With Texas Tech’s football season only four weeks old, the Red Raiders have only three home games left. Rodney Allison’s trying to pack as much into those weekends as he can.
The former Texas Tech quarterback, who took over as director of the Double T Varsity Club on July 1, is planning reunions for some of Tech’s most successful teams in conjunction with the remaining home games.
The 1953 Gator Bowl team that went 11-1 will have a 60-year reunion the weekend of the Red Raiders’ Oct. 12 game against Iowa State. The 1973 Gator Bowl team that also finished 11-1 will have a 40-year reunion the weekend of the Red Raiders’ Nov. 9 game against Kansas State.
Also on the weekend of Nov. 9, all exes that played between 2000 and 2012 will be welcomed back to campus.
The reunions are some of the first such special events that Allison wants to organize for former players in every sport.
“It’s to reach out to every single athlete that’s ever played here,” Allison said. “From the calculations I’ve done, there’s probably roughly between 5,000 and 5,500 former Tech athletes in every sport out there somewhere, and we’ve got information and contact information on about a thousand.
“What we’re trying to do is build a database of correct information — which will never happen totally — but it’s a tool to reach out to every athlete that wore the red and black here and, in a lot of cases, connect and in a lot of cases reconnect.”
In addition to the reunions, Tech’s annual athletic Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor induction will take place on Nov. 1, the night before the Red Raiders’ home game against Oklahoma State.
In June, Tech renamed its lettermen’s organization from the Double T Association to the Double T Varsity Club and brought it under the athletic department.
One of Allison’s first priorities is to build interaction and plan events with former players in all sports. Tech is hosting an all-sports lettermen’s tailgating area on the end zone of the Red Raiders’ grass practice field before home games. Sport-specific events for other sports also are in the works throughout the year, Allison said.
“We’re going to do programs where we’re going to work with the (current) athletes here to inform them on what we do and who we are,” Allison said. “Them moving this into the athletic department was a huge step in giving us the ability to do what we need to do.
“(Athletic director) Kirby (Hocutt) saw the advantages of having somebody in this position in the athletic department to continuously communicate with the former athletes.
“I’ve gone to every head coach and met to see what they want to do and the best way to have these people involved, because it benefits everybody.”
Tech’s 1953 team posted a 35-13 victory in the Gator Bowl against an Auburn squad quarterbacked by Vince Dooley, the future Hall of Fame coach. Allison said he anticipates about 28 to 35 members of the ’53 team making it back for the reunion.
He said he expects 50 to 75 from the 1973 team and 100 to 125 of the “21st century” Tech players to return for the reunion, the one for those groups being on the same weekend.
Getting the recent former players involved in the Double T Varsity Club is important, Allison said, to “try to generate some youth.
“A lot of times, lettermen’s associations get to be kind of that good ol’ boy deal and kind of the relatively older (ex-players).”
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