Fan Fest Bios
Wade Phillips: is the defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans and former head coach for the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Buffalo Bills. He was also an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. His career winning percentage as a head coach is .581. Last year, Phillips’ defense made an amazing jump in rankings going from one of the worst in the league to 2nd overall, the highest the franchise has ever been.
Earl Campbell: The University of Texas’ first Heisman Trophy Winner in 1977. First draft pick overall in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. His single- season performance in 1979 earned him All Pro, Pro Bowl and NFL offensive player of the year. Earl played in five Pro Bowls finishing his career with 9,407 yards, 74 touchdowns rushing and 806 yards on 121 receptions. In Campbell’s best year in the NFL with the Oilers, he ran for 1,934 yards and four 200- yard rushing games including a personal best 206 yards against the Chicago Bears. On July, 1991 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Earnest Givens: Wide receiver from University of Louisville. He was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 2nd round of the 1986 NFL Draft. Givens played in 10 NFL seasons from 1986 to 1995 and was a two-time pro bowl selection in 1990 and 1992. He was best known for his touchdown celebration known as the “electric slide and was a huge part of the Oilers, “Run and Shoot” offense.
Daniel Manning: Free safety/ return specialist from Abilene Christian University. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the 42nd pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Manning led the league in return average and number of 30+ yard returns even after only starting half the season. Manning was one of the prize free agent signings with the Houston Texans in July 2011 and helped vault the defense to one of the top ranked in the league.
Chester Pitts: One of the “Original Texans” and was extremely popular as a player and in his post playing games. Pitts was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round as the 50th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. As a left guard or left tackle he started every game during his first seven seasons with the Texans. As a free agent, Pitts signed with Seattle before the start of the 2010 NFL season.
Rodney Hampton: Running back from the University of Georgia from Houston, TX where he played at Kashmeere High School. Hampton was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft. The two time pro bowler was a member of the Giants team that won Super Bowl XXV.
Aaron Glenn: The Humble Texas native and former cornerback for A&M was drafted to the New York Jets in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft. Glenn played 15 years in the NFL, is a three time All-Pro and is a member of the New York Jets All Four Decade Team. Glenn had the chance to come home in 2002 as he was selected by the Texans in the NFL expansion draft. Glenn and teammate Gary Walker became the first Houston Texans selected to the Pro Bowl. Glenn is currently the General Manager of the Houston Stallions of the Lone Star Indoor Football League.
Norm Miller: Retired outfielder for the Houston Astros. Miller played in the Major Leagues from 1965 to 1974 for the Houston Astros & Atlanta Braves. He batted left-handed, threw right-handed. Retired at age 28 following a back injury. He played 540 games with 325 hits in his Major League career. In 2009 he published a book entitled “To all my fans from ‘Norm Who’?”. Norm currently co-hosts a Saturday afternoon show with Brien Straw from 11a-3p.
Dan Pastorini: Quarterback drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round (third overall) of the 1971 NFL Draft from Santa Clara University. He was the first player to ever wear a “flak jacket” under his uniform to protect his ribs. Pastorini became a star in 1978 with his career high 2,473 yards and 16 touchdowns. That year, he lead the Oilers wins over the Miami Dolphins and AFC East Division Champion New England Patriots. Pastorini currently lives in Houston launching his new line of food products. His autobiography “Taking Flak: My Life in the Fast Lane” written by John Lopez was released in November 2011.
Brandon LaFell: Wide receiver, Houston native LaFell attended Lamar High School where he caught 46 passes for 1,116 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He was named first-team All-Greater Houston Area in 2004. This landed him a spot at LSU where as a sophomore he assisted the Tigers in winning the BCS National Championship. As a junior, he emerged as one of the top receivers in the country as he caught 63 passes for 929 yards and eight touchdowns. LaFell was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2012 where he set a Panther record on Christmas Eve 2011 with a 91 yard catch from rookie Cam Newton.
Kasey Studdard: Houston’s No. 64, offensive guard played for the University of Texas. As a Longhorn starter, he helped his team win three bowl games in a row. In his final year with Texas, he started all 13 games and was voted team captain by his teammates. Following his senior year, Studdard was named to the first team All-Big 12 by the league coaches and media. Following his success at UT, he was drafted by the Texans in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. In 2009 Studdard replaced injured Chester Pitts and started the 14 remaining games.
James Kirkendoll: Signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent in July 2011. With a four-year career at University of Texas, Kikendoll played in 43 games with 28 starts, posted 121 receptions (No. 9 on the UT career list) for 1,389 yards (11.5 avg.) and nine touchdowns for his career. Prior to attending UT he played at Round Rock (Texas) High School where he was an All-American and three-time all-district performer. His team played in the 2007 East Meets West All-American game. Kirkendoll was a standout at wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner, he helped lead Round Rock to an area and bi-district championship as a senior.
