Written by Megan Middleton, CISD Communications & Marketing
Jan. 6, 2016
PHOTO GALLERY | VIDEO
Crowley High School welcomed back one of its distinguished Eagles Wednesday morning — two-time Super Bowl champion and 1980 graduate Gary Reasons.
Reasons’ return was part of the National Football League’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll initiative to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl. As part of the effort, the NFL gives a commemorative Golden Football to high schools where Super Bowl players or head coaches graduated.
Reasons, who helped the New York Giants win two Super Bowls in 1987 and 1991, awarded Crowley ISD with its golden football during Wednesday’s ceremony. He also presented the school with his purple Crowley High School varsity letter jacket.
“This is for Crowley High School,” he said as he unveiled the jacket to applause from the crowd of about 500 student athletes and guests gathered in the high school auditorium.
Crowley High School is among more than 2,000 schools nationwide that the National Football League is recognizing as part of the honor roll initiative.
Reasons, who earned 13 varsity letters from 1976-1980 while at Crowley High, was an all-region linebacker and 1st Team All State tight end as a senior. He earned a scholarship and played as a linebacker at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, where he was the first three-time All American in Division 1-AA (FCS) history. In 1996, he was among the inaugural class of small school college players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
His nine-year NFL career included highlights such as:· Selected to the NFL All Rookie Team in 1984
· Selected to the All Madden and All NFL Teams in 1989
· Member of the New York Giants teams that won victories in Super Bowls XXI and XXV
“I’ve had a very special career,” Reasons said. “It’s been great to be an athlete. I had a great start at Crowley High School.”
Post-football, Reasons has worked more than 20 years as a college football broadcaster, joining ABC/ESPN as a national game analyst in 1994 and FOX Sports Southwest in 1998. He is the lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Southwest’s coverage of the Big 12 Conference. Reasons, who resides in McKinney with his wife, also is president of Pro Athletes Group.
During Wednesday’s presentation to students, Reasons emphasized the importance of academics in addition to being an athlete.
“Having a great purpose in school to give yourself the knowledge that you need to be able to succeed in life starts here.” he said. “The academic side of it is really first and foremost — the most important thing that you’re going to take away from your memories here at Crowley High School.”
He showed video clips of important plays from his career, including what later became known as “The Hit” — a moment from a 1989 game between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos that Reasons said was one of the best memories he had as a player.
“Giants fans are always asking me about that play,” he said.
Student athletes attending the ceremony said they were impressed by the exceptional success story of the Crowley High graduate.
“It was really cool to see how hard work pays off,” Samantha Handy, a senior softball player, said.
Darius Curtis, a senior football safety, also was inspired by Reasons’ rise from Crowley High to the NFL.
“It’s good that we can see that somebody from Crowley was able to make it to the next level — to the collegiate level and make it to the NFL,” Curtis said.
Brenda Gilmore, Reasons' former middle school teacher in Crowley, was among those who attended Wednesday’s event. She said Reasons was one of those students who stood out from the crowd.
“Gary was always a very conscientious student — he was very gentlemanly, he was very friendly,” she said, noting his commitment to hard work even then. “I use him as an example all the time to the kids who I teach.”
She appreciated that he also stressed the importance of academics during his presentation to students.
“It’s heartwarming to see somebody come back to where they started and give back and not forget that,” she said.
As a member of the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll, Crowley High School also receives an NFL Character Education Curriculum and is eligible to apply for a grant from the NFL Foundation to support the school’s football program.
For more information on the NFL Super Bowl Honor Roll, visit nfl.com/sbhonorroll.