PHOENIX, Ariz. (KAMR/KCIT) — The National Football League announced the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023 Thursday evening, and after four years of being a finalist, Zach Thomas is officially a Hall of Famer.

Thomas, a Pampa native and Texas Tech University graduate, is the first Texas Panhandle athlete to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A linebacker, Thomas earned All-Pro honors five times throughout his career.

Thomas helped lead White Deer to the 1A state championship in 1988 alongside his brother Bart Thomas. Thomas then transferred to Pampa, where he was a two-time all-state linebacker. 

During Thomas’s career at Texas Tech, he was named to the All-SWC team in 1994 and 1995 while being named a consensus All-American during his senior year. Thomas was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015 and is also a member of TTU’s Ring of Honor.

Thomas spent the majority of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, recording 1,720 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, and four touchdowns in his career. Thomas spent the 2008 season with the Dallas Cowboys and signed a one-day contract in 2010 to retire as a member of the Miami Dolphins.

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