The TaxAct Texas Bowl Committee has selected the 2023 class of Gridiron Legends inductees, the committee announced today. The honorees will be inducted into the Gridiron Legends at a special pregame ceremony during the TaxAct Texas Bowl game at NRG Stadium on Dec. 27.
The 2023 class features Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bruce Matthews, College Football Hall of Fame members Trevor Cobb and Murry Bowden, legendary Katy High School head coach and GHFCA nominee Gary Joseph, longtime FOX sports anchor Mark Berman and former Houston Texans president Jamey Rootes.
The Gridiron Legends have each made significant contributions to the game of football in the state of Texas at the high school, collegiate or professional level. The 2023 class joins 94 other Gridiron Legends who have been inducted since the Bowl’s inception in 2006, including Texas greats Earl Campbell, Joe Greene, Andre Ware, Bum Phillips, Jim Nantz, John David Crow, Andre Johnson and Dave Campbell among others.
Bruce Matthews was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 following a 19-year career with the Houston Oilers and the Tennessee Titans. Considered one of the most durable and versatile players to play the game, Matthews started in 292 of 296 career games, which is the most career starts with one team in NFL history, the most by any offensive lineman, and the third-most by any player behind QB Tom Brady (333) and QB Brett Favre (298). Matthews started in 229 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak of its kind, while playing all five positions on the offensive line and never missing a game due to injury. He earned first team All-Pro honors nine times (1988-1993, 1998-2000) and was named to the Pro Bowl 14 times (1988-2001), tied for the second-most all-time. After his retirement from football, Matthews was named to the 1990’s NFL All-Decade Team as a guard, as well as the NFL 100 All-Time Team in 2020 as one of the top 100 players in the first 100 years of the NFL. Matthews, a Raleigh N.C. native is the son of Clay Matthews Sr., who played defensive line for the 49ers.
Trevor Cobb, a Houston native, etched his name in the Rice football record books after four record setting seasons (1989-92). In 44 games played with the Owls, Cobb accumulated a school-record 4,948 career rushing yards, marking the second-most in Southwestern Conference history, and the 28th-most in the history of college football. He holds SWC career records in all-purpose yards (6,512), rushing attempts (1,091) and 200-yard games in a season (6). Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018, Cobb’s legacy was cemented during his junior year in 1991 when he was named a consensus All-American and won the Doak Walker Award given to the nation’s top running back. He is the first Rice football player to win a major individual award. Following his storied college career, Cobb went on to the NFL, where he played for the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs, and later spent time with the Amsterdam Admirals of the NFL Europe League. Upon finishing his football career, he went on to pursue helping and giving back to underprivileged communities in the Houston area through his non-profit organization, Trevor Cobb Helping Hands, which focuses on helping individuals that have experienced medical setbacks along with financial hardship.
A native of Colorado City, Texas, Bowden is known as the “Reckless Rover” during his time at Dartmouth College, Murry Bowden’s all-around versatility and durability characterize his enduring impact on the field and his contributions to college football off the field. A team captain and first team All-American at linebacker for the Big Green, Bowden led Dartmouth to Ivy League championships as a junior and senior, including the 1970 season when the team finished 9-0 and was the last Ivy League school to earn a ranking as one of the top 20 teams in the country. He went on to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. That same year, Bowden became a member of the National Football Foundation Board of Directors, where he played a significant role in helping oversee the construction of the new College Football Hall of Fame and its transition from South Bend, Ind., to Atlanta, Ga. Shortly after the new Hall of Fame was unveiled in 2014, Bowden was named Chairman of Atlanta Hall Management, where he continued his leadership and oversight of the Hall, and later assisted in naming Chick-fil-A as the official title sponsor in 2018. Bowden is also the Founder and Chairman of the Hanover Company.
Gary Joseph – GHFCA Nominee, Legendary Katy HS Coach, Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Since taking the reins at Katy as head coach in 2004, Coach Gary Joseph has led the Katy Tigers to nine state championships – winning five state championships (2007, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2020). After the Tigers' title win in 2012, the team was named National Champions by the National Sports News Service and Coach Joseph was named 2012 National High School Coach of the Year. An eleven-time District 18/19 6A Coach of the Year, Joseph was named Houston Touchdown Club Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2013 and Houston Texans 5A Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2013. In 2007, Coach Joseph was honored by the Katy Chamber of Commerce as Katy's 2007 Citizen of the Year. Coach Joseph has served on the Board of Directors of the THSCA, the GHFCA, and on the coaching staff of five prestigious all-star games, including the 2009 THSCA game where he served as the head coach for the South All Stars. In 2015, Joseph was named the National Football Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) and in 2016, Joseph was inducted into the Texas High School Sports Hall of Fame, joining his father and longtime THSCA Vice President Eddie Joseph. Coach Joseph began his coaching career at Luling High School and advanced in jobs at Brazosport and Austin Westlake before moving to Katy High School, where he has served for 41 years as an assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and head coach. Coach Joseph and his wife Sheila have three children, Jon, Jeff and Julie, and three granddaughters.
Longtime sports anchor Mark Berman, who recently retired after 43 years in the business, became the weekend sports anchor/reporter at FOX 26 in 1986 before becoming the station’s sports director in 1988, a position he held until his retirement in June 2023. Throughout his career, Berman worked tirelessly to cover nearly every Houston sporting event and left his mark on many individuals who he came across. A Houston native, Berman grew up in Hempstead and graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Before his time at FOX 26, he previously worked as a weekend anchor/reporter at KOSA-TV in Odessa, Texas and then as a sports director for KIKK radio in Pasadena, Texas. Following his retirement, Berman's hometown of Hempstead presented him with the Trailblazer Award and the key to the city while the Houston Texans honored the long-time reporter with a spot on their Media Wall of Fame. Following in her father’s footsteps, Berman’s daughter Jessica is a television news producer who now works for FOX 26.
Jamey Rootes served as the President of the Houston Texans for over 20 years. During his tenure with the Texans, Rootes managed the team’s efforts to secure stadium-naming rights, sponsorships, coordinated radio and TV broadcasting relationships, engineered the club’s ticket and suite sales campaigns and developed the team’s customer service strategy. Rootes also served as President of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE), a sports management agency that has been a catalyst for some of Houston’s most significant sporting events, including premiere college football games and world-class soccer matches. A native of Stone Mountain, GA, Rootes graduated from Clemson University’s Calhoun Honors College. While attending Clemson, Rootes was a member of the Tigers’ soccer team that captured two NCAA titles and served as Student Body President. Before entering the sports industry, Rootes previously held positions at IBM and Procter & Gamble. He is survived by his wife, Melissa, and their children, Chris and Caroline.
For tickets and more information regarding the 2023 TaxAct Texas Bowl featuring the Big 12 versus the SEC, visit https://www.taxacttexasbowl.com/
TaxAct Texas Bowl
Watch BIG 12 and SEC square off at NRG Stadium for TaxAct Texas Bowl 2023.