Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I recognize Pro Football Hall of Famer, Kenny Houston, and pay tribute to his contributions to his alma mater, Prairie View A&M University. Kenny is one of the best football players to ever play the game; he is an outstanding member of our community, on and off the field.

Kenny was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas and attended Dunbar High School where he started his long career in one of Texas’ favorite past times, football. After graduating from high school in 1962, he chose to play football for Prairie View A&M University. During his time at Prairie View, he was a standout AllAmerican in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and the Panthers won the 1963–1964 Black College National Championship Football title.

The Houston Oilers made Kenny their 9th round pick in the 1967 draft, once again keeping him close to Texas. He played six seasons with the Houston Oilers, four under head coach Wally Lemm. Houston fans were upset when the Oilers traded Kenny in 1973 to the Washington Redskins. He then went on to play eight seasons in the prime of his career until he retired in 1980. He played a total of 14 seasons and 196 games in the National Football League.

In recognition of his tremendous talent, he played in ten pro bowls and was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team, the NFL’s All-Time 75th Anniversary Team and in 1999, Sporting News named him one of the 100 greatest players in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Despite his big league career and national stardom, Kenny has never lost the small town values that helped shape him. After his professional football career, he followed his passion to teach and coach and remains a strong advocate for students.

He is a dedicated family man, having been married to his wife Gustie for 49 years, and he is also the proud father of two grown children. On behalf of the Second Congressional District of Texas, I commend this remarkable leader for giving back to our community, being a role model for our youth, and helping the next generation of athletes achieve their dream of attending college and playing football at the collegiate level.

And that’s just the way it is.