John Richard Hoyle

February 2, 1935March 12, 2013

John Hoyle of College Station died Tuesday evening, March 12, from complications of leukemia. He was 78. John was the campus Muster speaker for 2012 and was one of America’s leading researchers and reformers in leadership education and an authority on the future of Education. John was born February 2, 1935 (he would be quick to tell you that was Groundhog Day) to Jess and Viola Hoyle in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. John graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa. He received his BS in 1957, his masters in 1963 and PhD in 1967 from the greatest institution of higher learning in the country, Texas A&M University. John attended A&M on an athletic scholarship and was a member of the Corp of Cadets. He played first base for the Southwest Conference Championship winning Aggie baseball team of 1955. Maybe more important than the championship ring or the degrees John collected at A&M were the stories and experiences that filled his memory and fueled his imagination. John was the author of the popular Good Bull series of books that detailed the humorous happenings of students before, during and after his university days. John’s son illustrated the books. John met his wife Carolyn while attending A&M and finally convinced her to go out with him. After a lot more convincing they were married in 1957. John chose education as his life’s work and after graduating from A&M he served as a teacher, coach and administrator in Odessa and Midland. John taught at TCU, Tulsa University and Miami University and, in 1975, came home again to Texas A&M where in 2009 he retired as Professor Emeritus, Educational Administration and Human Resource Development. Carolyn taught English at Blinn College before retiring. John and Carolyn have two children John Jr. and Laura. John and Carolyn shared their passion for education with their two children both of whom became educators. John Jr. is a counselor at CSMS and Laura teaches English at Timber Academy High School. He would often extol them to “stamp out ignorance one child at a time.” During his 34 year teaching career at A&M John received two Distinguished Teaching Awards, was selected as Professor of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 1982, was named one of the top four Exceptional Living Scholars in educational administration/leadership, received the first Living Legend Award in 1999 from the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, Received the 2008 Living Legend award from the Texas Professors of Educational Administration and received the coveted Golden Deeds Award for distinguished service to Texas Education. In 2007 The Texas A&M University Administrative Leadership Institute created the Hoyle Leadership Award in his honor. The award is given each year to a Texas school leader who makes a positive difference in the lives of students for the betterment of society. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the many young school principals, superintendents, and beginning professors that he encouraged and mentored. In addition to the Good Bull series John wrote several books on education thatcan be found on the shelves of many school superintendents and administrators. Preparing Exemplary Principals and Superintendants: Leadership Education at Its Best, Leadership and Futuring: Making Visions Happen, Superintendants as CEO: Standards- Based Performance, Leadership and the Force of Love: Six Keys to Motivating with Love and Professional Standards for Superintendency have become mandatory reading for educators across America and many countries abroad. John created over 150 scholarly publications over his 40 years in higher education. Many school districts in the state, and throughout the country, are run and administered by former students that John taught and mentored. John was selected by his peers to serve on the first A&M faculty Senate and the executive committee. He served on the A&M Athletic Council and John and Carolyn have taken three groups of education students to A&M’s study abroad center in Italy. Both a Fish Camp and a T Camp have been named for him. In 2012 John received what he felt was his highest honor when he was invited to be the A&M campus Muster speaker. His speech at Reed Arena was moving, humorous and engaging. In the spring and throughout the summer you could find John and Carolyn in their seats behind home plate at Olson field cheering on the Aggie Baseball team (and often you could hear John letting “Blue” have it when John thought he missed a call.) In the fall and winter John was there with the other 80,000 plus faithful sawing varsities horn’s off at Kyle Field. When a burnt orange clad visitor found herself sitting just a row in front of John and rooting for the Horns one cold Thanksgiving evening, he informed her politely (well, fairly politely) that she was in the wrong section to pull for the Horns quite so loudly. John was an active member of First Christian Church in Bryan, serving as elder, board chair, choir member, building campaign chairman and wherever he was needed. John was a teacher, a public speaker, a writer, an athlete, an Aggie, a husband, a father, a grandfather. His children graduated from A&M, his daughter-in-law is an Aggie, one grandson and his wife graduated from A&M and another is currently attending there. His granddaughter is a freshman this year at A&M and he has another grandson attending Sam Houston State . He was a patriarch in the true sense of the word. If you attend a gathering of the Hoyle’s you hear stories. They tell stories the way some people eat, with gusto and with passion. Mostly you hear stories about Paw Paw, the name his grandchildren bestowed upon him. They are stories of him taking them to get their books before the first day of the new semester. They are tales of fishing expeditions and how even renting a movie could become an adventure. They are words of love. Softly call the roll … John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Anna Carolyn Hoyle; son John Richard Hoyle Jr. and wife Julie; daughter Laura Leigh Sanders; a sister Beverly Dover and her husband Doice Dover of Sand Springs Oklahoma; a brother, Jay Hoyle and his wife Jill Hoyle of Kingsport Tennessee; grandchildren David Sanders and wife Gloria, Michael Sanders, Winston Hoyle and Jennifer Hoyle; two nephews, Richard and David Dover. The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 16 at First Christian Church in Bryan. Interment will be private. Visitation for family and friends will be Friday March 15 from 5:00 – 7:00 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station. The family requests that memorials be made to First Christian Church, 900 South Ennis in Bryan, or to Hospice Brazos Valley.


