Gabe Rivera is among the 14 players and three coaches who form the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame class. Following his outstanding college career, Rivera became the No. 1 pick of the Steelers in the 1983 NFL Draft.
Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place Dec. 4, 2012 at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City's historic Waldorf-Astoria.
The rest of the Class of 2012 includes: LSU tailback Charles Alexander, Purdue halfback Otis Armstrong, California quarterback Steve Bartkowski, USC split end Hal Bedsole, Notre Dame tight end Dave Casper, BYU quarterback Ty Detmer, Rice quarterback Tommy Kramer, Syracuse receiver Art Monk, Colorado State defensive back Greg Myers, UCLA tackle Jonathan Ogden, Kansas State linebacker Mark Simoneau, Air Force safety Scott Thomas, Colorado guard John Wooten, who was the selection of the FBS Veterans Committee, and the three coaches: Phillip Fulmer, Jimmy Johnson and R.C. Slocum.
The following is Rivera's bio, as done by the College Football Hall of Fame:
Texas Tech University
Defensive Tackle, 1979-82
The most accomplished defensive lineman in Texas Tech history, Gabe Rivera was a consensus All-American as a senior in 1982. He becomes the fourth Red Raider to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Carrying the nickname "Señor Sack", Rivera averaged 80 tackles per season from his defensive tackle spot. He compiled 62 solo tackles, 43 assists, 10 TFL, five sacks, 25 quarterback pressures and eight pass breakups during his All-America campaign in 1982. He was named an Honorable Mention All-American in 1980 and 1981, and earned First Team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1982 and Second Team All-SWC accolades in 1981.
Chosen with the 21st overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, Rivera played six games for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rivera had his career cut short when he was left a paraplegic by injuries suffered in a car accident midway through his rookie season.
Rivera was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He is also a member of the Texas Tech Hall of Honor. He has volunteered as a tutor with Inner City Development in San Antonio, and he has worked with Gridiron Heroes, a nonprofit that aids high school football players that have suffered spinal cord injuries.