Willie Roaf joined several of his former 1990 Independence Bowl teammates at Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday, commemorating their tie with Maryland in the program’s first bowl game.
To make the day more special, the Louisiana Tech, College Football and Pro Football Hall of Famer decided to donate his Hall of Fame and NFL Hall of Fame jacket to the Charles Wyly museum on campus in Ruston.
“It was important and the timing was good because it’s been 30 years since that big game and I was a redshirt sophomore on that team,” Roaf told The News-Star prior to the Bulldogs hosting UAB Saturday. “I felt like in honor of my teammates and Fred Dean passing, I’ve been talking to his wife Pam.
“On Fred’s behalf I’d like to donate my Hall of Fame jacket as well. I got to know Fred more when he was in the Hall of Fame, and he was such a nice guy. I had such a good relationship with Fred. COVID-19 is affecting a lot of people. This honors his passing.”
Other Tech Hall of Fame players and coaches like Terry Bradshaw already have an enshrinement of memorabilia they have donated back to their alma mater. Roaf said to come back and see his jacket and ring next to Bradshaw and others, it’ll mean a lot.
“I just want to do my part to make the museum grow. We have more players going to the NFL now and have good careers, so hopefully that’ll have theirs in here as well,” Roaf said. “I already have a lot of stuff in the old locker room. It’ll mean a lot to me have my Hall of Fame jacket along with Bradshaw’s Hall of Fame jacket and all the things he’s given.”
Following a stellar career with the Bulldogs, Roaf was drafted and eventually a Hall of Fame player for the New Orleans Saints from 1993 to 2001 before finishing out his NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Being back and spending time around his former teammates at the game Saturday, Roaf said he was grateful to get back to Ruston and it brought back memories.
“It brings back those feelings of working out, getting after it, going out there competing with these guys with coach (Joe Raymond) Peace and that great coaching staff we had. It was a lot of fun,” Roaf said.
“We tried to go out there and learn a lot of respect and I think that’s what propelled this program to the next level. And look what’s happened now.”