Obituary E.A. Snapp

Snapp Devotes Life Working With Youths

Presenting a man who has devoted more than three decades to working with youths - and some adults - in health and physical education, and still has the enthusiasm of a sophomore.

He's E. A. Snapp (his real name is Edward Arnold Snapp, I find after these many years).

Snapp now is athletic trainer for Houston's high schools, and if he's not fitted for the job, I don't know who is.

I first came in contact with him back in the 30's, and he was a veteran in his business of training, coaching, handling of youngsters, then.

He was full of drive and vitality in his chosen field then, but no more than now in his new assignment.

He coached the first basketball team at the University of Houston where they received their first official varsity letters in 1942.

He organized big time swimming meets in Houston.

He was the first to introduce and teach physical education at Kinkaid in 1924 at a schoolhouse in Elgin.


He has coached championship teams in junior highs, national championship volleyball teams, champion swimmers.

At far from a tender age he taught group physical education to service trainees at the University of Houston during the war.

Then he was a civilian instructor in physical education for the Naval Air Cadets at the same school.

And if you think you can't teach an old dog new tricks, forget it as far as Snapp is concerned. He's still studying. He worked at night studying for a degree in health and physical education at the University of Houston, got it in 1944.

He came here from Clinton, Mo., back in 1922, leaving a job as a director of physical education there to join the local Y.M.C.A as director of boys physical education.

He first joined the Houston public school system in 1930 as P.E. instructor at Johnston Junior High. He was there for 11 years.

He also has been at Lanier, Edison and Hamilton junior highs.


He spent four years as swimming coach at the Houston Country Club, and in 1945 moved to Golfcrest Country Club.

While there he inaugurated a series of big time swim meets, water pageants and water shows - but he was mostly interested in his boy, E.A., Jr., who was 20 then, fighting the results of polio in the swimming pool.

He never missed a day in the pool under the watchful eye of his father ... and he whipped the disease. The son is now fully recovered, is a graduate physical therapist and has two clinics.

The summer of 1955 Snapp added coaching the Spring Branch Dad's Club swimming team to his other duties.

He has developed a fine team there, has such promising youngsters as Bill Baker and Joan Spillane. The latter already has broken the Junior Olympic record of the 50-meter event with a time of 52.4.

And when he's not busy coaching or instructing physical training, or taking care of athletic injuries, he's teaching an adult class at Central Park Methodist Church, a chore he's been doing for 12 years.

He's a chairman of the board of stewards.

He's a past president of the Texas Health and Physical Education and Recreation Assn., head judge of the water tower diving in the 1954 Olympics, coached the women's volleyball team in the Pan-American games for the United States in 1955.

He's a very busy young man. He doesn't admit his age.

Afraid he'll start acting it.

The Houston Post, July 24, 1955, by Dick Freeman, Sports Editor. Extracted from a paper clipping provided by Joan Spillane