Former Texas offensive tackle Bob McKay was named as part of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class in January, and he will be officially inducted during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. He will be honored this Saturday with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, when the Longhorns host Kansas State at 6 p.m. CT on FS1.
McKay: Up Close
- Named consensus First-Team All-American in 1969.
- Helped Longhorns to national championship and unbeaten season at Cotton Bowl in senior season while outscoring opponents 435-119.
- Member of two SWC championship teams.
- Played for College Football Hall of Fame coach Darrell Royal.
- Becomes the 18th Longhorn player to enter the Hall.
For the longest time, Bob McKay’s vision of entering the College Football Hall of Fame was simple.
“I figured if I was ever going to be there, I’d have to buy a ticket,” he cracked.
That is no longer necessary, as McKay is now a member of one of the sport’s most exclusive fraternities. Nearly a half-century after protecting the late quarterback James Street and paving holes for a dominant rushing attack en route to Texas’ 1969 national championship, McKay becomes the first member of that title team to be inducted, a punctuation on a career that he never saw coming.
“It’s like I’ve told people before: All I wanted to do was play football in high school; if I could do that I thought that’d be a good deal,” McKay said. “It’s been amazing. I wasn’t smart enough to know I wasn’t supposed to play at Texas, because I never thought I could. I’m just blessed being around the people that I was and being on one hell of a team.”
The offensive tackle was an integral member of the Longhorns’ second national title team in ’69, as late Hall of Fame coach Darrell Royal ran the “Wishbone” offense to the tune of 330 rushing yards per game during an 11-0 campaign. McKay’s two-year Texas career ended with a 20-1-1 record, a pair of Southwestern Conference crowns, two Cotton Bowl wins and a consensus All-America distinction in 1969.
As with most offensive linemen, though, the numbers hardly tell the story. Especially in the case of McKay, as he makes sure memories from those days in Austin are never far from his mind. Despite a nine-year NFL career with Cleveland and New England, and his post-football career, his heart always remained in Austin, or, as the Crane, Texas, native learned to call it over the years: Home.
“I came back every year in the offseason,” McKay said. “Back when I was in the NFL, it was a part-time job, so very few people stayed where we were at.”
McKay celebrates those memories not far from his backyard with an annual fishing trip, which serves as a reunion of sorts for the members of his Texas teams, who he counts among his closest college friends. Though McKay says the competitive nature of the fishing has died down in recent years, it has been more than adequately replaced by an uptick of laughter.
“Some of them are in my class, some of them are right before me, some right after me,” McKay said of the most recent fishing trip in June. “You know them for 50 years. The national championship and undefeated season, that’s (over the head of) a 22 year-old kid; you start thinking anybody can do this.
“And like I’ve told people a thousand times: I don’t know how you pick one out of that huddle. We had a pretty good team, there were pretty good ballplayers out there at any one time. So, I feel real blessed to be the one that’s representing them.