A running back is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, to block. There are one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back"; the halfback or tailback position is responsible for carrying the ball on the majority of running plays, may be used as a receiver on short passing plays. In the modern game, an effective halfback must have a blend of both quickness and agility as a runner, as well as sure hands and good vision up-field as a receiver. Quarterbacks depend on halfbacks as a safety valve receiver when primary targets downfield are covered or when they are under pressure. Halfbacks line up as additional wide receivers; when not serving either of these functions, the primary responsibility of a halfback is to aid the offensive linemen in blocking, either to protect the quarterback or another player carrying the football.
If a team uses a Wildcat formation the halfback is the one who receives the snap directly instead of the quarterback. As a trick play, running backs are used to pass the ball on a halfback option play or halfback pass; the difference between halfback and tailback is the position of the player in the team's offensive formation. In historical formations, the halfback lined up halfway between the line of scrimmage and the fullback; because the halfback is the team's main ball carrier, modern offensive formations have positioned the halfback behind the fullback, to take advantage of the fullback's blocking abilities. As a result, some systems or playbooks will call for a tailback as opposed to a halfback. In Canadian football, the term tailback is used interchangeably with running back, while the use of the term halfback is exclusively reserved for the defensive halfback, which refers to the defensive back halfway between the linebackers and the cornerbacks. In most modern college and professional football schemes, fullbacks carry the ball infrequently, instead using their stronger physiques as primary "lead blockers."
On most running plays, the fullback leads the halfback, attempting to block potential tacklers before they reach the ball carrier. When fullbacks are called upon to carry the ball, the situation calls for gaining a short amount of yardage, as the fullback can use his bulkiness to avoid being tackled early. Fullbacks are sometimes receivers for passing plays, although most plays call for the fullback to block any defensive players that make it past the offensive line, a skill referred to as "blitz pickup". Fullbacks are technically running backs, but today the term "running back" is used in referring to the halfback or tailback. Although modern fullbacks are used as ball carriers, in previous offensive schemes fullbacks would be the designated ball carriers. In high school football, where player sizes vary fullbacks are still used as ball carriers. In high school and college offenses, the triple option scheme uses the fullback as a primary ball carrier; the fullback plays a unique role by establishing an inside running threat on every play.
College teams such as Georgia Tech and Air Force have employed the triple option scheme. While in years past the fullback lined up on the field for every offensive play, teams opt to replace the fullback with an additional wide receiver or a tight end in modern football. Fullbacks in the National Football League today carry or catch the ball since they are used exclusively as blockers. Fullbacks are still used as rushers on plays when a short gain is needed for a first-down or touchdown or to surprise the defense since they are not expecting a full back to run or catch the ball. Pro Football Hall of Fame members Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Franco Harris, John Riggins, Larry Csonka were fullbacks. There is a diversity in those. At one extreme are smaller, shiftier players; these quick and elusive running backs are called "scat backs" because their low center of gravity and maneuverability allow them to dodge tacklers. Running backs known for their elusiveness include Red Grange, Hugh McElhenny, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders.
At the other extreme are "power backs:" bigger, stronger players who can break through tackles using brute strength and raw power. They are slower runners compared to other backs, run straight ahead rather than dodging to the outside edges of the playing field. Hall of Famers Earl Campbell, Bronko Nagurski, John Riggins, Larry Csonka, as well as NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, were considered power running backs. Over the years, NFL running backs have been used as receivers out of the backfield. On passing plays, a running back will run a "safe route," such as a hook or a flat route, that gives a quarterback a target when all other receivers are covered or when the quarterback feels pressured. Hall of Famer Lenny Moore was a halfback who played as a pass receiver; some teams have a specialist "third down back,", skilled at catching passes or better at pass blocking and "picking up the blitz," and thus is
Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in Texas, United States. The population was 117,463 at the 2010 census, making it the 27th-most populous city in the state of Texas, it is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 170,219. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Dyess Air Force Base is located on the west side of the city. Abilene is located between exits 279 on its western edge and 292 on the east. Abilene is 150 miles west of Fort Worth; the city is looped by I-20 to the north, US 83/84 on the west, Loop 322 to the east. A railroad divides the city down the center into south; the historic downtown area is on the north side of the railroad. Established by cattlemen as a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881, the city was named after Abilene, the original endpoint for the Chisholm Trail; the T&P had bypassed the town of the county seat at the time. A landowner north of Buffalo Gap, Clabe Merchant, known as the father of Abilene, chose the name for the new town.
