Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Class of 2021 Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 19
HOUSTON – The Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2021 class of Gridiron Legends inductees, the committee announced today. The honorees will be introduced at the 2021 Texas Kickoff game on Sept. 4 and will be inducted into the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on Jan. 4.
The class of 2021 features Lubbock, Texas native and Baylor standout Dennis Gentry, 17-time Texas state champion high school coach Keith Kilgore, Seven-time Pro Bowl and nine-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler, Baylor All-American and eight-time NFL All-Pro Mike Singletary, the winningest coach in Texas A&M history R.C. Slocum, five-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro cornerback Emmitt Thomas, Beaumont native and three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jerry Ball, University of Houston alumna and 2011 PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year Wade Phillips, Texas High School Hall of Fame and Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame inductee Steve Worster, University of Texas All-American and 2006 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Vince Young, and the patriarch of 7-on-7 football and co-creator of the Bayou Bowl Dick Olin.
Dennis Gentry is a Lubbock, Texas native who went on to garner 2,230 rushing yards, 382 receiving yards and 309 kick return yards as a multi-position athlete for the Baylor Bears from 1977 to 1981. As a junior in 1980, along with fellow Class of 2021 Gridiron Legend Mike Singletary, Gentry notched 1,003 total yards from scrimmage as a major contributor to the backfield that blazed the way to Baylor’s first 10-win season in program history and its sixth conference title. After appearing in 45 games for the Baylor Bears in four seasons, Gentry was selected by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He spent the entirety of his 11-year NFL career with the Bears and was a part of the 1985 Bears squad that went on to trounce the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX (46-10) and earned the reputation as one of the most dominant football teams of all time. Gentry finished his NFL career with 171 receptions for 2,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 764 yards and five touchdowns. However, his most notable role on the team was as a kick returner. He ranks second in career kick return yards for the Bears behind Devin Hester with 4,353 yards and is tied for the team’s all-time total kick returns with 192. In 1986, Gentry led the NFL with a 28.8-yards-per-return average. After retiring from football as a player, Gentry later served as the running backs coach for the XFL’s Chicago Enforcers in 2001 before the league closed operations. In their lone season, the Enforcers bounced back from an 0-4 start to win five of their last six regular season games and fell to the Los Angeles Xtreme in the semifinals of the XFL playoffs.
Keith Kilgore is a native of Houston and a graduate of Waltrip High School. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Abilene Christian University. Kilgore began his teaching and coaching career at Bellaire High School and, after serving his country in the U.S. Army, he returned to coach at Houston Lee High School and then at Hastings High School in Alief, Texas. He entered athletic administration as an assistant director in Alief and then moved to Fort Bend ISD (FBISD) as the director of athletics in 1992, where he spent the remaining 21 years of his career. Under his leadership in FBISD, there were 17 state championships and three national championships crowned along with numerous titles in various individual sports. Kilgore has been honored by the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association as a “Distinguished Service Award” recipient, inducted into the Texas High School Athletic Directors Hall of Honor, the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Honor and named the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association’s Award of Merit. He has served on the board of directors of the Touchdown Club of Houston for 27 years and was president of the organization from 2016-2017. Kilgore has chaired the prestigious High School Awards Dinner since joining the board of directors for the Touchdown Club of Houston. He and his wife Sherry have been married for 47 years. They have two sons (Kerry and Kory) and 2 grandsons (Grant and Rhett).
