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FSU snub, fallen records, now ‘Fame’ for Reveiz
Ex-Vol, NFL field goal record-holder to be inducted into Knox Hall


A Bobby Bowden last-second snub and a George Cafego name change didn’t stop Fuad Reveiz from setting SEC and NFL records. The former Tennessee Volunteer standout placekicker and 13-year NFL veteran has added another honor to his career collection.

Reveiz is among the 2007 Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Inductees, and will be honored Thursday evening, July 12, in Knoxville Convention Center.


Saying then Vol coach Greg Gibson recruited him in 1981 as an All-state high school placekicker from Miami, “U-T was the only place that would give me a scholarship,” the Farragut resident said. “It was two weeks prior to camp opening up. The only way for me to go to school was through a scholarship. I was fortunate enough that U-T took a chance on me. Four years there was just a lot of fun.”

Ironically, being a Miami native, Reveiz said it was his dream to play for head coach Bobby Bowden and Florida State — not the hometown Miami Hurricanes.

However, “The reason I was offered [a scholarship] so late is because I had committed to Florida State since my junior year in high school,” Reveiz said, “but the day before the national letter was ready to sign, they called and said ‘sorry, but we’re going to give it to someone else.’

“I had told everybody else I was committed, so they took me off their plans.”

Still bitter? “Let’s put it this way, I never root for the Seminoles,” Reveiz said.

Upon arrival on Rocky Top, “For a Spanish kid, coming to East Tennessee was very much a culture shock,” Reveiz said. “I only thing I loved was that the girls loved my accent, so that gave me a little bit of an in there.”

Despite facing discrimination, “My grandfather said the only way they can discriminate against you is you allow them to discriminate against you,” Reveiz said. “I refused to allow someone to make me feel less than what I am.”

An All-SEC honoree in 1982, Reveiz still co-holds the record for longest field goal in conference history — 60-yarder against Georgia Tech in 1982.

But his most memorable Vol moment wasn’t a game-winning field goal or great UT win.

“When I felt like I had coach [George] Cafego’s respect,” Reveiz said about the former Vol legend and long-time kicking coach. “He was always kidding me about my name, how difficult it was.

“That’s why he always called me ‘Frank.’”

During games, “I would always stand beside coach Cafego and he would always look at coach [Johnny] Majors,” Reveiz said. “When it was time to kick, “He would always say, ‘Frank, kick it.

“I’ll never forget the last game against Kentucky [1984], coach Cafego turned over to me and said, ‘Fuad, let’s go do it.’ That’s the first time he used my real name, and he kept using my real name from then on.

“I was flabbergasted, he thinks I’m grown up enough to have that different style of relationship. I graduated from coach Cafego’s tutelage, so to speak,” Reveiz added.

“He meant so much to my career and still means so much to my life.”

Also finishing third in the state of Florida in the 189-pound class as a senior high school wrestler, Reveiz remembers his awe with a well-known UT landmark.

“The big thing was actually going up to the stadium, I had never seen a stadium that size,” Reveiz said of Neyland Stadium. “It was amazing.”

NFL SUCCESS

Playing his first four NFL years with the Miami Dolphins, Reveiz was part of a special Monday Night Football game against Mike Ditka’s mighty Chicago Bears, handing the eventual Super Bowl XX champs its only loss of 1985.

“That’s the biggest thrill I had, it was my first Monday Night game,” Reveiz said. “I remembered watching, as a little boy, Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Paul Warfield, Bob Griese. I remember getting ready to kick-off and seeing those guys on the sideline. That was a huge thrill for me.”

As a Minnesota Vikings kicker in the twilight of his career, Reveiz set the NFL consecutive field goal record (since broken) at 31, starting in 1995 into 1996.

Reveiz said his Vikings teammates “were really pulling for me, and that meant so much to me. … They were so proud and they were so happy.”

Establishing a close relationship with now deceased All-Pro and All-American defensive lineman Reggie White while Vol teammates, Reveiz remembers facing White in the NFL.

“Every time he’d try to come through and did not block one of my kicks, he’d go, ‘You know I love yah, man, right, you know I love you,’” Reveiz recalled. “He was a great man.”

Reveiz, now 44, was forced to retire in 1997 after a third surgery on his left ankle, the plant ankle for his kicks, didn’t heal properly.

HALL HONOR

“I’m flattered and I’m honored that they would think of giving me that honor,” Reveiz said of his Hall of Fame nomination. “It’s a great honor and something that I really don’t take lightly, especially because this is my community, this is where I live. I feel fortunate and blessed to be part of that.”

Induction events kick-off at 5:30 p.m. (hospitality), followed by dinner at 6:30 and the ceremony starting at 7:30.

Chad Pennington, New York Jets quarterback and former Webb Spartan and Marshall University standout, is featured speaker.

NEXT GENERATION

Reveiz liked Knoxville well enough to return with his wife, Gayle, and children after his seventh year in the NFL [1991 with Minnesota] to set down roots in the off-season and finish his degree.

Though Fuad said the Reveiz family “loved” the Minneapolis community, Minnesota’s bitterly cold weather was too much.

“The more we came here, the more I loved it,” Reveiz said of his subsequent off-season returns. “The big reason that made me stay here was that we bought a boat, just to see if I liked boating. And I was absolutely hooked.”

Now it’s a new Reveiz generation on The Hill.

“I’m seeing my boys being on the field that I was playing at at one time, and that really makes you start to feel old,” Reveiz said of UT sophomore preferred walk-on linebacker Nick Reveiz and Vol freshman preferred walk-on linebacker Shane Reveiz.

“It’s been one of the greatest thrills of my life to see these boys work as hard as they’ve been working and succeeding,” Fuad added. “People saying, ‘they can’t do, they can’t do it.’”

With Nick moving up to third string in spring practice before breaking his leg, “Now some people are saying, ‘maybe they can do it,’” the father added. “I wanted them to do what their heart told them.”

Not to be forgotten is Fuad’s daughter, Bryanna, expected to be a key piece of the 2007 Farragut High School volleyball team as a junior.

“She is another one that everyone told her, ‘you’re not big enough, you’re not strong enough,’” Fuad said. “I’ve been extremely proud of her production.”

“They all have incredible work ethic and the will to succeed.”

Reveiz started his construction business, Reveiz & Co., in 1996, and hosts “Weekend Remodeling” on the Do It Yourself cable network.

 

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