Gabe Rivera Set For Oct. 13 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute
October 10, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Gabe Rivera with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments®, on Oct. 13 in Lubbock, Texas, during the game between Texas Tech and West Virginia. Coverage of the game will start at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC.
"Texas Tech is proud this honor has been bestowed on Gabe Rivera, and it is well deserved," Texas Tech President Guy Bailey said in May when it was announced Rivera would be inducted. "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 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
The most accomplished defensive lineman in Texas Tech history, Gabe Rivera was a consensus All-American as a senior in 1982. Rivera occupied a defensive tackle spot for Texas Tech from 1979-82.
"Gabe Rivera is a key figure in the history of Southwest Conference football," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "His impact was forever secure in Texas Tech football lore, and now it will live forever among the greatest to ever play the game. It will be a thrill to honor in front of the Texas Tech faithful at Jones Stadium."
Carrying the nickname "Señor Sack", Rivera averaged 80 tackles per season from his defensive tackle spot. He compiled 62 solo tackles, 43 assists, 10 TFL, five sacks, 25 quarterback pressures and eight pass breakups during his All-America campaign in 1982. He was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1980 and 1981, and earned First Team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1982 and Second Team All-SWC accolades in 1981.
Rivera becomes the fourth Texas Tech player to be inducted, including previous honorees (with year of induction in chorological order) Dave Parks (2008), Donny Anderson (1989) and E.J. Holub (1986). Including the 2012 FBS class, only 918 players and 200 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million people who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years. In other words, only two ten thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, December 4. This year's hall of fame class includes: Charles Alexander (LSU), Otis Armstrong (Purdue), Steve Bartkowski (California), Hal Bedsole (Southern California), Dave Casper (Notre Dame), Ty Detmer (BYU), Tommy Kramer (Rice), Art Monk (Syracuse), Greg Myers (Colorado State), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Gabe Rivera (Texas Tech), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), Scott Thomas (Air Force), John Wooten (Colorado), and coaches Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami [Fla.]) and R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M). For more information, please contact Will Rudd at email@example.com or by calling 972-556-1000.