Former Steeler, College Football Hall of Famer Gabriel Rivera Dies at 57

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

LATROBE, PA - JULY 1983:  Defensive lineman Gabe Rivera of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the field during summer training camp at St. Vincent College in July 1983 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
George Gojkovich/Getty Images

College Football Hall of Famer Gabriel Rivera died on Monday at the age of 57.

Per David Flores of KENS 5, Rivera died at a hospital in the San Antonio area after being diagnosed with a perforated bowel on Friday. 

Rivera initially became ill on Friday while he was attending an event at a social services organization where he had been volunteering. 

"Gabriel went home to the Lord at 9:25," Rivera's wife, Nancy, wrote in a text, per Flores. 

She also noted doctors were unable to perform surgery because he didn't have a stomach muscle. 

Rivera played college football as a defensive tackle at Texas Tech from 1979-82. He ended his collegiate career with 321 tackles, 34 tackles for loss and 14 sacks and was part of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame class. Rivera was also inducted into Texas Tech's Ring of Honor in 2014. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Rivera 21st overall in the 1983 NFL draft, but his playing career ended after just six games due to a car accident that left him paralyzed in his lower extremities. 

 

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