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Texas State Hero

Earl Campbell   Adopted: May 12, 1981
Texas state hero
Texas State Hero: Earl Campbell
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Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell was declared a state hero when Governor Bill Clements signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 20 on May 12, 1981. Perhaps in a somewhat silly effort to keep him with a Texas franchise, the concurrent resolution also "demands that his football career remain based in Texas."

Highlights of Earl Campbell's football career:

  • Started in football, as a kicker, in fifth grade.
  • Shifted position to linebacker, then running back in sixth grade.
  • Led John Tyler High School to the Texas 4A State Championship in 1973.
  • Played in college for the University of Texas at Austin.
  • First-team All-America selection by the AFCA in 1975.
  • Consensus All-America choice in 1977.
  • Selected as Southwest Conference running back of the year in each of his college seasons.
  • Playing for the University of Texas at Austin, won Heisman trophy in 1977.
  • Awarded Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy, as most valuable player for the now folded Southwest conference.
  • First draft pick overall in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.
  • Named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press in 1978.
  • Named NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1978.
  • Named All-Pro, Pro Bowl, and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1979.
  • Led the NFL in rushing for 1978, 1979, and 1980.
  • Played in five Pro Bowls.
  • Traded to the New Orleans Saints in 1984. Evidently the resolution of the Texas Legislature didn't hold much weight.
  • Retired in 1986.
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 27, 1991.

H. C. R. No. 20


WHEREAS, Earl Campbell's exploits on the gridiron and his exemplary personal qualities have made him a source of great pride for the citizens of this state; and

WHEREAS, Throughout his illustrious football career, he has entertained and thrilled Texans: first, on the high school level in Tyler; then, at The University of Texas at Austin, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1977; and now with the Houston Oilers of the National Football League; and

WHEREAS, N.F.L. Rookie of the Year in 1978, Earl Campbell has been the league's leading rusher in each of his three years with the Oilers and has amassed almost 5,000 rushing yards during his professional career; and

WHEREAS, For the second consecutive year, the Texas Sports Writers Association has named him Pro Athlete of the year; and

WHEREAS, Earl Campbell has earned an enthusiastic following of fans from across the state and is an inspiration to many young Texans; and

WHEREAS, If because of a trade, Earl Campbell were to become a member of a football team in another state, there would be an immediate and an adverse reaction from the state's citizenry; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, That the 67th Legislature, in recognition of the high esteem that Texans have for Earl Campbell, hereby declare this exceptional individual to be a State Hero whose greatness demands that his football career remain in Texas; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That official copies of this resolution be prepared for Earl Campbell and for Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams as expressions of the sentiment of the Texas Legislature.


"HCR 20, 67th Regular Session." Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Legislative Reference Library of Texas. Web. 1 Apr 2013. .
"Hall of Famers: Earl Campbell." Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pro Football Hall of Fame. Web. 1 Apr 2013. .

Additional Information

Hall of Famers: Earl Campbell: Official website of the National Football Hall of Fame.