According to a Dallas newspaper, about 800 people had begun camping at the townsite before the lots were sold. The town was laid out by Colonel J. Stoddard Johnson, the auction of lots began early on March 15, 1881. By the end of the first day, 139 lots were sold for a total of $23,810, another 178 lots were sold the next day for $27,550. Abilene was incorporated soon after being founded in 1881, Abilenians began to set their sights on bringing the county seat to Abilene, in a three-to-one vote, won the election. In 1888, the Progressive Committee was formed to attract businesses to the area, which became the Board of Trade in 1890. By 1900, 3,411 people lived in Abilene, in that decade, the Board of Trade changed its name to the 25,000 Club in the hope of reaching 25,000 people by the next census. However, this committee failed when the population only hit 9,204 in 1910. Replacing it was the Young Men's Booster Club, which became the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in 1914; the cornerstone was laid for the first of three future universities in Abilene, called Simmons College, in 1891, which became Hardin–Simmons University.
Childers Classical Institute followed in 1906 Abilene Christian University, the largest of the three. In 1923, McMurry College was founded and became McMurry University. Much more Abilene succeeded in bringing Cisco Junior College and Texas State Technical College branches to Abilene, with the Cisco Junior College headquarters being located in Abilene. In 1940, Abilene raised the money to purchase land for a U. S. Army base, southwest of town, named Camp Barkeley, at the time twice the size of Abilene with 60,000 men; when the base closed, many worried that Abilene could become a ghost town, but in the post-World War II boom, many servicemen returned to start businesses in Abilene. In the early-1950s, residents raised $893,261 to purchase 3,400 acres of land for an Air Force base. Today, Dyess Air Force Base is the city's largest employer, with 6,076 employees. Abilene's population nearly doubled in 10 years from 45,570 in 1950 to 90,638. In the same year, a second high school was added, Cooper High School.
In 1966, the Abilene Zoo was created near Abilene Regional Airport. The following year, one of the most important bond elections in the city's history passed for the funding of the construction of the Abilene Civic Center and the Taylor County Coliseum, as well as major improvements to Abilene Regional Airport. In 1969, the Woodson elementary and high school for black students closed as the school system was integrated. In 1982, Abilene became the first city in Texas to create a downtown reinvestment zone. Texas State Technical College opened an Abilene branch three years later; the 2,250-bed French Robertson Prison Unit was built in 1989. A half-cent sales tax earmarked for economic development was created after the decline in the petroleum business in the 1980s. A branch of Cisco Junior College was located in the city in 1990; the Grace Museum and Paramount Theatre revitalizations, along with Artwalk in 1992, sparked a decade of downtown restoration. In 2004, Frontier Texas!, a multimedia museum highlighting the history of the area from 1780 to 1880, was constructed, a new $8 million, 38-acre Cisco Junior College campus was built at Loop 322 and Industrial Boulevard.
