee

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Dr. Red McCombs ’49

San Antonio

Dr. Red McCombs is a highly successful businessman in a number of industries—including automotive, oil and gas, real estate, broadcasting, and professional sports—and a noted philanthropist.  He began his career in 1950 as an automobile salesman in Corpus Christi.  In 1958 he and a colleague moved to San Antonio and founded what became the Red McCombs Automotive Group, which became the sixth largest automotive dealer chain in the United States.  In the 1960s he formed Houston-based McCombs Energy and Koontz-McCombs development company and during the 1970s built a San Antonio radio station into Clear Channel Communications.  In 1972 he founded the San Antonio Spurs and later owned the NBA Denver Nuggets and the NFL Minnesota Vikings. His business success is reflected by his receipt of the Texas Legend Award from the Texas Automotive Dealers Association, the Living Legend Award from the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, and honors conferred by the National Automobile Hall of Fame, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.  The business school at The University of Texas bears his name. 

Dr. McCombs has been actively involved in a number of local, statewide, and national civic, charitable, and social organizations.  Among other things, he has served as the chairman of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and is an influential member of the Alamo Endowment Board, which focuses on the preservation and management of the Alamo mission in downtown San Antonio. 

Red attended Southwestern, where he played football, prior to entering military service. He served on the Southwestern Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2014, chairing the board from 1992 to 2000, and in 2014, was named a life trustee and the board’s honorary chair.  Red was honored by Southwestern as a distinguished alumnus in 1990 and awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1997.


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