Rice University Owls football player Roland Jackson
Black and white photograph of Rice University Owls football player Roland Jackson, accompanied by text headlining his achievement and entry into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: One of the greatest running backs to wear the Blue and Gray, T. Roland Jackson also has brought honor to his alma mater be [sic] becoming a highly successful executive in the oil business since getting his B.S. from Rice in May of 1963. He became the founder and president of Pozos International Drilling Services Company in February of 1979. His office and home are in Conroe, but Roland has served various companies in the oil drilling game in such far flung places as Scotland, Bermuda, Argentina, Nigeria, Nicaragua, and in the Gulf of Mexico. He was first employed by Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company in 1963, right out of Rice, as a drilling engineer. We are proud of his success since graduation from Rice. He has come a long way since he was born January 5, 1940 in Ruston, Louisiana. Roland has a special remembrance for his uncle, R.L. Akin, who used to take him to see the Rice Owls play football when he was a little boy, and so inspired him to play for Rice. He became an All-Southwest Conference running back for Rice, and played for two Owl major bowl teams in the same calendar year. The 1060 club (SWC runnerup) played Ole Miss in the Jan. 1, 1960 Sugar Bowl game, and the 1961 team played in the December, 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl game versus Kansas in the Owl’s own Rice Stadium. Jackson will be presented at the Hall ceremony by retired famous Rice coach Joe Davis, and it is most fitting. It was Davis who recruited Roland for Rice (with that boost by Uncle R.L. of years before). He had been as [sic] all-state star back for Ruston High and also a fine javelin thrower. He lettered in the javelin for Rice’s late track coach, Emmett Brunson, in addition to football. Line coach Davis brought him in, then the late Jess Neely influenced his life considerably. Roland vividly remembers a Neely comment in recruiting, “It is not so much ‘what’ you now, (after graduation) as ‘who’ you know, and there are a lot of us ‘who’s’ in Houston.” Roland certainly learned his football lessons well from Neely and Davis. He was the MVP of the Owlet frosh team in 1958, and then was a stellar slashing runner on the 1959, 1960, 1961 teams, going to two major bowl games. He had laniappe [sic] for his senior season by playing for the South in the Shrine North-South Game at Miami, the Senior Bowl at Mobile, and in the summer for the All-America Coaches’ Game at Buffalo, NY. Roland then went on to play one year of NFL pro ball for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1962 before returning to get his Rice degree the following spring, and then going into the oil drilling business. Roland Jackson made hundreds of runs for Rice, of course. But the one most apt to stick in the memory of every veteran Owl fan was the season opener of 1961 before and overflow 73,000 crowd at Rice Stadium. His dazzling 60-yard TD dash was the “gamebreaker” that sparked Rice to a 16-3 upset on mighty L.S.U. under famed Coach Paul Dietzel. That was the only loss for the Tigers, who went on to win the Orange Bowl game. They would have been national champs had it not been for Rice and a Louisiana lad from Ruston with that Saturday night shocker at Rice Stadium in Houson. One of Roland’s closest pals and a teammate tackle who blocked for him is George Karam; who has become a successful Houston attorney. Men like Jackson and Karam personify what athletics is a Rice – a place to play major league sports in a beautiful wetting while gaining a degree with prestige to go out and challenge the world. The support of men like these, as well as many more former Owls who have made their mark after graduation, is vital to the current effort to get Rice back on the winning track again.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63984
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