Eugene ‘Gene’ Upshaw

Trailblazing Figure Transcended Gridiron, Leaving Lasting Legacy

Born in Robstown, Texas, Upshaw's journey to gridiron greatness began at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), where he earned NAIA All-America honors and showcased his versatility playing center, tackle, and end. 

Selected as the Oakland Raiders' first-round choice in the inaugural combined AFL-NFL draft in 1967, the 6-foot-5, 255-pound lineman quickly made an impact. With the Raiders, Upshaw found his niche at left guard, a position he would dominate for 15 seasons, and his imposing size and athleticism proved invaluable in neutralizing formidable opponents. 

Upshaw's durability and consistency were unparalleled, starting in 207 straight regular-season games until a brief hiatus in 1981. Despite a temporary setback, Upshaw returned to play 10 more games in what would be his final season in 1981, capping off an incredible career spanning 307 pre-season, regular-season, and post-season contests. 

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Throughout his impressive career, Upshaw earned numerous accolades, including first- or second-team All-League or All-Conference honors for 11 consecutive years and seven Pro-Bowl selections. Recognized as a team leader, he captained the Raiders' offensive unit for eight seasons, guiding them to success on the field and earning respect from his leadership. 

Upshaw's impact extended beyond statistics and accolades; he played an integral role in the Raiders' lethal running attack of the 1970s, showcasing his intelligence, dedication, and leadership. His contributions were instrumental in the Raiders' triumphs in three Super Bowls, making him the only player to start on championship teams in both the AFL and NFL eras. 

In Robstown and beyond, Eugene 'Gene' Upshaw's enduring legacy as a trailblazer in football continues to inspire generations, leaving a lasting legacy on football and the lives of those he inspired.

Coastal Bend Sports Hall of Fame & Awards Show Inductees

Eugene Upshaw

Trailblazing Figure Transcended Gridiron, Leaving Lasting Legacy

Eugene 'Gene' Upshaw, a titan in the world of American football, cemented his legacy as one of the game's greatest players and leaders. Learn more about his remarkable career with the Oakland Raiders and discover his journey from a standout college athlete to his dominance on the professional football field. 

Philip Danaher

High School Football Coaching Legend Left Lasting Legacy

Discover the inspiring journey of Phil Danaher, a Texas high school football coaching legend, and his remarkable career milestones. Learn how Danaher’s influence transcends victories, shaping the lives of countless players both on and off the field, making him a true icon in the world of football.

Amy Acuff

High-Flying Track & Field Star Achievement Set New Heights for Aspiring Athletes

Amy Acuff, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, knows how to aim high—literally and figuratively. The record-setting high jumper has made an impressive five appearances in the Olympics, showcasing her exceptional talent and determination on the world stage.

Kitty O'Neil

Record-breaking Stuntwoman Continues to Leave a Mark

Discover the remarkable story of Kitty O'Neil, a groundbreaking stuntwoman and speed racer whose fearless spirit defied the odds and inspired millions. Despite being deaf since infancy, O'Neil fearlessly pursued her passion for speed and adventure, setting numerous land speed records and performing daring stunts in Hollywood films. Learn the incredible journey of a trailblazer who shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of women in motorsports and entertainment.