LUBBOCK, Texas – Kliff Kingsbury and Mike Leach will headline the latest list of inductees to the Texas Tech Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor as the athletics department officially announced its 2023 class Wednesday afternoon.
The Texas Tech Hal of Fame, reserved strictly for former athletes, will welcome seven Red Raider greats as Gonzalo Escobar (men’s tennis), Greg Lowery (men’s basketball), Matt Wingo (football), Jason Young (track and field), Cathy Carlson (women’s tennis) and Kim Kaufman (women’s golf) will join Kingsbury as part of the 2023 class.
Leach, meanwhile, will be recognized posthumously in the Hall of Honor for his decade of success leading the Red Raider football program. Leach, the winningest coach in program history, led the Red Raiders to a bowl appearance in all 10 of his seasons, finishing with an 84-43 overall in one of the most-successful eras all-time at Texas Tech. The Hall of Honor is designated for non-athletes who have provided outstanding contributions to Texas Tech Athletics.
The 2023 Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor class will be formally inducted at 6 p.m. on Sept 29 during a ceremony at Overton Hotel and Conference Center. The entire 2023 class will later be recognized on the field the following day when the Red Raiders host Houston inside Jones AT&T Stadium.
Additional details pertaining to the Hall of Fame Ceremony, including individual ticket and table information, will be announced later this fall.
TEXAS TECH HALL OF FAME CLASS
Gonzalo Escobar (Men’s Tennis, 2008-12)
Escobar is a former two-time All-American who played for the men’s tennis program from 2008-12. Escobar, who is one of only three Red Raiders to compete in both the NCAA Singles and NCAA Doubles Championships during his career, finished runner-up nationally in doubles with teammate Raony Carvalho in his final season at Texas Tech. Escobar posted his highest end-of-the-year Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings in 2011 for singles (No. 25) and in 2012 for doubles (No. 3), which still is the highest doubles ranking for a Tech duo to end the year. Escobar became the second player in Texas Tech history to win the ITA Arthur Ashe Award for leadership and sportsmanship and the first (and only) player to claim the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award, both in the Texas Region.
Escobar remains the overall winningest player in program history as he ranks first with 181 career overall wins, first with 99 career singles wins, tied for first in both single-season dual doubles wins (20) and single-season dual doubles wins at line three (15). In addition, Escobar sits in the top-10 all-time in the following categories: doubles victories (82), singles winning percentage (.664), doubles winning percentage (.667), single-season singles & doubles wins, single-season dual singles & doubles victories, single-season dual doubles winning percentage and single-season dual singles wins at line two. Escobar helped the Red Raiders to a 68-37 record in his time as a Red Raider, a second-place Big 12 finish in 2012 and three second-round NCAA Tournament appearances. Escobar, who is currently ranked No. 55 in the world in doubles, has competed in all four Grand Slam tournaments, including a most recent appearance in doubles at Roland-Garros and a Round of 16 doubles appearance at the Australia Open.
Cathy Carlson (Women’s Tennis, 1984-88)
Carlson joins the 2023 Hall of Fame class after a storied career with the Lady Raider women’s tennis program from 1984-88. Appearing all over the Texas Tech record book, Carlson is the winningest player in program history with 224 overall career victories (111 singles and 113 doubles wins). In addition, her 111 singles wins and 113 doubles victories rank third all-time in their respective categories. Helping the Lady Raiders go 65-27 (.707) during her career as a Lady Raider, Carlson is tied for second all-time in line three singles wins with 14 in 1988 and third at line two doubles victories with 18 in 1987. Carlson also appears in the top-10 in career singles and doubles winning percentage, single-season singles & doubles wins, single-season singles and doubles winning percentage, single-season dual singles & doubles winning percentage and in single-season dual doubles victories.
Kim Kaufman (Women’s Golf, 2009-13)
Throughout her Texas Tech career, Kaufman recorded 15 career top-10 finishes, including seven top-five finishes during the 2012-13 season alone. A two-time All-Big 12 selection, Kaufman was also named the Big 12s Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013 and was a CoSIDA first team All-America selection in 2013, the first, first team Academic All-American in program history. The Clark, South Dakota native also became the first player in Texas Tech women’s golf history to reach No. 1 in the country during her senior season (2012-13) as the Red Raiders also were tabbed the No. 1 team in the country on Sept. 26 of that same season. A four-time All-American, Kaufman became the first player in program history to earn at least third team All-America status and was also the first Red Raider women’s golfer to earn All-American honors in back-to-back seasons.
During the 2012-13 season, Kaufman helped lead her Tech squad to three overall victories and was named a Second Team All-America selection by the GCAA and a Third Team All-American by Golfweek after being named Honorable Mention All-America by both entities in 2011-12. Kaufman also competed at the NCAA Championship as an individual in 2011-12, finishing eighth at the Vanderbilt Legends Golf Club in 2012. The top-10 finish was the first by a Texas Tech women’s golfer in program history.
The first player in program history to have played in an NCAA Regional in all four seasons of her career, Kaufman played the most rounds in program history (144) and has the most counting scores in program history (129). She owns two of the five best countable scores in program history and shot the fifth-lowest single-round score in the program history when she fired a third-round 65 at the Challenge at Onion Creek. A veteran of the LPGA, ESPON and Symetra Tours, Kaufman has had nearly a decade-long professional career since turning pro in 2014.