  • Visitation Friday, March 15, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 16, 2013

John Richard Hoyle

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Alfred Ray

October 16, 2017

I was fortunate to have known John for over 20 years. I first came to A&M as a baseball player in 1979, playing first base, the same job John had held 20 years prior. We really connected when I came back to A&M for my doctorate in Ed Ad in 1992. John was always the most encouraging and supportive professor. He served on my committee and followed my career throughout his life. He was my mentor, my friend, my "GOOD BULL" buddy, and fellow baseball enthusiast. I really miss John being there.

Shonnie Scheer

April 7, 2013

Unfortunately, I was not one of the students that went on daily runs with Dr. Hoyle here in Castiglion Fiorentino in 1996.  I was not a runner.  He was still head coach in all other areas of my life for the next 17 years.  The last time he visited me in this special place where he first brought me as a young 20 year old, where I found my soul mate and father of my children that same semester, his jovial laughter of the evening turned to seriousness.  He looked into my eyes and said, "Don't forget YOUR dreams." 

It is as if he ran the first leg of a relay for all of us.  He has passed the baton to each one of us and said, "Run!" with a grin and a laugh.  We have been training all our lives for this moment.  It is our turn to pick up where he left off.  I am sure we will continue to hear his guidance if we stop occasionally to be still enough to listen.  We will feel his approval each time we impact someone's life.  There will be nobody else like him.  There is nobody else like each of us either though.  He showed that to us and he would want us to remember...and to teach it to others.  I will run as fast as I can for my leg of the race.  He will cheer and hug me as I pass the baton to the next he will for you.

David Herrington

April 6, 2013

Carolyn, I was stunned to learn of John's passing. I remeber him as an energetic man always going somewhere, doing something important. I know the loss must be difficult. May you receive comfort from your family and friends.

David Herrington
Class of '93.

Cynthia Hoyle

April 2, 2013

When I was growing up and my father, and his cousin John, would get together they would tell the most amazing and hilarious stories on each other. I wish I had videos of these stories and the joy of the times together. Losing John and my father in the same week was hard but I try to remember this quote "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss. I will always remember John's joy and passion for life and the fun we had when he was around.

William Kritsonis

March 30, 2013

John Hoyle was a great person and educator. He was an inspiration for many professors, school administrators, and teachers. John Hoyle has left a long lasting legacy.

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Theresa Bryant

March 29, 2013

John was a treasure. Beloved classmate 1953 Will Rogers High School. A true gentleman and scholar. We always looked forward to his visits to Tulsa. He never forgot his friends. He has left enduring footsteps. May God continue to bless his loving wife and family. Sincerely, Theresa MacDiarmid Bryant - Grand Lake

Gretchen Purdum Coffey

March 28, 2013

"My friend John" was so special we talked every day in High School and his spirit is dear to my heart. John and Carolyn were soul mates This unforgettable human being will give heaven a new dimension and I look forward to share more unforgettable moments when we met again. Love, Gretchen

March 27, 2013

Dear Hoyle Family,

Dr. Hoyle was a wonderful human being, he was so inspirational. He made each student feel important and valued.

You have our deepest sympathy,

Doctoral Student Leticia Duncan-Brosnan

Larry Roseborough

March 26, 2013

I knew john from the time he was about 14 years old, when we played baseball together. Needless to say, life was never dull when he was around. My very best to Carolyn, whom I knew well at TCU. Some people are/were just special. "Spider" was one of those.

March 26, 2013

It is so good to read the younger generation applaude many lives that he has touched in so many ways. We all have lost a great treasure, but what a blessing to have known him...Blessings and peace to his family and all that will miss him.
Ginger Stinson Jackson, WRHS 1953