Zach Thomas Inducted Into College Football Hall of Fame
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Former Texas Tech All-American Zach Thomas has now done something only four other Red Raiders have done: he's been inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.
The ceremony took place on Tuesday, December 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Thomas joins Tech greats Gabe Rivera (2012), Dave Parks (2008), Donny Anderson (1989) and E.J. Holub (1986) in the College Football Hall of Fame. Thomas Played at Tech from 1992 -1995 earning 1st team All-American honors in both 1994 and 1995. The 1995 selection was a unanimous selection.
Thomas was one of 15 members of the 2015 Hall of Fame Class that also consisted of coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Jim Tressell (Youngstown State/Ohio State) as well as players such as Trev Alberts (Nebraska), Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma), Bob Bruenig (Arizona State), Sean Brewer (Millsaps), Ruben Brown (Pittsburgh), Wes Chandler (Florida), Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame), Dick Jauron (Yale), Clinton Jones (Michigan State), Lincoln Kennedy (Washington), Rob Lytle (Michigan), Michael Payton (Marshall), Art Still (Kentucky) and Ricky Williams (Texas).
"Zach Thomas is one of the great Texas Tech football players of all time," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "His spirit, determination and work ethic were an inspiration to his teammates and coaches and 20 years later we continue to admire and celebrate all that he was able to accomplish. This is a tremendous honor for Zach, his family and for Texas Tech and we are grateful that he will forever be acknowledged as one the game's elite players."
Overlooked by most Division I schools due to his size, former Texas Tech head coach Spike Dykes saw something in Thomas that other didn't. His gamble paid off as Thomas went on to become a unanimous first-team All-American and enjoyed a 13-year career in the National Football League.
"It's a huge honor for both Zach and our program for him to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame," said Texas Tech football Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury. "He was such an incredible player not only in college, but also in the NFL. Zach is one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the game."
During his career, he led the Red Raiders to three bowl games and a Southwest Conference Championship in 1994. He was named the consensus Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the year in both 1994 and 1995 and was a finalist for the Butkus Award in 1995.
Thomas currently ranks fifth all-time with 390 career tackles, including 131 during his senior season. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and went on to become a seven-time Pro Bowl selection.