LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech will formally induct seven former letterwinners into its Hall of Fame as well as the late Tommy McVay into the Hall of Honor on Oct. 28, the athletics department announced Tuesday as part of the official unveiling of the 2022 class.
The Texas Tech Hall of Fame, reserved strictly for former athletes, will welcome the likes of former All-Big 12 defensive back Kevin Curtis, men’s basketball standouts Gene Knolle and Norman Reuther, baseball All-American pitcher Matt Miller and former track and field All-American thrower Patience Knight as part of the 2022 class. Chris Martin, who was previously announced as part of the 2020 class, will be enshrined in October alongside the rest of the 2022 inductees as she was unable to attend the 2021 events due to a family conflict.
McVay, meanwhile, will be recognized posthumously in the Hall of Honor for his longtime contributions as Texas Tech’s Director of Football Operations. McVay, who passed away in August 2020, dedicated 20-plus years as part of the Red Raider football program where he oversaw many of the administrative duties under five different head coaches up until his passing.
“There no greater pleasure in my role than making the phone call to let one of our former letterwinners know of their Hall of Fame selection,” said Rodney Allison, executive director of the Double T Varsity Club. “This is another tremendous class that represents multiple eras in our proud history. We can’t encourage our letterwinners and fans enough to mark the Oct. 28 weekend on their calendar as we promise they will want to attend this year’s event.”
The 2022 Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor class will be formally inducted Oct. 28 during a luncheon at Overton Hotel and Conference Center. All eight inductees will later be honored prior to kickoff the following day when the Red Raiders host Baylor inside Jones AT&T Stadium.
Additional details pertaining to the Hall of Fame luncheon will be announced later this fall.
TEXAS TECH HALL OF FAME CLASS
Kevin Curtis (Football, 1998-01)
Curtis remains one of the top defensive backs in school history, especially during the Big 12 era, as he was a two-time All-American and a three-time All-Big 12 selection at safety over the course of his Red Raider career. A local product out of Lubbock Coronado High School, Curtis didn’t take long to make his presence known as a Red Raider after leading the Big 12 in tackles with 153 stops as only a sophomore in 1999. To this date, Curtis’ total remains the fifth-highest mark in Texas Tech single-season history and ranks 10th all-time in the Big 12 record book. In addition, it marked the most tackles all-time in program history by a Red Raider safety. Curtis closed his Red Raider career with 430 tackles from the back end of the Red Raider secondary, which still places him third all-time in program history and sixth in conference history. Curtis earned second team All-America honors in both 2000 and 2001 before being selected in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers where he spent three seasons. Curtis, who also enjoyed stints with the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans during his NFL career, joined the coaching profession following his playing career with stints not only at Texas Tech (2013-15) but also Louisiana Tech (2010-12, 2016-17), SMU (2018-20) and currently Baylor (2021-present).
Oscar Floren (Men’s Golf, 2004-07)
Floren was a three-time All-American and two-time All-Big 12 selection during his Texas Tech golf career. A Sweden native, Floren earned All-America honors in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and was an Academic All-America in 2006. During his career, Floren won tournament titles at the 2006 Mercedes-Benz Collegiate, 2006 Hyatt Plantation Club Intercollegiate and the 2006 Aggie Invitational. Floren was only the second Red Raider to win three individual titles at the time and remains one of six Red Raiders to date to do so. His career-low round of 64 came at the 2004 Thunderbird Collegiate. Floren competed in 48 tournaments as a Red Raider from 2004-07 and is fourth all-time in program history with a 72.2 scoring average. He is regarded as one of the early golf standouts under head coach Greg Sands as Floren helped push the Red Raiders to four-consecutive NCAA Regional appearances over his career, including two trips to the NCAA Championships during his final two seasons.
Patience Knight (Track and Field, 2006-09)
Few athletes in Texas Tech history have left a similar impact like Knight did during her Red Raider career. One of the top throws athletes in a long list of All-Americans under head coach Wes Kittley, Knight was known for her inspiration off the track for as much as on of it. Diagnosed with a cancerous tumor near her heart in February 2007, Knight battled through chemotherapy and radiation therapy, all while still competing at an elite level with the track and field program, ultimately setting a school record in the shot put at that year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. Knight, in fact, still controls the top-three spots on the Texas Tech indoor chart and the No. 5-7 places for the shot put in the outdoor record book following her remarkable Red Raider career. Knight secured her legacy as one of Texas Tech’s all-time greats with four Big 12 titles in the shot put after taking the top spot at the 2008-09 outdoor championships and the 2008-09 indoor championships. The 2008 indoor title came roughly a year after her cancer diagnoses as she went on to earn All-America honors three times during her career (2008 indoor/outdoor, 2009 indoor). Knight’s story earned her recognition as the national level as she was the 2009 recipient of the 2009 Honda Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top female athlete who displays outstanding perseverance in the face of extreme obstacles.
Gene Knolle (Men’s Basketball, 1970-71)
Not many Red Raiders put up the same offensive numbers at Knolle, who was an early trailblazer in Texas Tech’s history as the first African American student-athlete to compete for the men’s basketball program. Knolle averaged a program-best 21.5 points during his two seasons at Texas Tech from 1969-71. That record still stands to this date as Knolle and Ring of Honor inductee Dub Malaise are the only two Red Raiders in program history to average more than 20.0 points per game over a career. A two-time All-Southwest Conference selection, Knolle scored 1,073 points as a Red Raider where he averaged 22.0 points per game as a senior. Originally from St. Albans, New York, Knolle had a streak of 36-straight games scoring in double figures and scored 20 or more during a nine-game streak. He would score a career-high 34 points against San Diego State on December 1, 1970 and had five games of 30 or more points during his two seasons. In 1971, Knolle was selected by the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA Draft and by the Dallas Chaparrals in the ABA Draft.