Seven-time Pro Bowl and nine-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler hails from East Bernard, Texas, and began his athletic career at East Bernard High School where he was a standout in football, basketball, baseball and golf. On the gridiron, Lechler played quarterback, punter and placekicker as he led East Bernard to the state quarterfinals his senior year. He finished his season having completed 87 of 101 (86.1%) of his passes and threw for 1,640 yards and 11 touchdowns. Throughout high school he averaged 41.6 yards per punt with a long of 85 yards. Lechler went on to play football for Texas A&M and proved himself to be a versatile athlete, earning snaps at punter, placekicker, holder for short field goals and PATs, and was the emergency quarterback. Due to his contributions in many different facets of the game, Aggie Head Coach R.C. Slocum called Lechler “the team’s most valuable player.” Lechler earned Freshman All-America honors in 1996 with a punting average of 42.7 yards and broke the Aggie single-season record for average yards per punt with 47.0 as a sophomore. He holds the NCAA record for career punt average with 44.7 yards per punt. Lechler finished his career at Texas A&M with three first-team All-Big 12 selections and an iconic NFL future still ahead of him. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, where he played for 13 seasons and set various NFL and Raiders records. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was named an All-Pro in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. During his time with the Raiders, he was a three-time NFL punting yards leader (2003, 2008 and 2009) and he is the owner of the NFL record for best career gross punting average (47.6). Lechler also has the five best single-season punting averages in Raiders history, including a career-best 51.1 in 2009, which is the second-highest single season average in NFL history. He had at least one punt of 50 yards or more in 33 consecutive games from Week 13 of 2003 through Week 14 of 2005, the longest streak since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970. Lechler appeared in 158 regular season contests for the Raiders and seven playoff games, including Super Bowl XXXVII. On March 13, 2013, Lechler signed a three-year deal with the Houston Texans, where he finished his career after five seasons. In 2013, Lechler recorded 88 punts for 4,189 yards for a 47.6 average, and in Week 10 he became just the sixth player in NFL history to reach the 50,000 punting yards mark. He maintained excellent punting yard averages throughout the rest of his career and once again led the league in punting yards with 4,507 in 2017. Lechler retired in the spring of 2019 after sitting out the 2018 season as a free agent. In December 2019, Lechler became the first Texans player to be named to the NFL 100 All-Time team. He is married to the former Erin Gibson, who was an All-American volleyball player at Texas A&M.
Mike Singletary was born as the youngest of 10 children in his family in Houston. He attended Evan E. Worthing High School where he established himself as a dominant force on the gridiron. In ninth grade, Singletary was an all-state guard and linebacker and went on to earn a football scholarship to play at Baylor University. As a linebacker for the Baylor Bears, Singletary earned All-America honors in his junior (1979) and senior (1980) seasons, when he averaged 15 tackles per game and set a team record with 232 tackles in 1978, including 35 in a game against the Houston Cougars. During his senior year in 1980, along with fellow Class of 2021 Gridiron Legend Dennis Gentry, Baylor won 10 games for the first time in school history. Singletary was the only college junior to be selected to the All-Southwest Conference Team of the 1970s. He is a two-time recipient of the Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy, which at the time was given to the most outstanding player in the southwestern United States before it became the quarterback-centric award that it is today. Singletary notched 97 tackles as a freshman, 232 (a school record) as a sophomore, 188 as a junior and 145 as a senior. His total of 662 tackles set a program record for most career tackles. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors three times and All-America honors twice. Singletary went on to be a second-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears in the 1981 NFL Draft, the 38th player selected overall. He stepped into his role as a starter in the Bears lineup in the seventh game of his rookie season. In his third game as a starter, Singletary recorded a memorable defensive performance with 10 tackles and a forced fumble against the Kansas City Chiefs. A near unanimous all-rookie selection, he went on to start 172 games for the Bears during his 12-year career, the second-most in club history. Singletary finished each of his last 11 seasons as the Bears’ first- or second-leading tackler. He finished his career with 1,488 career tackles, including 885 solo tackles, seven interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries. Selected to play in a team record 10 Pro Bowls, Singletary was All-Pro eight times and All-NFC every year from 1983 until 1991. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, Singletary was the cornerstone of the Bears’ innovative 46-defense. In 1985, he led a Bears’ defense that was ranked first in the league and allowed fewer than 11 points per game. The team went 15-1 and dominated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The Bears held the Patriots to a record low seven rushing yards, and Singletary contributed with two fumble recoveries. In 2003, Singletary began his coaching career as the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens. Following the 2004 season, the San Francisco 49ers hired Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to be their head coach, and Singletary left the Ravens to serve under Nolan as the 49ers’ assistant head coach and linebackers coach. He became the interim head coach of the 49ers after Nolan was fired in October 2008. After a 2-5 start, Singletary was able to lead the team to finish the season 5-4 under his leadership for a final record of 7-9. In December 2008, Singletary earned the long-term head coaching position and signed a four-year contract. After a strong 3-1 start to the 2009 season, the Singletary-led 49ers failed to reach the playoffs but finished with an 8-8 record, the team’s first non-losing season since 2002. The 2009 49ers produced five Pro Bowlers under Singletary’s leadership. After a disappointing 2010 campaign, the 49ers parted ways with Coach Singletary. He landed on his feet the following season after agreeing to join the Minnesota Vikings as the linebackers coach/assistant to the head coach. After being out of the league for two years, Singletary returned to the league as an advisor for the Los Angeles Rams’ defense. Since then, Singletary has had brief stints as head coach of the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express and Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, Texas. Singletary and his wife, Kim, have seven children.