Subdivisions and businesses started locating along the freeway, on the same side as the CJC campus, showing a slow but progressive trend for Abilene growth on the Loop. Abilene has become the commercial, retail and transportation hub of a 19-county area more known as "The Big Country", but known as the "Texas Midwest", is part of the Central Great Plains ecoregion. By the end of 2005, commercial and residential development had reached record levels in and around the city. Abilene is located in northeastern Taylor County; the city limits extend north into Jones County. Interstate 20 leads west 148 miles to Midland. Three U. S. highways pass through the city. US 83 runs west of the city center, leading south 55 miles to Ballinger. US 84 runs with US 83 through the southwest part of the city but leads southeast 52 miles to Coleman and west with I-20 40 miles to Sweetwater. US 277 follows US 83 around the northwest side of the city and north to Anson but heads southwest from Abilene 89 miles so San Angelo.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Abilene has a total area of 112.2 square miles, of which 106.8 square miles are land and 5.4 square miles are covered by
Tyler Junior College
Tyler Junior College is a two-year community college in Tyler, United States. TJC is one of the largest community colleges in Texas, with an enrollment of more than 12,000 credit students each year with an additional 20,000 continuing education enrollments annually, its West Campus includes continuing workforce training programs. The College operates satellite centers in Jacksonville and Lindale. TJC offers Associate in Arts, Associate in Applied Science and Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees, as well as tech prep and certificate programs; the college operated as part of the Tyler public school system from its inception in 1926 until 1945, when voters supported the creation of an independent Tyler Junior College District. The junior college district now includes the Tyler, Chapel Hill, Grand Saline, Lindale and Winona school districts. During the 2016-2017 schoolyear, TJC offered a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene and four associate degrees in various fields. Students can choose from fifty groups to join, including a marching band, drill team, drumline.
The school competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association's Region XIV with soccer, basketball, baseball and golf teams and volleyball, basketball and golf teams. The school won national junior college championships in women's basketball in 2000, men's baseball in 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, men's golf 2008, men's soccer 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, women's soccer in 2009 and men's tennis in 2010 and women's tennis in 2010 and 2011; the independently operated. The Center for Earth and Space Science Education has a planetarium and exhibit hall offering public shows in its state-of-the-art, 40-foot -diameter domed theater every day except Mondays, sponsors a monthly astronomy lecture series. Additionally, Wagstaff Gymnasium is home to basketball teams. Co-ed dorms include Louise H. & Joseph Z. Ornelas Residential Complex, Wesley House, Bateman Hall. Vaughn Hall and Hudnall Hall house women. Halls for men include Holley Hall, Lewis Hall, Sledge Hall, Claridge Hall, West Hall. Claridge and Sledge Hall houses members of athletic teams.
Derick Armstrong, Canadian football wide receiver who plays for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League Colton Baum, Professional Drummer for Avid Light Jimmy Butler, NBA Player for the Philadelphia 76ers Will Jennings, Songwriter. New York City, Daniel E. Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Austin John Harvey - award-winning Canadian Football League player. Bill Herchman, former NFL defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49'ers, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers. Bryan Hughes - Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Wood County since 2003. Johnny Knox, former American football wide receiver for Chicago Bears Charles R. Moore - Methodist minister and civil rights advocate. Allen R. Morris - Emmy Award winning producer/director/writer. Robert Pack, Denver Nuggets Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia and Director of the Australian Open Byron M. Tunnell, Texas politician.</ref>Texas State Historical Association</ref> Chris Tomlin, Christian Singer Shea Whigham, actor: portrayed Elias "Eli" Thompson in the HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire.
Tyler Junior College homepage Center for Earth and Space Science Education homepage Sports Circle of Honor Apache Athletics Tyler Junior College from the Handbook of Texas Online The DrumBeat, The Independent Student Media Source for Tyler Junior College
Texas State University
Texas State University is a public research university located in San Marcos, United States. Established in 1899 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School, it opened in 1903 to 303 students. Since that time it has grown into the largest institution in the Texas State University System and the fifth-largest university in the state of Texas with an enrollment of over 38,000 students for the 2017 fall semester, it has ten colleges and about fifty departments. Texas State is classified as a doctoral university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and an emerging research university by the State of Texas; the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools. Faculty from the various colleges have been granted Fulbright Scholarships resulting in Texas State being recognized as one of the top producing universities of Fulbright Scholars; the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, graduated from the institution in 1930.
