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Is this Tom Flores’ year? The Fresno City College alumnus is a finalist for the Professional Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 in Canton, Ohio. He will find out if he is selected this coming weekend. The newest members of the Hall of Fame will be announced Saturday night, the night before Super Bowl VIII.
If selected, Flores will be the first FCC Ram to be enshrined in the Football Hall of Fame. Former FCC pitcher Tom Seaver is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Flores attended Fresno City College from 1954 to 1956 where he was a star athlete in football and baseball, was active in student government and was president of the Associated Men’s Students. In football, he became the Rams’ first primary throwing quarterback. In two seasons, Flores threw 24 touchdown passes.
Flores earned an associate degree before transferring to the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) where he graduated in 1958.
In 2010, he was named one of Fresno City College’s 100 Centennial Stars and was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus and keynote speaker at Commencement that same year.
In his professional career, Flores was the first Latino quarterback in the National Football League when he played for the Oakland Raiders in 1960. He is only one of two men to have won a Super Bowl ring as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He has four Super Bowl rings.
A native of Sanger, and a graduate of Sanger High School, the football stadium at the school is named in his honor.
“We would like to wish the great Ram football player Tom Flores good luck as he waits for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is a symbol of success for our FCC community, not only as a legendary player but as a proud Mexican-American who has attained the highest standards in the game of football at all levels,” Tony Caviglia, FCC head football coach, remarked.
The Hall of Fame selection committee will meet on “Selection Saturday” February 2 to vote. Each new member must receive at least 80 percent of the vote.
Flores has been eligible for the past 24 years and nominated eight times. This is the first year he has been a finalist or even a semifinalist.
“His abundant honors will be capped by his bust in the gallery of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Woody Wilk, retired FCC sports publicist. He adds, “Through the years of waiting, he has publicly demonstrated class and magnanimity with diplomatic silence. It is time for his family, former teammates, those he coached, and legions of friends to shout ‘YES!’ and ‘¡Si se puede!’"