R.C. Slocum was born and raised in Orange, Texas, and graduated from West Orange-Stark High School in 1963. He attended McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., where he earned a B.S. in physical education in 1967 and his M.S. in educational administration in 1968. He also played tight end for McNeese State’s football team for three seasons. Slocum began his coaching career as a football coach at Lake Charles High School in 1968. In 1970, he became a graduate assistant at Kansas State University under head coach Vance Gibson, also coaching the offensive linemen on the freshman team. In 1971, he was named head freshman coach. In 1972, Slocum was hired as receivers coach under Emory Bellard at Texas A&M. A year later he became the defensive ends coach, and in 1976, he became the linebackers coach. After a coaching change in 1978, he was named the new defensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 1979. Slocum left to serve as the defensive coordinator for the University of Southern California under John Robinson in 1981. He returned to Texas A&M in 1982 as defensive coordinator under Jackie Sherrill. In 1985, Slocum was elevated to assistant head coach. At last, in December 1988, Slocum replaced Sherrill to earn his first role as a long-term head coach. During his 14 years as head coach, he led the Aggies to a record of 123-47-2, making him the winningest coach in program history. Slocum never had a losing season and won four conference championships, including the Big 12 title in 1998 and two Big 12 South division crowns in 1997 and 1998. He reached 100 wins faster than any other active head coach and has the best winning percentage in Southwest Conference (SWC) history. Under his tenure, Slocum helped make Texas A&M’s Kyle Field one of the hardest places to play in the nation, losing just 12 home games in 14 years. Texas A&M owned the longest active home winning streak in the nation for much of 1994 and 1995. The Aggies lost just four times at Kyle Field throughout the 1990s. Slocum earned SWC Coach of the Year honors three times during his time as head coach. His “Wrecking Crew” defense led the SWC in four statistical categories from 1991 through 1993 and led the nation in total defense in 1991. Over 50 Aggies were drafted into the NFL that served under Slocum during his time as head coach. After 14 years as head coach, Slocum parted ways with Texas A&M in 2002. He immediately took a position as special adviser to Texas A&M President Robert Gates. In May 2012, Slocum was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In April 2019, he was named interim athletic director for Texas A&M. Slocum is married to the former Nel Jennings. Slocum has two sons, Shawn and John Harvey, and both are Aggie graduates.
Emmitt Thomas is an Angleton, Texas native who played just one season of high school football before attending Bishop College in Dallas. His baseball coach suggested he try out for the football team, and he emerged as a skilled wide receiver and occasional quarterback. Hailing from a small historically Black college, Thomas went undrafted in the 1966 NFL Draft but later proved to be one of the best undrafted free agents in league history. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him out of college and initially had him practicing as a wide receiver. He wound up playing cornerback, and in 1968, Thomas earned American Football League (AFL) All-Star honors. In 1969, Thomas led the AFL with nine interceptions, which he returned for 146 yards and a touchdown, helping his team win the AFL Championship and the fourth and final AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The next year, the NFL and AFL merged, and Thomas notched 12 interceptions in 1974, leading the league yet again. He also led the league with 214 interception return yards and two return touchdowns off interceptions. Thomas retired as a player after 13 seasons with the Chiefs and finished with 58 interceptions, which he returned for 937 yards and five touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro. Thomas was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Following his 181-game playing career, Thomas began a career in coaching. After two seasons in the college ranks, he moved to the NFL in 1981 where he began a long run as an assistant coach with various teams. He was hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as a receivers coach and spent four seasons with the team. He joined the coaching staff of the Washington Redskins in 1986 in the same role and was made secondary coach a year later. Thomas spent eight seasons with the Redskins before taking a job as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator. He worked under head coach Ray Rhodes and followed Rhodes when he became head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1999, assuming the same position. In Green Bay, alongside Rhodes and Offensive Coordinator Sherman Lewis, Thomas formed the first trio of African Americans to serve in the top three coaching slots of an NFL team (head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator). Thomas served as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings before joining the staff of the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 as the senior defensive assistant coach and secondary coach. Thomas was named interim head coach of the Falcons in December 2007 and was tasked with leading the team through the rest of the season. In 2010, Thomas accepted the position of defensive backs coach for the Chiefs, where he coached through 2018. Smith married his wife Jacqueline Heafley in 1983, and they remained married until her passing in 2017. He has a son and daughter and now lives in Las Vegas, Nev. doing various coaching duties.