Texas State's main campus consists of 245 buildings on 492 acres of hilly land along the San Marcos River. Additionally, it has a satellite campus at the Texas State University Round Rock Campus in the greater north Austin area; the university operates the Science and Advanced Research Park, a technology commercialization and applied research facility. The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State is the largest forensics research facility in the world. Texas State University's intercollegiate sports teams known as the Bobcats, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and the Sun Belt Conference; the Southwest Texas State Normal School was proposed in a March 3, 1899, bill by State Representative Fred Cocke. Cocke represented the citizens of Hays and surrounding counties. While there was opposition to the bill, with the support of State Senator J. B. Dibrell, it was passed and signed into law on May 10, 1899, by Governor Joseph D. Sayers; the school's purpose was to teach domestic sciences and agriculture.
Any students earning a diploma and teaching certificate from the school would be authorized to teach in the state's public schools. In October 1899, the San Marcos City Council voted to donate 11 acres of land at what was known as Chautauqua Hill for the school to be built on, it was not until 1901 that the Texas legislature accepted this donation and approved $25,000 to be used for construction of buildings on the site. The building now known as Old Main was completed and the school opened its doors to its first enrollment of 303 students in September 1903. In 1912, the San Marcos School Board began a partnership with the school to allow Southwest Texas State Normal School students to instruct local school children as part of their training to become teachers; the San Marcos East End Ward School, comprising the first eight grades of the school district, was moved onto the Southwest Texas State campus in 1917. In 1935, a formal contract between Southwest Texas State Teachers College, as it was known and the San Marcos school district for the "Public Schools the laboratory school for said Teachers College."
The school would be under the control and supervision of the city of San Marcos but Southwest Texas State was responsible for providing and maintaining buildings and equipment for the city's elementary and junior high schools. The college enrolled its first African American students in 1963, following a federal lawsuit brought by Dana Smith, who became one of the first five African Americans at the institution when a district court judge ruled that they could not be denied admission based on race. On November 8, 1965, the school's most famous alumnus, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson, returned to his alma mater to sign the Higher Education Act of 1965, part of his Great Society. In a speech, held in Strahan Coliseum on the school's campus, prior to signing the bill, he recounted his own difficulties affording to go to college: having to shower and shave in the school's gymnasium, living above a faculty member's garage, working multiple jobs; the campus has grown from its original 11 acres in 1899.
During the first 40 years of the school's history, the campus was expanded to accommodate 18 buildings around the original Main Building. These buildings included academic buildings, a library, buildings to house the San Marcos school students, dormitories, a dining hall, men's and women's gymnasiums. In 1926, 90 acres of land adjacent to the San Marcos River was purchased by A. B. Rogers to build a hotel, glass-bottom boat rides and other water-based attractions to become the Aquarena Springs theme park; the university bought the property in 1994 intending to use the land as a research and education center. In 2002, this piece of land became known as the River System Institute and offered educational tours including a wetlands boardwalk and continued to offer glass-bottom boat rides. In 1996, the school began offering courses in Round Rock, Texas on the campus of Westwood High School, it offered night classes that allowed students to earn graduate degrees in Business Administration and Education.
As enrollment in these programs increased and with a gift of 101 acres, the Texas State University Round Rock Campus was constructed and opened in 2005. The school's name has changed several times over the course of its history; the first change occurred in 1918 when Southwest Texas State Normal School became Southwest Texas State Normal College, after the Board of Regents, two years earlier, had authorized the school to begin granting degrees as a senior college.. In 1921, a statewide effort was launched to
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference West division; the team was founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt and was a charter member of the American Football League. In 1963, the team assumed their current name; the Chiefs joined the NFL as a result of the merger in 1970. The team is valued at over $2 billion. Hunt's son, serves as chairman and CEO. While Hunt's ownership stakes passed collectively to his widow and children after his death in 2006, Clark represents the Chiefs at all league meetings and has ultimate authority on personnel changes; the Chiefs have won three AFL championships, in 1962, 1966, 1969. They became the second AFL team to defeat an NFL team in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV; the team's victory on January 11, 1970, remains the club's last championship game victory and appearance to date, occurred in the final such competition prior to the leagues' merger coming into full effect.