Dwight Jones: No. 87, Wide Receiver for the Houston Texans was an undrafted free agent in 2012. Jones played college football for the North Carolina Tar Heels. As a junior in 2010 he started in 12 of 13 games and had 62 receptions for 946 yards with four touchdowns. He was named an honorable mention All-ACC. As a senior in 2011, he played in all 13 games and had 85 receptions for 1196 yards and twelve touchdowns.
Fozzy Whittaker: Known as one of the greatest high school players in Pearland, Texas history. Fozzy would move on to the University of Texas and where he set school records for two 100 yard kickoff returns. Despite an injury that cut his final season short, Whittaker still let the team with 9 touchdowns. During his college career, he carried the ball 263 times for 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns. In addition, he had 73 receptions for 464 yards.
Jackie Sherrill: Former football fullback, linebacker and coach. He served as the head coach at Washington State University (1976), the University of Pittsburgh (1977–1981), Texas A&M University (1982–1988), and Mississippi State University (1991–2003), compiling a career college football record of 180–120–4. During his time in College Station, he led the Aggies to three straight Southwest Conference Titles. Sherrill is currently a studio analyst for Fox Sports Net’s college football coverage and a part of www.sportsmag.tv, a new venture that covers college football.
WWE Legend Jerry “The King” Lawler®: Reigning over sports-entertainment since the 1970s, Jerry “The King” Lawler has thrilled in the ring as the fighting pride of Memphis, Tenn. and entertained from the announce table as Raw’s most irrepressible broadcaster. Effective as both a hero and villain, The King enraged WWE fans when he offended Bret Hart’s mother during a personal rivalry with The Hit Man and then inspired them when he stepped in the ring to challenge The Miz for the WWE Title at 61 years of age. This aptitude for every aspect of sports-entertainment has earned Lawler countless titles, legions of fans and entry into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Before all that, though, The King made his name in the Tennessee area prior to gaining national attention for his rivalry with comedian Andy Kaufman. Claiming to be the “Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World,” Kaufman made the mistake of insulting The King in front of his hometown crowd in the Mid-South Coliseum in 1982. Lawler responded by blasting the “Taxi” actor with two piledrivers, which led to an incendiary showdown on “Late Night with David Letterman.” During a tense interview on the program, Kaufman once again offended The King, leading Lawler to slap the comic right out of his chair in front of a shocked studio audience. Fifteen years later, the WWE Hall of Famer recreated this legendary TV moment with Jim Carrey on the set of the Andy Kaufman biopic, “Man on the Moon.”
After dispatching of Kaufman, The King ruled over promotions like Minnesota’s AWA and Tennessee’s USWA before finally arriving in WWE in 1992. Caustic from the get go, Lawler used his sharp wit to rile up rivals like Bret “Hit Man” Hart and Doink the Clown before taking a seat at the announce booth to commentate alongside Jim Ross. Together, the duo formed one of sports-entertainment’s most entertaining broadcast teams as they deftly called the action of WWE’s booming “Attitude Era.”
Lawler’s voice has remained a staple of WWE programming ever since, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting in the ring. Often noted as one of the greatest Superstars to never hold the WWE Championship, The King nearly beat The Miz for the coveted title at Elimination Chamber in 2011 and took on his sniveling broadcast partner, Michael Cole, at WrestleMania XXVII. Competing in his fifth decade as a wrestler, Lawler proved that his piledriver — just like his wit — was still as devastating as ever.
WWE Legend Jim Ross™:
To put it bluntly, Jim Ross is a sports-entertainment institution.
As the play-by-play man on Monday Night Raw for nearly a decade, the tough Oklahoman has the resume to earn himself serious consideration as one of the greatest commentators in the history of the business. Coining the phrase “business is about to pick up” and sporting his trademark black Resistol cowboy hat, Good Ol’ J.R. has been a WWE staple in the broadcast booth since 1993.
With his unmatched passion and unmistakable southern twang, J.R. called the action on television to millions of fans worldwide each week. A walking wrestling encyclopedia, the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductee takes great pride in knowing all the stats and inside info on WWE Superstars.
However, J.R. isn’t someone who is afraid of getting knee-deep in the action he’s calling. From time to time, J.R. has even gone as far as to knuckle up and throw down in the center of the ring with Superstars like Jack Swagger and Triple H.
Still, Ross is at his best when he’s at ringside, beautifully calling the action of the business he’s loved his entire life.