Jerry Ball hails from Beaumont, Texas and attended Hebert High School, then after integration graduated from West Brook High School, where he was a two-way football star as a fullback on offense and defensive end and linebacker on defense. He rushed for 1,000 yards as a senior and helped lead his team to the 1982 5A State Championship. Ball was a first-team all-state selection on defense while earning All-District honors at three positions. He played college football at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he switched to nose tackle, became a four-year letter-winner and ranks fourth on the school’s all-time sack list. Ball was a four-year starter, three-time first-team All-SWC and two-time finalist for the Lombardi and Outland Trophies. Ball was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft. After an outstanding first year in the league, Ball posted 68 tackles and 18.5 sacks in his second season, including the one and only safety in the 10-year career of legendary running back, Eric Dickerson. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons, amassing 32.5 sacks, most of which came during his time as a nose tackle for the Lions. Ball spent his entire career being double-teamed and often triple-teamed by opposing teams due to his dominant presence on the defensive line. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1989, 1990 and 1991. In 1991, Ball was injured by a “chop block,” which was, at that time, legal. As a result, the NFL instituted the “Jerry Ball Rule,” which outlawed blocks of that type. Ball remained on the injured list through the end of that season and into 1992 as well. The following year, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns, and then to the Oakland Raiders. From 1997 to 1999, he played for the Minnesota Vikings. He anchored the 1998 Vikings defense when he re-emerged as a leader and dominant force on the Vikings’ record-setting team that finished with a 15-1 record. Ball has three daughters and now has his own Detroit-based clothing company licensed by the NFL, called Ice Box Sportswear.
Wade Phillips was born in Orange, Texas, and is the son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips. He attended Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas, and went on to play football at the University of Houston. As a Houston Cougar, Phillips was a three-year starter at linebacker from 1966-68, when he set a former school record for career assisted tackles (228). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant to Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston in 1969. The next year, he took a job as defensive coordinator at the former Lutcher Stark High School in Orange. In 1973, Phillips took a job coaching under his father as the linebackers coach at Oklahoma State. He later coached the defensive line at Kansas under head coach Bud Moore in 1975. The next year, Phillips made the leap to coaching in the NFL, where he started as a linebackers coach for the Houston Oilers under his father, the head coach, before transitioning to coaching the defensive line from 1977 to 1980. Wade Phillips remained on his father Bum’s staff as the two of them left for the New Orleans Saints. Wade stepped in to be the interim head coach of the Saints after Bud stepped down in 1985. He spent the next three years as the defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he oversaw defensive end Reggie White record 21 sacks in just 12 games in 1987. The Eagles went on to win the NFC East championship in 1988 under his guidance. Phillips then spent four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, where he helped the team reach Super Bowl XXIV. He earned his first official NFL head coaching gig for the Broncos in 1993, but was let go after the 1994 season. Phillips spent the next two seasons as defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills before stepping in to fill Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy’s shoes after his retirement. In 1998, Phillips was named the new Bills head coach. From 1998-2000, Phillips kept Buffalo in the playoff hunt and enjoyed a mostly successful coaching tenure. The team parted ways with him after the 2000 season, and he landed on his feet as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. In 2003, Phillips served a brief stint as the interim head coach of the Falcons prior to his move to the San Diego Chargers. He served as defensive coordinator for the Chargers for three seasons prior to accepting the head coaching job for