NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said his selection to the College Football Hall of Fame is “truly humbling.”
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame included Gray in its Tuesday announcement of 12 First-Team All-America players and two coaches who will be inducted at the 56th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Gray will be invited to be an honored guest at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 2, 2014, and officially enshrined in the summer of 2014.
“It is truly humbling,” Gray said. “To know that they have voted you as one of the best players to ever play college football is humbling and hard to fathom. When you go off to college, you don’t think that way – ‘that I am going to be one of the best ever.’ It is a great honor and again, humbling.”
Gray is preparing for his third season as Titans defensive coordinator and 17th season as an NFL coach. Gray played nine NFL seasons, including 1992 with the Houston Oilers. He coached two seasons at Southern Methodist before joining the Tennessee Oilers in 1997-98 as defensive quality control coach. He was promoted to defensive backs coach with the Titans for the 1999-2000 seasons.
Gray’s selection to the College Football Hall of Fame, however, is a nod to what he did as a player at the University of Texas where he received two selections as a First-Team All-American and was named Southwest Conference Player of the Year and helped the Longhorns win a conference title.
“When I reflect on my time at Texas, as I have done over the last few hours, I think about the great coaching that I had when I arrived – most of those coaches went on to do great things – and I was fortunate to learn from them,” Gray said. “I also entered a winning culture and I got to see how to do things the right way to meet that standard of winning and then go on to carry that standard.
“It was a great learning experience to have to play at a high level and learn what that meant going forward for the rest of my life,” Gray continued. “Lastly and probably most importantly, I became the first person in my family to earn a college degree, so that was also very special to me.”
The NFF also announced Don Trull, a Baylor QB who played for the Oilers from 1964-69, as a member of the Class of 2013.
The other players selected were: Ted Brown, N.C. State (1975-78); Tedy Bruschi, Arizona (1992-95); Ron Dayne, Wisconsin (1996-99); Tommie Frazier, Nebraska (1992-95); Steve Meilinger, Kentucky (1951-53) as a selection by the FBS Veterans Committee; Orlando Pace, Ohio State (1994-96); the late Rod Shoate, Oklahoma (1972-74); Percy Snow, Michigan State (1986-89); Vinny Testaverde, Miami (1982, 1984-86); and Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1993-96).
Wayne Hardin and Bill McCartney will be enshrined as coaches.