Tributes pour in for San Antonio football legend 'Señor Sack' who died Monday

Gabe Rivera died at 57, starred at Texas Tech, was drafted by Steelers

By Ben Spicer - Web Producer, RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator

(AP Photo/John Amis, File)

SAN ANTONIO - Former San Antonio high school football legend and NFL player Gabe Rivera died Monday night at a local hospital. He was 57 years old. 

The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the death Tuesday.

Rivera, nicknamed "Señor Sack,” was a two-way star for Jefferson High School before becoming one of college football's most dominant linemen at Texas Tech.

His NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers however was tragically cut short by a car accident during his rookie season.

Rivera suffered a spinal cord injury in the accident which left him as a paraplegic.

The first-round NFL draft pick and college All-American finished his four-year career with the Red Raiders with 321 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 11 pass deflections and six fumble recoveries.

In six professional games with the Steelers, he tallied two sacks.

Rivera was selected as an inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

He was also named to the Texas Tech Sports Hall of Fame and the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2014, his name was added to Texas Tech’s Ring of Honor at Jones AT&T Stadium.

Texas Tech announced on Tuesday that this year's football team will wear a special helmet sticker throughout the 2018 season to honor Rivera.

Tributes for the San Antonio legend have poured in since news of his death spread.

Rivera is survived by his wife Nancy and his two children, Timothy and Rae. Funeral services are pending.

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