Kliff Kingsbury (Football, 1999-02)
The rise of Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense began with Kingsbury, who arrived at Texas Tech under legendary head coach Spike Dykes and later developed into one of the top passers in college football history under fellow 2023 inductee, Mike Leach. Kingsbury earned his first career start in Dykes’ final game as head coach, leading the Red Raiders to a memorable win over Oklahoma in what would be the start of a legendary career. Kingsbury went on to set 39 school records the next three seasons as well as 16 different Big 12 marks and 17 NCAA FBS records. He recorded more than 12,000 passing yards and total offense, including over 1,000 completions, making him only the third player in NCAA history to accomplish all three feats.
As a senior, he was presented the Sammy Baugh Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top college quarterback. Kingsbury finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting that season, becoming only the fourth Red Raider at the time to rank in the top 10 at the time. Kingsbury also excelled in the classroom where he was one of 14 collegiate football players to receive a post-graduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. He also garnered Academic All-America Player of the Year honors in 2002, the highest academic honor for a Red Raider in program history.
A sixth-round NFL Draft pick in 2003 by the New England Patriots, Kingsbury played for five NFL teams and also saw action in the Canadian Football League and the All-American Football League. Following his playing career, he joined the coaching profession, serving in role at the University of Houston and Texas A&M before being named the 15th head coach in Texas Tech history in 2013. He served his alma mater for six seasons and then moved to the NFL where he was the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2019-22. He is currently an offensive analyst at USC.
Greg Lowery (Men’s Basketball, 1970-72)
Lowery played three seasons for the Texas Tech basketball team from 1970-72 where he averaged 19.7 points per game and finished with 1,476 points. A West Palm Beach, Florida native, Lowery began his collegiate career with one season at Oklahoma Military Academy before transferring to Tech. He owns the Tech single-season record by averaging 24.5 points per game in his senior season and is fourth with his 19.7 career average. Lowery and Gene Knolle were the first two Black basketball players in Texas Tech history.
A 6-foot-2 guard, he earned All-Southwest Conference honors in all three seasons he played for the Red Raiders, with first-team selections in his sophomore and senior seasons along with a second-team distinction as a junior. He was named the SWC Sophomore of the Year in the 1969-70 season. Lowery finished his career by shooting 550-for-1,136 (48.4 percent) from the field and is sixth all-time in Tech history at 83.5 percent from the free-throw line with 376 makes.
Lowery scored a career-high 35 points twice, first against Texas on the road as a sophomore and then again against SMU as a junior. He also had a game against Rice where he was 11-for-11 from the field and finished with 32 points. In 1972, he was selected by the Miami Floridians in the ABA Draft and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Draft. Lowery passed away on June 17, 2016.
Matt Wingo (Football, 1988-91)
Wingo remains one of the top linebackers in program history after a decorated career in the early tenure of Spike Dykes from 1988-91. Wingo, a two-time All-Southwest Conference honoree, racked up 385 tackles during his four-year career, which ranked third all-time in school history following his senior season. To this day, Wingo still ranks sixth in Texas Tech history for career tackles. Wingo earned All-Southwest Conference honors following both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, Wingo was honored by his teammates as the recipient of the Dell Morgan Memorial Courage Award following his senior year as well as the Clint Ramsey Academic Effort Award.
Jason Young (Track & Field, 1999-04)
A native a Dallas, Texas, Young was a Junior Olympic Champion (1999) in the discus before arriving to Texas Tech. During his time in Lubbock, Young was a the 2002 NACAC U23 Champion, and a two-time NCAA All-American highlighted by a runner-up finish in the discus throw at the 2004 NCAA outdoor meet. Following his Tech career, Young stayed in Lubbock as the Red Raiders’ strength and conditioning coach before making the USA Olympic Team in 2012 where he went on to finish eighth in qualification. To this day, Young holds two top-10 marks in the Texas Tech record book when it comes to the discus.
TEXAS TECH HALL OF HONOR CLASS
Mike Leach, head football coach (2000-09)
The winningest coach (by wins) in program history, Leach becomes the sixth former head coach to be inducted into the Hall of Honor. One of the top offensive minds in college football history, Leach led the Red Raiders through a memorable tenure, highlighted by an 84-43 overall record over 10 seasons, all of which resulted in a bowl trip. In fact, the Red Raiders became a regular in bowl season under Leach, who pushed the Red Raiders to three nine-win seasons (2002, 2005, 2007) and then 11 wins in 2008.
Texas Tech experienced its most-successful season under Leach with Graham Harrell leading the Red Raider offense, however, as he and wide receiver Michael Crabtree formed one of the top pass-catching duos in college football history. The Red Raiders matched the school record with 11 wins in 2008, which was highlighted by a memorable victory over No. 1 Texas at home that pushed Texas Tech to as high as No. 2 in the national rankings.
Texas Tech rewrote the NCAA record book under Leach and his “Air Raid” offense, developing quarterbacks such as Kliff Kingsbury, a fellow member of the 2023 class, as well as B.J. Symons, Sonny Cumbie, Cody Hodges and eventually Harrell, a 2020 inductee. Symons snapped the NCAA FBS single-season record for passing yards in 2003, throwing for an unheard-of 5,833 yards and 52 touchdowns through the air.
Following his tenure at Texas Tech, Leach enjoyed successful stints at both Washington State (2012-19) and Mississippi State (2020-22). His coaching career was highlighted by a 158-107 overall record and 17 bowl trips over his 21 combined seasons as a collegiate head coach. He was in the midst of his third season at Mississippi State when he suddenly passed away on Dec. 13, 2022, at the age of 61.