Chris Martin (Volleyball, 1988-91)
Martin remains one of the most versatile volleyball standouts during the Southwest Conference era, helping lead the Red Raiders to a pair of appearances in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, including Texas Tech’s only 30-win season in its history. Martin was a dominating presence at the net, ranking fifth all-time for career solo blocks (105) and total blocks (373) and sixth for block assists (268). She was also one of the most lethal Red Raiders from behind the service line as well after compiling 146 aces over her four seasons, the fourth-highest total still to this day. Defensively, she notched 1,152 digs, which ranks eighth in Texas Tech career history and places Martin as the only Red Raider to sit in the top 10 all-time for both career total blocks and digs. Her efforts earned her second team All-Southwest Conference honors as a junior in 1990 and then first team accolades a year later where she was also a second team AVCA All-Region selection. In addition, she was tabbed to the SWC All-Decade second team (1983-92) as well as the Texas Tech All-Millennium Team. Martin becomes the sixth former volleyball student-athlete to be inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame, joining Jill Burness, Lisa Hilgers, Lisa Love, Becky (Boxwell) McIlraith and her former teammate, Lisa Clark.
Matt Miller (Baseball, 1994-96)
Miller defined one of the top pitchers to come through Texas Tech at the end of the Southwest Conference era when the Red Raiders regularly ranked among the nation’s top baseball programs. A left-handed pitcher out of Lubbock Monterey High School, Miller remains one of the top pitchers to wear the scarlet and black after collecting 25 wins over his three-year career from 1994-96. During that span, the Red Raiders collected 140 wins as a team, played in two NCAA Regionals and claimed the 1995 Southwest Conference Tournament title under legendary head coach Larry Hays. Miller was Texas Tech’s ace over those final two seasons, winning an impressive 11 wins as a sophomore in 1995 before adding to that total by one the following year. To date, the southpaw remains tied for third all-time in Texas Tech single-season history with his 12 wins in 1996 and also ranks tied for fifth with 11 victories in 1995, tied for sixth with 17 games started in 1996 and seventh with 113 strikeouts in 1996 and then a .857 winning percentage (12-2) that same season. Miller is also a fixture in the career record book, ranking second all-time for wins (25), fourth in winning percentage (.781 – 25-7), sixth in games started (38), seventh for innings pitched (239.2), eighth for strikeouts (213) and tied for 10th in complete games (9). His success on the bump earned Miller first team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1996 and second team accolades in 1995. He was a two-time All-America honoree, earning honorable mention accolades in 1995 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and third-team honors by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA in 1996. Miller departed the Red Raiders following that 1996 season as the Detroit Tigers used the No. 41 overall pick to select the left-hander in the 1996 MLB Draft. Miller, the highest-drafted pitcher still in school history and the third-highest Red Raider overall, made his big-league debut in 2001 as one of two seasons with the Tigers.
Norman Reuther (Men’s Basketball, 1964-66)
Reuther remains one of the most beloved figures in Texas Tech’s basketball history, not only from his ability to score in the paint but as one of the top rebounders all-time among Red Raiders. Reuther scored 1,109 points and had 545 rebounds during a three-year career at Tech. He earned All-Southwest Conference honors as a senior in the 1965-66 season and was a two-time NABC All-District selection. His list of accolades likely would have been longer had an administrative error not caused him to be declared ineligible for his 1964-65 junior campaign and thus, not able to receive any postseason awards. The Red Raiders dominated the Southwest Conference throughout Reuther’s tenure, winning the league crown in what would later be a forfeited title for the 1964-65 season. Texas Tech was the conference runner-up during Reuther’s first season in 1963-64 and finished in third place two years later. A Fort Worth, Texas native, Reuther averaged 19.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a senior. He scored a career-high 37 points against Arkansas on February 28, 1967 and had a streak of 25 straight-games in double-figure scoring during his career. His average of 16.6 points per game ranks 13th all-time in Tech basketball history, while his 8.1 rebounds per game still ranks 12th to this date.
TEXAS TECH HALL OF HONOR CLASS
Tommy McVay, Director of Football Operations (1997-2020)
McVay became an easily-recognizable face on the Texas Tech sideline during his 20-plus years as the Red Raiders’ Director of Football Operations in a tenure that spanned five different head coaches. McVay was hired at Texas Tech in September 1997 and was tasked with overseeing many of the administrative duties and recruiting efforts for the Red Raiders under Spike Dykes. In fact, Dykes talked McVay back into the coaching profession, giving him an opportunity to join his staff after the two previously met while McVay was working in the appliance and television business, the job that originally brought him to Lubbock in 1988. McVay turned into a fixture on the Texas Tech sideline, known sometimes more for his slicked-back hair and his dark black sunglasses, worn whether it was day or night. He’d continue his tenure after Dykes’ retirement in 1999, serving first under Mike Leach and then Tommy Tuberville, Kliff Kingsbury and finally Matt Wells.
McVay’s tenure will likely be best remembered for the discovery of a relatively unknown athlete in Oklahoma named Wes Welker, who received little Division-I interest out of high school other than Texas Tech and the Naval Academy. McVay convinced Leach, at the behest of Welker’s high school coach, to sign the undersized recruit as Texas Tech’s final member of his initial recruiting class. The gamble paid off as Welker quickly earned the nickname “The Natural” on his way to a successful college career that was capped by an NCAA record eight punt returns for a touchdown. Welker ended his Red Raider career in 2003 with 3,069 career receiving yards, departing as the program’s all-time leading receiver before embarking on a successful 12-year NFL career where he redefined the inside receiver position.
McVay passed away on Aug. 13, 2020, just before what would have been his 24th season on the Texas Tech staff.