Julian “Tex” Robertson was born in
Sweetwater, Texas, in 1909. At the age of 13, Tex learned to swim in a
flooded creek and practiced in a horse trough, and the next year won his
first race. In 1926 he was a YMCA national champion and represented the
U.S. Water Polo Team in the 1932 Olympics. From 1933 to 1935 he set new
collegiate and AAU records while winning individual and team national
championships for the University of Michigan.
Tex returned to Texas in 1935 to coach swimming at The University of Texas. During that time he was called to duty in World War II to oversee the training of the U.S. Navy underwater demolition teams. During his 13 years as coach, the Longhorns won 13 conference championships and finished high in the national rankings. In 1950 he was selected as NCAA Coach of the Year. Several of his swimmers would go on to represent the United States in the Olympics.
In 1939 Tex married Pat Hudson and together they founded Camp Longhorn near Burnet, Texas. In the camp's first year they had one camper and 16 UT swimmers serving as counselors. To date they have had more than 80,000 campers attend their two camps. While continuing his successful camping career Tex had a vision for the future of all Texas swimming. He created WETS (Working Exes for Texas Swimming), TAGS (Texas Age Group Swimming) and pioneered high school swimming in Texas.
Tex was a champion of the Burnet community’s youth; he taught children to swim for many years at Inks Lake. In 1963 he was instrumental in bringing the first public swimming pool to Burnet, which hosted the small high school sate championships for 30 years. Also, the first girls' high school and college state championship meets were held in Burnet’s pool in 1968. Tex competed at the Masters level for many years. Some of his Masters world records still stand. He was presented the gold medallion upon his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in May, 2003.