HOUSTON – The Texas Bowl Committee announced the members of the second class of Texas Gridiron Legends Monday. Headlining the group is former University of Houston head coach Bill Yeoman.
Yeoman was the head coach at Houston from 1962 to 1986 and is the Cougars' all-time winningest head coach with a record of 160-108-8. Yeoman led the Cougars to four top-10 finishes and 10 top-20 seasons in his 25 seasons. He guided the Cougars to four Southwest Conference Championships – 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1984 – and a 6-4-1 record in bowl games, including Cotton Bowl victories over Maryland in 1977 and Nebraska in 1980.
Yeoman introduced the 'Veer' offense to college football, and his Cougars were known for their high-powered attack. Houston led the nation in total offense for three consecutive years from 1966-68, averaging 437 yards per game in 1966, 427 in 1967 and a then-record 562 yards per game in 1968. That 1968 team also led the nation in scoring, averaging 42.5 points per game.
In 1976, Houston's first year as a member of the Southwest Conference, Yeoman was named Texas Coach of the Year and runner-up for National Coach of the Year. Yeoman was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. He coached 46 All-Americans and 69 NFL players.
Yeoman was also a trailblazer off the field. In 1964, he broke the color barrier for major Texas football programs when he signed an African-American recruit from San Antonio named Warren McVea to a scholarship.
Joining Bill Yeoman in the 2007 class of Texas Gridiron Legends are Elvin Bethea, Chris Gilbert, Corby Robertson, Dave Campbell, Ray Childress and Mike Renfro.
Elvin Bethea, 1968-1983, Houston Oilers
Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea played his entire professional career with the Houston Oilers, playing in 210 games at defensive end, including 135 consecutive games from 1968-77. Bethea was one of the most dominant defensive ends in football during his time and finished his career with 105 sacks.
Bethea played in eight all-star games in his 16-year career, including three Pro Bowls, four AFC-NFC All-Star games and one AFL All-Star game. Bethea helped lead the Oilers to consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Chris Gilbert, 1966-1968, University of Texas
Chris Gilbert was the first player in NCAA history to gain 1,000 yards in each of the seasons for which he was eligible. Gilbert played for coach Darrell Royal's Longhorns from 1966 through the initial year of the famed Wishbone offense in 1968.
Gilbert was a three-time All-SWC back who rushed for more than 100 yards 15 times and had four 200-yard efforts. He earned team MVP honors in each of his three seasons and finished his career as the school's and the Southwest Conference's all-time leading rusher with 3,231 yards, which ranked third on the NCAA all-time list at the time.
Following graduation, Gilbert was drafted by the New York Jets but chose to enter private business in Texas. He was elected to the National College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
Corby Robertson, 1966-1968, University of Texas
Corby Robertson was a three-year football letterman at the University of Texas from 1966-68, earning All-American honors for both athletic and academic achievement. Robertson was an All-American linebacker in 1967 and earned All-Southwest Conference accolades in 1966. He earned a B.B.A. with honors from The University of Texas at Austin, and following graduation he went on to a highly successful career in the business world.
Robertson is CEO of Quintana Minerals Corp. and Natural Resource Partners, and serves on numerous corporate Boards of Directors. Robertson was elected to the University of Texas Longhorn Hall of Honor for football in 1993 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2002.
Dave Campbell, 1960-present, Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine
Dave Campbell is best known as the publisher of Dave Campbell's Texas Football, an annual football preview magazine which has long been considered the "Bible" of football in the state. Prior to starting the magazine, Campbell was a writer and editor for the Waco Tribune-Herald.
He published the first edition of *Texas Football *out of his kitchen in 1960. After 48 years, Campbell remains the magazine's Editor-in-Chief to this day. He also chairs the selection committee for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Ray Childress, 1985-1996, Houston Oilers, Dallas Cowboys
Ray Childress was a five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the Houston Oilers from 1985-95 before finishing his career in Dallas in 1996. He earned one Pro Bowl nod at defensive end before moving inside to tackle when the Oilers shifted to a 4-3 defense in 1990, and he proceeded to earn four more Pro Bowl trips at tackle.
The Oilers made Childress the third overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M, where he had been a two-time All-American for the Aggies. Childress left Texas A&M with the school record for sacks by a non-linebacker, with 25. Today, Childress serves as chairman and CEO of Ray Childress Auto Group.
Mike Renfro, 1978-1987, Houston Oilers, Dallas Cowboys
Mike Renfro played his entire football career within the state of Texas, from high school through the NFL. Born in Fort Worth, Renfro was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection at wide receiver while playing at TCU. He was a fourth-round selection by the Houston Oilers in the 1978 NFL Draft and played for the Oilers from 1978-83.
Renfro also played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1984-87. He finished his 10-year career with 323 catches for 4,708 yards and 28 touchdowns. Perhaps his most memorable catch was one that wasn't—a touchdown in the 1980 AFC Championship Game vs. Pittsburgh that was ruled out of bounds despite TV evidence to the contrary.