The Texas Tech Department of Athletics announced on Thursday that four new members will be inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor. Among the four individuals include two former football players, a former Red Raider basketball player and coach, and a former men's golf coach.
Football greats Billy Joe Tolliver and Tyrone Thurman, along with Gene Gibson and Danny Mason, will be recognized at the annual Hall of Honor banquet on Friday, November 8th, at the City Bank Room in the United Spirit Arena. Athletic Hall of Honor banquet tickets are $400 for a reserved table of eight or $40 each. The event begins with a social hour at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. For ticket information, you can contact the Red Raider Club at (806) 742-1196 or (877) 554-3850.
The four inductees will be honored during halftime ceremonies of the Texas Tech - Oklahoma State game on Saturday, November 9th.
Tolliver, one of the most successful quarterbacks in school history, followed his storied Texas Tech career with a 12 year career in the NFL. He lettered as a Red Raider from 1985 - 1988 and set numerous records throughout his career. Tolliver got off to a quick start in his first collegiate game running the offense, passing for a Tech freshman record and then school record 422 yards against TCU. The record still stands today, as does his records of best passing game by a senior (446 yards vs. Oklahoma State), yards per completion for a season (15.1 in 1988), and passing season by a senior (2,869 yards in 1988). Following his senior campaign, Tolliver was named to the All-Southwest Conference First Team.
Tolliver was drafted in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and spent two seasons with the team prior to moving on to the Atlanta Falcons. Tolliver spent the 1991 - 1993 seasons in Atlanta and also had stops with the Houston Oilers (1994), Falcons (1996 - 1997), and New Orleans Saints (1998 - 2000). A regular on the NFL celebrity golf circuit, Tolliver is retired and resides in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Although diminutive in stature, his game was larger than life. At 5' 3", Texas Tech punt return specialist Tyrone Thurman, who lettered from 1985 - 1988, was believed at the time to be the smallest collegiate football player. As a senior in 1988, Thurman was named to the Associated Press All-America First Team as a kick returner. His 96 yard punt return against Texas during the 1986 season still stands as a school record today, as do three other punt return records. Thurman also holds records for return yards in a season (444 in 1986), returns in a career (126), and yards in a career (1,466).
Thurman signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, but he did not make the final cut. However, he played three years with Ottawa of the Canadian Football League and spent six seasons with four teams in the Arena Football League. He currently resides in Irving and works for the City of Irving Parks & Recreation.
Following a six year stint as junior varsity head coach, Gene Gibson took over the reigns of the varsity men's basketball program in 1961 and won 100 games over the next eight years. Gibson currently ranks fifth all-time in wins at and third with 66 Southwest Conference victories at Tech. His 1962 team shared the Southwest Conference Championship and his 1964 squad finished as the runners-up. As a player for the Red Raiders, Gibson earned All-Border Conference honors in 1950. He lettered from 1947 - 1950. Gibson is retired and resides in Dallas.
Danny Mason served Texas Tech for 13 seasons as head men's golf coach from 1964 - 1966 and 1969 - 1980. During his tenure, Mason directed the Red Raiders to three NCAA Championship appearances in 1971, 1973, and 1976. He also signed and coached Jeff Mitchell, who played professionally on the PGA Tour and went on to become Texas Tech's head golf coach. In 1971, he led the Red Raiders to the Southwest Conference title.
In addition to coaching, Mason also taught in the physical education department at Texas Tech for 30 years. Mason is retired and living in Lubbock.