Larry Jackson looks back on a Southwest Conference Championship team
by Khadijah Ray '16
special to AggieAthletics.com
Rewind 20 years, to the windy day of October 30, 1993.
Kyle Field, proudly filled with the boisterous spirit of the 12th Man, watches as Texas A&M battles SMU. Earning their sixth-consecutive win of the season, as well as the 22nd-straight conference victory, the Aggies fight to a 37-13 victory--defending their seat atop the Southwest Conference.
It was yet another triumphant day in Aggieland.
After the final conference match-up of the season--against Texas—the 1993 team once again hoisted an SWC trophy. The Aggies were unstoppable, outscoring their opponents 251-68 on the way to a third consecutive conference championship.
This week, College Station becomes the site of a family reunion as it welcomes back these admirable players to where it all began those 20 years ago.
- Larry Jackson
“We had a lot of great players,” remembers Larry Jackson, now the Director of Football Sports Performance for the Aggies. He cut his teeth as an inside linebacker and defensive end on the Aggies’ famed Wrecking Crew.
“We never lost to SMU,” Jackson said. “We did not lose one conference game the whole four years [1991-1994] I played here.”
Jackson, among many other former A&M players, proudly wears that badge of honor as his time on the field for the Aggies was one of the school’s most successful periods yet. The 1993 squad compiled a 10-2 overall record under coach R.C. Slocum and was undefeated inside the friendly confines of Kyle Field, falling only to nonconference opponents No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 4 Notre Dame (in the Cotton Bowl).
This SWC giant was robed in depth and power.
A fully-armored team is indeed an understatement when speaking of the talents this squad encompassed. With All-Americans such as Aaron Glenn and Lombardi Award runner-up Sam Adams, as well as legendary players and all-SWC selections Leeland McElroy, Greg Hill, Rodney Thomas, Tyler Harrison and many others, this SWC Championship team was equipped for whatever challenge awaited it.
Over the years, the NFL has been adorned with some of the best this Texas town has to offer, including 14 players from that ’93 roster.
After the NFL many of these Aggies, including Jackson, remain tied to the sport—moving over to the sideline to coach newer generations of football talent. One member of the team, Dennis Allen, now walks the sidelines as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
Their coaches have moved on, too. Mike Clark, the Aggies’ strength and conditioning coach that year, also moved on to pro football—joining the Seattle Seahawks in the same capacity. He is currently with the Chicago Bears.
“The only reason I am in this position is because of [Mike Clark],” Jackson said. “He was like a second father to me. He was very instrumental in helping me become the strength coach I am today.”
Jackson’s praise only skims the surface when it comes to how influential Clark was to Texas A&M. Named Strength Coach of the Year by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association in 1993 and 2000, Clark served the Aggies for an action-packed 14 years (1990-2003). Still running strong in the NFL, he continues to influence aspiring athletes much like Jackson.
Of course, one cannot overlook the man who was held in the highest esteem by his players and peers, head coach R.C. Slocum—the winningest and longest-serving head coach Texas A&M football has ever had.
Slocum instructed the Aggies from 1989 to 2002, amassing a .721 winning percentage and a 123-47-2 record. As a truly remarkable leader, he took this team and pushed it team past the bounds of what most teams ever encounter.
In 2012 Slocum was inducted into the prestigious College Football Hall of Fame. As he accepted the award, he stated that “it validates the work of some really great players that played for me at Texas A&M.” The 1993 team can say they share a great deal in this accomplishment.
Though the Southwest Conference has long since disintegrated, this Saturday the 12th Man will witness a piece of history as members of the 1993 team look on while SMU and Texas A&M go head-to-head just as they did 20 years ago.
“It’s pretty cool to have all those guys come into town and to be able to feel a team, knowing that I am hanging out with all my brothers as I am training my little brothers,” Jackson said of the reunion.
As the crew of 1993 steps onto the ever-familiar grounds of Kyle Field, all should revel at the legacy they have composed. Records were set, championships won, and history engraved into the templates of Texas A&M football history.
The official game program contains weekly features like this in addition to rosters, statistics, depth charts, additional features, staff profiles and much more. Pick your copy up throughout Kyle Field each week for just $5.