Known as one of the fiercest defensive stalwarts of the old Southwest Conference, Jerry Gray was instrumental in helping the Texas defense shut down some of the decade’s most high-powered offenses. He becomes the 15th Longhorn to be selected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First-Team All-American (consensus – 1983, unanimous – 1984), Gray led Texas to four consecutive bowl games, including a 1982 Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 2 final national ranking. He was a two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year (1983, 1984), and he helped the Longhorns win the 1983 conference title under coach Fred Akers. The two-time team MVP recorded 297 career tackles, 16 interceptions, and 20 pass breakups during his time in Austin.
Taken in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Gray enjoyed a nine-year career, playing for the Rams, Houston Oilers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and appearing in four Pro Bowls. Following his playing days, Gray spent time as a position football coach in both the college and professional ranks. He has served as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans since the 2011 season.
The Lubbock, Texas, native established the Jerry Gray Foundation for underprivileged youth, which provides athletic and academic scholarships. He also founded and coordinated the Jerry Gray/Young Life Skills and Leadership Football Camp, and he is active in the Boys and Girls Club of Orchard Park and the United Way. Gray became a member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1996.