The Chiefs were the second team, after the Green Bay Packers, to appear in more than one Super Bowl and the first to appear in the championship game in two different decades. Despite post-season success early in the franchise's history, winning five of their first six postseason games, the team has struggled to find success in the playoffs since; as of the conclusion of the 2018–19 playoffs, they have lost 12 of their last 14 playoff games, including eight straight, at the time the longest playoff losing streak in NFL history. The playoff losing streak stretched from the 1993-94 AFC Championship game to the 2013-14 Divisional Round; the only playoffs wins over the last 14 playoff games were a 30–0 win over the Texans in the 2015–16 playoffs and a 31–13 over the Colts in the 2018–19 playoffs. In 1959, Lamar Hunt began discussions with other businessmen to establish a professional football league that would rival the National Football League. Hunt's desire to secure a football team was heightened after watching the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts.
After unsuccessful attempts to purchase and relocate the NFL's Chicago Cardinals to his hometown of Dallas, Hunt went to the NFL and asked to create an expansion franchise in Dallas. The NFL turned him down, so Hunt established the American Football League and started his own team, the Dallas Texans, to begin play in 1960. Hunt hired a little-known assistant coach from the University of Miami football team, Hank Stram, to be the team's head coach after the job offer was declined by Bud Wilkinson and Tom Landry. After Stram was hired, Don Klosterman was hired as head scout, credited by many for bringing a wealth of talent to the Texans after luring it away from the NFL hiding players and using creative means to land them; the Texans shared the Cotton Bowl with the NFL's cross-town competition Dallas Cowboys for three seasons. The Texans were to have exclusive access to the stadium until the NFL put an expansion team, the Dallas Cowboys, there. While the team averaged a league-best 24,500 at the Cotton Bowl, the Texans gained less attention due to the AFL's lower profile compared to the NFL.
In the franchise's first two seasons, the team managed only an 8 -- 6 -- 8 record, respectively. In their third season, the Texans strolled to an 11–3 record and a berth in the team's first American Football League Championship Game, against the Houston Oilers; the game was broadcast nationally on ABC and the Texans defeated the Oilers 20–17 in double overtime. The game lasted 77 minutes and 54 seconds, which still stands as the longest championship game in professional football history, it turned out to be the last game. Despite competing against a Cowboys team that managed only a 9–28–3 record in their first three seasons, Hunt decided that the Dallas–Fort Worth media market could not sustain two professional football franchises, he considered moving the Texans to either Miami for the 1963 season. However, he was swayed by an offer from Kansas City Mayor Harold Roe Bartle. Bartle promised to triple the franchise's season ticket sales and expand the seating capacity of Municipal Stadium to accommodate the team.
Hunt agreed to relocate the franchise to Kansas City on May 22, 1963, on May 26 the team was renamed the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt and head coach Hank Stram planned to retain the Texans name, but a fan contest determined the new "Chiefs" name in honor of Mayor Bartle's nickname that he acquired in his professional role as Scout Executive of the St. Joseph and Kansas City Boy Scout Councils and founder of the Scouting Society, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. A total of 4,866 entries were received with 1,020 different names being suggested, including a total of 42 entrants who selected "Chiefs." The two names that received the most popular votes were "Mules" and "Royals". The franchise became one of the strongest teams in the now thriving American Football League, with the most playoff appearances for an AFL team, the most AFL Championships; the team's dominance helped Lamar Hunt become a central figure in negotiations with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to agree on an AFL–NFL merger. In the meetings between the two leagues, a merged league championship game was agreed to be pla
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University is a private research university in metropolitan Dallas, Texas with its main campus located in University Park. SMU operates satellite campuses in Plano and Taos, New Mexico. Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, SMU is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of what is now the United Methodist Church; as of the Fall 2018 semester, the university's 11,649 students are 6,479 undergraduates and 5,170 postgraduates from all 50 states and 83 countries. The leading states are in order of descending are Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Missouri, New York, Louisiana without including non-resident aliens; the university grants degrees from eight schools, the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Perkins School of Theology, Cox School of Business, Dedman School of Law, the Guildhall, as well as Research and Graduate Studies.