the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. Chosen by Jerry Jones over candidates like Norv Turner, Ron Rivera and Jason Garrett, Phillips led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in his first season at the helm. After a 9-7 season in 2008, Phillips and the Cowboys bounced back to a division crown and an 11-5 record in 2009. Prior to the season, Phillips took over defensive coordinator duties in addition to his role as head coach. He earned his first playoff victory with a win over the Eagles, ending Dallas’ 12-year playoff win drought. After a disappointing start to the 2010 campaign, Phillips and the Cowboys parted ways, leading him to accept the defensive coordinator position with the Houston Texans in 2011. He earned recognition as the PFWA Assistant Coach of the Year after the Texans defense finished second in the NFL with 285.7 yards allowed per game. Phillips installed a 3-4 scheme that yielded the third-largest single-year improvement since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, reversing a unit that gave up 379.6 yards per game and ranked 31st in the NFL in 2010. The Texans’ head coach at the time, Gary Kubiak, collapsed in the middle of a game in November 2013, and Phillips had to step in as the interim coach for the squad. A month later, Kubiak and the Texans parted ways, opening the door for Phillips serve as interim head coach once again. In 2015, Phillips joined Kubiak’s staff with Broncos as the defensive coordinator. In his second stint in Denver, Phillips replaced his predecessor’s complex wait-and-react scheme with a simple style of going after the ball, making Denver the top-ranked defense that season. He helped the team to a 12-4 record and the number one seed in the AFC despite the team’s offensive troubles. The 2015 Broncos, anchored by Phillips’ dominant defense, went on to defeat the Carolina Panthers, who had the league’s top-ranked offense, in Super Bowl 50. After a successful run in Denver, he left to become the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. In Super Bowl LIII, Phillips’ defense was credited with keeping the New England Patriots and Tom Brady out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. Phillips finished his tenure with the Rams after a 9-7 campaign in 2019. In total, Phillips posted an 83-69 record, including regular season and playoffs, throughout his career as a head coach. Known as one of the game’s best defensive coordinators, various players under Phillips’ scheme have won Defensive Player of the Year honors, including Reggie White, Bryce Paup, Bruce Smith, J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald. Others have won Defensive Rookie of the Year, including Mike Croel and Shawne Merriman. Phillips and his wife, Laurie, met in 1964 at Port Neches-Groves High School, where he was the quarterback of the football team and she was the head cheerleader. They have a daughter, Tracy, and a son, Wes.
Steve Worster was born in Wyoming, but his family settled in Orange County, Texas, when he was a young boy. He attended Bridge City High School in Bridge City, Texas, where he played fullback on the football team and catcher in baseball. He earned All-District honors all four years, All-State honors for three years, and accumulated 5,422 yards during his high school career, including 38 100-yard games, which is second in Texas prep history. Worster led his high school team to a 13-1 season and the Class 3A state football championship in 1966, rushing for 2,210 yards and being named a High School All-American. He was later inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame. Worster accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Texas under head coach Darrell Royal. As a halfback, he became the cornerstone of Royal’s legendary wishbone formation. Nicknamed “Big Woo”, Worster ran for 2,353 with 36 touchdowns at Texas. He was a part of three Southwest Conference titles and two national championships. He was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, and he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1970. Worster has also been inducted into the Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. Worster was selected by the Los Angeles Rams as the 12th pick in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL Draft, but he did not play in the league. Worster spent one year in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats prior to pursuing a career in sales. He has two children, Scott and Erin, as well as four grandchildren: Evan, Morgan, Noah and Lukas.
