The Inaugural Class
E.J. Holub, Donny Anderson and Dave Parks will formally be inducted into the Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor Saturday.
Aug. 31, 2012
by Britton Drown
LUBBOCK, Texas - For E.J. Holub, it's quite easy to properly translate the emotions connected with being selected as a member of the inaugural Texas Tech Football Ring of Honor induction class. In fact, within minutes of discussing the newly established symbol of elite Texas Tech football alumnus, Holub immediately declared it the most rewarding moment of his career.
"It's the top," he said with little hesitation. "Because everything that I've ever done started at Tech."
Now his prolific career, along with those of Donny Anderson and Dave Parks, will forever be engraved into Texas Tech history as their names and unprecedented careers will be the first cemented into the Ring of Honor Saturday during the Red Raiders' 2012 season-opener against Northwestern State.
Each of their names will be permanently etched into the west side of Jones AT&T Stadium in clear view to each and every fan who enters the stadium on fall Saturdays.
"It's the highest award that football players can receive at Texas Tech," Anderson said. "I'm very proud of the fact that I have been a Red Raider. That is one of the proudest things that I have carried with me throughout the years."
The Ring of Honor was announced this summer as a way to permanently enshrine an elite group of players and coaches who have made a significant impact on the Texas Tech football program.
"The Ring of Honor will be a tremendous addition to the legacy and heritage of Red Raider Football," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "The careers of those that we will celebrate in this Ring of Honor brought national recognition to this university and left an incredible mark on our football program."
That particular recognition was quite unique for Holub who lettered at Texas Tech from 1958-1960 as a center and linebacker. His remarkable career had previously been recognized and honored in a myriad of ways including the formal retirement of his jersey - but this had a different feel.
"It's still kind of unbelievable," Holub said.
Yet the unparalleled careers of Anderson, Holub and Parks at Texas Tech may have been even more unbelievable. Each paved their own unprecedented path in Texas Tech history, and they will forever be remembered by members of the Texas Tech family.
The three engravings will honor their careers, yes, but more importantly it will tell their stories.
Andersons' will tell the story of how he was a consensus first team All- American in 1964 and 1965. In those final two seasons as a Red Raider he dominated as a running back in the Southwest Conference - so much so he earned the nickname the `Golden Palomino' on his way to finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1965 and being named the Co- National Player of the Year.
Anderson later was drafted in the first round of both the AFL and NFL drafts and went on to play six seasons with the Green Bay Packers and four seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
"Without your team," Anderson said. "And without the teammates you play with during that era you couldn't achieve anything. All of the teammates that I played with that contributed to our victories during those seasons, it wouldn't have happened without them."
Alongside Anderson, Holub's engraving will tell the story of firsts. How he was the first Texas Tech inductee into the National College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 1986 class. How he was the first Texas Tech player named to the All-Southwest Conference team in 1960 and later went on to earn first team All-America honors during both the 1959 and 1960 seasons.
Holub became a first round selection in the AFL Draft by the Dallas Texans where he was a five-time All-Pro and became the first player in school history to start two Super Bowls at two different positions as a linebacker and center. He won a world championship with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1970.
Parks' will tell the story of how he was the first Red Raider to be selected as the top overall pick in the 1964 NFL Draft. It will tell of how he was the overall team MVP in back-to-back seasons from 1962-63. Parks was consensus first team All-America selection by eight separate news organizations including the Associated Press, Sporting News and Time Magazine.
But perhaps the most significant evidence of their impact at Texas Tech is displayed by the fact that Holub, Anderson and Parks are the only Red Raiders in school history to have their jerseys formally retired.
Those jerseys currently reside in the Football Training Facility and hover above the entrance to the Texas Tech locker room.
"They were unanimous choices to be the first inductees into the Ring of Honor," Hocutt said. "Their careers and accomplishments were unprecedented at Texas Tech and induction into the Ring of Honor will remind present and future generations of their impact on Red Raider Football."
The stories of these remarkable Red Raiders will be forever and fittingly engraved into Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday in what will become one of the most prominent reminders of the greatest Red Raiders of all-time.
"It's probably the ultimate compliment to bestow on someone," Anderson said. "The Ring of Honor stands out not only for the individual, but for the teammates that were a part of a person's life. You couldn't do it without them. It allows Texas Tech to expose the names of some great
athletes that wore the red and black."