SMU's national ranking rose to #59, according to US News. The university was chartered on April 17, 1911, by the southern denomination of the Methodist Episcopal Church. At the time of the charter, church leaders saw a need to establish a Methodist institution within a metropolitan area; this new institution was intended to be created in Fort Worth through a merger between Polytechnic College and Southwestern University. However, the church's education commission instead opted to create a new institution in Dallas to serve this purpose after extensive lobbying by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. Robert Stewart Hyer president of Southwestern University, was appointed as the first president of the new university; the effort to establish a new university in Dallas drew the attention of the General Conference of the Methodist Church, seeking to create a new connectional institution in the wake of a 1914 Tennessee Supreme Court decision stripping the church of authority at Vanderbilt University. The church decided to support the establishment of the new institution while increasing the size of Emory University at a new location in DeKalb County, Georgia.
At the 1914 meeting of the General Conference, Southern Methodist University was designated the connectional institution for all conferences west of the Mississippi River. SMU named its first building Dallas Hall in gratitude for the support of Dallas leaders and local citizens, who had pledged $300,000 to secure the university's location, it remains the university's symbol and centerpiece, it inspired "the Hilltop" as a nickname for the school. It was designed by Shepley and Coolidge after the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. Dallas Hall opened its doors in 1915 and housed the entire university along with a bank and a barbershop; the hall is registered in the National Register of Historic Places. Classes were planned to begin in 1913, but construction delays on the university's first building prevented classes from starting until 1915. In the interim, the only functioning academic department at SMU was the medical college it had acquired from Southwestern University; as the first president of Southern Methodist University, Hyer selected Harvard crimson and Yale blue as the school colors in order to associate SMU with the high standards of ivy league universities.
Several streets in University Park and adjacent Highland Park were named after prominent universities, including Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Purdue, Sewanee, Bryn Mawr, Hanover, Southwestern and Villanova. In 1927, Highland Park United Methodist Church, designed by architects Mark Lemmon and Roscoe DeWitt, was erected on campus. During World War II, SMU was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission; the university drew considerable media attention in 1987 when the NCAA administered the death penalty against the SMU football program for repeated, flagrant recruiting violations. The punishment included cancellation of the 1987 and most of the 1988 football season and a two-year ban from Bowl Games and all televised sports coverage. On February 22, 2008, the university trustees unanimously instructed President R. Gerald Turner to enter into an agreement to establish the George W. Bush Presidential Center on 23 acres on the southeast side of the campus.
The center which includes a presidential library, museum and the offices of the George W. Bush Foundation was dedicated on April 25, 2013, in a ceremony which featured all living former U. S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, then-incumbent U. S. President, Barack Obama; the library and museum are administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, while the university holds representation on the independent public policy institute board. The project raised over $500 million for the construction and endowment of the George W. Bush presidential center; the administration, led by President Turner, raised the university's endowment to above $1 billion for the time in the University's history as of July 30th 2005. and through its "Second Century Campaign" from 2008 to 2015, the university raised $1.15 billion and celebrated the centennial of i
Derrick Vincent Thomas, nicknamed D. T. was an American football linebacker and defensive end who played for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. Thomas was drafted fourth overall by the Chiefs in the 1989 NFL Draft where he spent the entirety of his 11-year career until his death in 2000. Considered one of the greatest pass rushers of all time, he was named to nine Pro Bowls and holds the record for most sacks in a single game at seven. After the conclusion of the Chiefs' 1999 season, Thomas was involved in a car accident during the 1999–2000 NFL playoffs that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Days he died from a blood clot that developed in his paralyzed legs and traveled to his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Thomas was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Born in Miami, Thomas was raised by his mother, his father, Air Force Captain and B-52 pilot Robert James Thomas, died during a mission in the Vietnam War.