Vince Young grew up in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood of Houston, Texas, where he attended Madison High School. He started at quarterback for three years and garnered 12,987 yards of total offense during his high school career. As a senior, he led his team to the Class 5A state semifinals where he threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown in a hard-fought loss to Austin Westlake. Young was named Parade’s and Student Sports’ National Player of the Year after compiling 3,819 yards and 59 touchdowns as a senior. He was named the 2001 Texas 5A Offensive Player of the Year, was designated as The Sporting News’s top high school prospect and was awarded the Pete Dawkins Trophy in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Young attended the University of Texas and played quarterback under Head Coach Mack Brown. As a redshirt freshman, he earned snaps halfway through the season after initially being second on the depth chart. As a redshirt sophomore, Young started every game and led the Longhorns to an 11-1 record and the school’s first-ever appearance in the Rose Bowl, in which they defeated Michigan. As a redshirt junior in 2005, Young led the Longhorns to an 11-0 regular season record, a Big 12 championship and a national championship. Young led the Longhorns to defeat the favored USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl, in which he accounted for 467 of total offense and three rushing touchdowns. He finished the season with 3,036 yards passing and 1,050 yards rushing, earning him the Davey O’Brien Award as well as All-American honors. Young finished his career at Texas with a 30-2 record as a starter and a .938 winning percentage as a starting quarterback, which ranks sixth best in Division I history. During his career at Texas, Young passed for 6,040 yards (No. 5 in Texas history) and 44 touchdowns (No. 4 in Texas history) while rushing for 3,127 yards (No. 1 on the school’s all-time QB rushing list/No. 7 on Texas’ all-time list) and 37 touchdowns. He was also No. 10 on ESPN/IBM’s list of the greatest college football players ever. Young entered the 2006 NFL Draft and was selected third overall by the Tennessee Titans. As a rookie, he set the former record for rushing yards by a rookie quarterback with 552. After a plethora of come-from-behind victories throughout the 2006 season, Young won the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and replaced Philip Rivers in the 2007 Pro Bowl. In 2007, Young passed for 2,459 yards with nine touchdowns and rushed for 395 yards with three touchdowns, leading the Titans team to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. The following year, Young suffered a knee injury and later assumed the backup role to Kerry Collins for the remainder of the 2008 season. After not starting for the first six games of the 2009 season, Young won eight of his 10 starts in fourth season in the league. The Titans began the year 0-6 and became the first team in NFL history to win five straight after losing their first six games. Young finished third in the bidding for NFL Comeback Player of the Year and was announced as the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year. Young appeared in his second Pro Bowl after taking a roster spot from an injured Philip Rivers yet again. After leading the Titans to a 4-5 record in nine of their first 10 games in 2010, Young suffered a thumb injury and played his last snap for the organization. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 and started three games. Young spent the final years of his NFL career with brief stints for the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns. Young re-enrolled at Texas for the 2008 spring semester, and in 2013, he graduated with a degree in youth and community studies. He continues to live in Houston’s Hiram Clarke neighborhood.
Dick Olin, the patriarch of 7-on-7 football in Texas, was the head coach for Clinton High School in Clinton, Iowa, for 12 seasons (1971-1982), the longest tenure in school history. He led Clinton to its first state championship in 1975. Later, Olin went on to take the head coaching job at Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas, for 17 seasons (1992-2008). At Lee, Olin had a successful run in which he posted a 106-78 total record with 11 playoff appearances and helped produce star quarterback talents like Jermain Alfred, Ell Roberson, Clint Stoerner, Brian Johnson and his stepson, Drew Tate. After his time at Lee High School, Olin accepted a position as head coach and athletic director for Lewisville High School in Lewisville, Texas. After three years of leading the athletic programs at Lewisville, he moved on to accept the role as offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin College in 2012. Olin is one of the founders of the state 7-on-7 summer football tournament and is a co-creator of the Bayou Bowl, the annual all-star game that airs on ABC13.
The 2021 Texas Bowl will feature teams from the Big 12 and SEC and will kick off in primetime on Tuesday, Jan. 4. The game, which has ranked fifth in bowl game attendance in the country behind only the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Peach Bowls since 2014, will air nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio with a local radio broadcast on SportsRadio 610 (KILT-AM).
Tickets remain for the 2021 Texas Kickoff game featuring the Texas Tech University Red Raiders and the University of Houston Cougars on Saturday, September 4 and can be purchased through the website at www.texaskickoff.com.