Texas Tech football great Gabe Rivera passed away last night at the age of 57. He is one of the few players in the Texas Tech ring of honor, and he was a very impressive football player. He not only was a great player but a great person.
Rivera was originally recruited to Texas Tech as a tight end and linebacker. He came in weighting 230 pounds and grew to 290 pounds when he switched positions to defensive tackle. “Señor Sack” was the nickname given to Rivera, he earned it by not only being the best defensive player on the team, but becoming one of the best in the country. He totaled over 300 tackles in his career to go along with 14 sacks and six fumble recoveries. He holds the most tackles be a defensive lineman in a single season in school history with 105.
1982 was a great year for Rivera, as he was named an All-American at defensive tackle. He not only earned that award, he was named the Southwest Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. He was on track to have a great NFL career and was even taken in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His career was tragically cut short by a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Señor Sack was still an active member of the community, volunteering his time when he could. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2014, he was inducted in the Ring of Honor at Texas Tech University, where his name will live in fame forever.
Our thoughts are with his friends, family, and the entire Texas Tech community in this extremely difficult time.