Thomas started playing football when he was three years old, played his high school football at South Miami Senior High School. Alongside Cornelius Bennett and Keith McCants at Alabama, Thomas spearheaded one of the best defensive lines in college football and smashed many Crimson Tide defensive records, including sacks in a single season, he was awarded the Butkus Award in 1988 after a season which saw him set an NCAA record 27 sacks along with finishing 10th in Heisman Trophy balloting. He holds the single season NCAA FBS sack record with 27 and what was the career sack record with 52 career sacks, he was selected as a unanimous All-American at the conclusion of the 1988 season, a season which culminated in the Crimson Tide's thrilling 29-28 victory over Army in the 1988 Sun Bowl. In 2000, Thomas was named a Sun Bowl Legend, he was awarded the Sington Soaring Spirit Award by the Lakeshore Foundation. This annual award is named for University of Alabama football legend Fred Sington. Thomas was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Thomas was selected in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft, fourth overall, was signed by the Chiefs. He would remain with the Chiefs for his entire career. Thomas' rookie year earned him the Defensive Rookie of the Year award by the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and the United Press International AFC Rookie of the Year award, he was the first Chiefs' linebacker to be elected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie since Hall of Fame player Bobby Bell. Thomas was known for his ability to sack the quarterback and was named a First Team All-Pro two times, Second Team All-Pro four times, was voted to nine Pro Bowls in his 11-year career, he totaled 126.5 sacks in his career, as of the start of the 2017 NFL season, holds the single game record of seven quarterback sacks, a feat which occurred against Seattle's Dave Krieg on 1990 Veterans Day. It was a sack that Thomas did not get that decided the game: on the final play, Krieg eluded a blitzing Thomas and threw a touchdown pass to Paul Skansi, which gave the Seahawks a 17–16 win.
The next player to come close to breaking this record was Thomas himself, recording 6 sacks against the Oakland Raiders in the regular season opener in 1998. He is one of 32 NFL players to achieve 100 or more sacks, ranks as the Chiefs' all-time sack leader with 126.5. Thomas is the seventh all-time tackler in Chiefs' history with 642 career tackles. During his career, he recorded 1 interception and recovered 19 fumbles, returning them for 161 yards and 4 touchdowns. Thomas established Chiefs career records for sacks, fumble recoveries, forced fumbles. On January 23, 2000, Thomas' 1999 Chevrolet Suburban went off Interstate 435 as he and two passengers were driving to Kansas City International Airport during a snowstorm for a flight to St. Louis to watch the NFC Championship Game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Police reports indicated that Thomas, driving, was speeding at 70 m.p.h. though snow and ice were accumulating on the roadway. Thomas continued weaving erratically through traffic despite the weather.
Thomas and one of the passengers were not wearing seat belts and both were thrown from the car. The second passenger, wearing his safety belt, walked away from the scene uninjured. Thomas was left paralyzed from the chest down. By early February, Thomas was being treated at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital; the morning of February 8, 2000, while being transferred from his hospital bed to a wheelchair on his way to therapy, Thomas told his mother he was not feeling well. His eyes rolled back, recalled Frank Eismont, an orthopedic surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Eismont said Thomas went into cardiorespiratory arrest and died as a result of a pulmonary embolism, a massive blood clot that developed in his legs and traveled to his lungs. Months Thomas' family sued General Motors for $73 million in damages stemming from the accident that Thomas caused. In 2004, a jury ruled. In 1990, Thomas founded Long Foundation; the foundation's mission is to "sack illiteracy" and change the lives of 9- to 13-year-old urban children facing challenging and life-threatening situations in the Kansas City area.
On January 31, 2009, Thomas was posthumously named among six players selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his fifth year of eligibility. He was posthumously inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009, after four years as a finalist in the Hall of Fame voting; the Chiefs announced on June 23, 2009, that they would retire #58 in honor of Thomas, the retireme