Gabe Rivera becomes the fourth Red Raider inducted into the hall of fame.
May 15, 2012
Gabe Rivera (aka Senor Sack), one of the most dominant football student-athletes in Texas Tech history, will take his rightful place with the greatest players in the collegiate game with induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made earlier this morning at a news conference held by the National Football Foundation at the NASDAQ MarketSite, located in Times Square in New York. Rivera joins 13 other players and three coaches in this year's hall of fame class and becomes the fourth Red Raider to be enshrined.
"Texas Tech is proud this honor has been bestowed on Gabe Rivera and it is well deserved," Texas Tech President Guy Bailey said. "Through his prowess as a defensive lineman and his ability to disrupt an opposing backfield, Gabe is forever etched as one of the great players in Red Raider history, and the college football community is recognizing that with its highest honor."
The 2012 Hall of Fame Class consists of: Charles Alexander, RB, LSU; Otis Armstrong, RB, Purdue; Steve Bartowski, QB, California; Hal Bedsole, SE, USC; Dave Casper, TE, Notre Dame; Ty Detmer, QB, BYU; Tommy Kramer, QB, Rice; Art Monk, WR, Syracuse; Greg Myers, DB, Colorado State; Jonathan Ogden, Offensive Tackle, UCLA; Gabe Rivera, DL, Texas Tech; Mark Simoneau, LB, Kansas State; Scott Thomas, Safety, Air Force; John Wooten, Offensive Guard, Colorado; Phillip Fulmer, Head Coach, University of Tennessee; Jimmy Johnson, Head Coach, Miami; R.C. Slocum, Head Coach, Texas A&M . The class will be inducted into the hall of fame at the 2012 National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on December 4, while the enshrinement will take place in the summer of 2013.
Three other Red Raiders have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, with the last enshrinement coming in 2008 when Dave Parks was honored. E.J. Holub was Tech's first member of the hall as he was enshrined in 1986 and was followed by Donny Anderson in 1989.
"The National Football Foundation has recognized one of the greatest Texas Tech players to wear the Double T in Gabe Rivera," Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt noted. "His impact on our football program was tremendous and his legacy at Texas Tech will be forever. We are grateful that his career has been recognized at the national level with induction into college football's most exclusive fraternity."
Rivera dominated the Southwest Conference during his four-year career that spanned from 1979-1982. One of the most feared defensive linemen in college football, Rivera compiled 321 career tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 11 pass deflections and six fumble recoveries. He garnered consensus First-Team All-America honors his senior season in 1982 while also being named an Honorable-Mention All-American as a sophomore in 1980. In 1993, Rivera was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor and then to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
"On behalf of every Red Raider that has been part of the Texas Tech Football program, I congratulate Gabe Rivera on his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame," Texas Tech Head Football Coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Induction into the Hall of Fame is the greatest honor that a college football player can receive and Gabe's career at Texas Tech was undoubtedly worthy of this honor."
Following an appearance in the Blue-Gray All-Star game at the end of his senior season, he was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rivera now resides in San Antonio.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual, NCAA Football, and Under Armour."For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org