Aug. 1, 2010
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34 DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF - Patrick Gibbs is a man of many titles -- a list of names that include business owner, real estate broker and insurance agent.
He can also be referred to as former Lamar football player and All-Southland Conference defensive back.
Gibbs, owner of G Team Real Estate in Beaumont, credits his time on the gridiron at Lamar in helping prepare him for his current endeavors.
"Had it not been for football, I probably would not have gotten a college education," said Gibbs, who played at Lamar from 1968-1971. "So, I think it gives a lot of children the opportunity to get their education, and you can learn a lot from playing the game.
"There are lessons you can learn from football that will help you for many years to come. It was a real benefit to me.
"I was able to play all four years, and that's the reason I came to Lamar. It gave me the opportunity to start as a freshman, while other colleges would have had me redshirt my first year. That was a pretty good opportunity."
Lamar also granted Gibbs the chance to meet his wife Millie, something he refers to as "one of the best things that ever happened to me."
On the field, meanwhile, Gibbs lined up at wide receiver for Lamar his first three seasons before making the change to defensive back his senior year.
"I didn't mind the switch," said Gibbs. "I really wanted to play both ways, but they wouldn't allow us to do that at the time.
"It worked out because I ended up getting drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive back. So I think it worked out pretty good in that sense."
While Gibbs found success in his transition from receiver to defensive back, the Cardinals posted their best record in four years during that 1971 season.
After going a combined 6-24 from 1968-1970, Lamar notched a 5-6 campaign and tied for first place in the Southland Conference with a 4-1 mark in league play.
The Cardinals began the 1971 season with a 1-4 record, but they made the adjustments that led to a strong finish.
"We changed offensive formations and went to the wishbone offense," said Gibbs. "We didn't have a throwing quarterback, but we had guys who could run and we had good running backs.
"We were able to produce a lot of offense as a result of that, and the defense played pretty strong and it gave us the ability to win.
"It made me feel good going out on a winning note. It's a good feeling to win, especially when you come from losing."
Following his time at Lamar, Gibbs played with the Eagles before being cut early during his second season with the team. He also spent time in the World Football League, and he has been in the Beaumont area for the past 27 years.
"I really enjoyed being able to get in there and participate in a nice growing school," said Gibbs. "We had a really nice culture on campus as well as a pretty good team."
The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved an athletics fee to restore the program in February of 2008 and named former NFL player Ray Woodard its eighth head coach on June 19, 2008.
Lamar will play an 11-game schedule this season, with six games being played in the newly renovated Provost Umphrey Stadium. The first home game will be against Webber International on Sept. 11.
Tickets for this historic season are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling the Lamar Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715 or by visiting the athletics Web site at www.lamarcardinals.com/tickets/footbl-s-tickets.html.