Today the R Blog presents a closer look at Hall of Fame inductees Rodrigo Barnes and Bryan Bronson.
Rodrigo Barnes - Hall of Fame Inductee
Rodrigo Barnes, from Waco, Texas, earned 3A second team all-state honors in football and was a state finalist in track, while attending George Washington Carver High School. After graduation, Barnes attended Rice University, where played football for the Owls. He was one of only four African-American student-athletes at Rice and one of 12 African-American undergraduates. Barnes was a true pioneer for Rice athletics and the first African-American to be named to an All-SWC Defensive Team.
In 1969, Barnes was honored as SWC-Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year (Dallas Morning News) and All-SWC Second Team Defense. In 1971, Rodrigo was honored as All-SWC, SWC- Defensive Player of the Year, and recipient of the Jess Neely Defense Award. Barnes earned All-SWC honors in 1972 and played in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game where he served as co-captain on the Gray Team and was named the defensive player of the game.
He graduated from Rice with a B.A. degree in sociology, behavioral science, and H&P.E. and was a seventh round draft pick by the NFL's Dallas Cowboys in 1973. In mid-season of 1974, Rodrigo was traded to New England Patriots and completed the 1975 season with the Miami Dolphins. Rodrigo then played for the Oakland Raiders in 1976 and helped them win Super Bowl XI. Injuries in 1977 forced Rodrigo to retire from professional football.
After his NFL career, Barnes was general manager and coach in the United Football League 1979-81. He earned a masters degree in education from Prairie View A&M University, with certifications in guidance and counseling and mid-management. He is a motivational speaker, program implementation and assessments, and employee relations consultant. Rodrigo has worked with schools, businesses, pro-athletes, and many organizations. His company, Pro Consultants, provides confidential consultation services to professional athletes, and senior administrators ("Your Success is Our Business").
Bryan Bronson - Hall of Fame Inductee
Bryan Bronson is considered to be one of the greatest 400m hurdlers of all-time, anywhere. The Jasper, Texas, native set a meet record while winning the 1998 U.S. Outdoor 400m hurdles with a time of 47.03, that still ranks third all-time. An Olympic semifinalist at Atlanta in 1996, Bronson finished third in the 400m hurdles at the 1997 IAAF World Outdoor Championship with a time of 47.88. At Rice, Bronson also competed collegiately in the 200m in addition to the 400m hurdles.
He holds the school's indoor (20.90) and outdoor (20.28) records for the 200m. His 49.07 in the 400m hurdles is a Rice record, which he set while winning the NCAA title in 1993 as a sophomore to complete an undefeated season. Bronson won five Southwest Conference titles during his time at Rice.
Bronson earned the team's Fred Wolcott Award, given to the men's track and field athlete judged to be the most versatile winning performer while best exemplifying the winning team attitude and high moral character of Fred Wolcott, both on and off the field, in 1993 and 1994.
This year's ceremony takes place in the R Room, atop the south end zone of Rice Stadium and begins at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour and the program commences at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.00 each and can purchaed by calling Mary Santos at 713-348-5677 or online: