LUBBOCK, Texas – Luke Gonsioroski felt at home at Texas Tech.
The former star Baker quarterback realized a connection with Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury, announcing his intentions in January to sign as a preferred walk-on to play under the fifth-year Texas Tech coach.
That connection was apparently mutual. Kingsbury has made it even more obvious since Gonsioroski passed away on Aug. 7 after a second battle with cancer.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Luke’s passing,” Kingsbury said then in a statement. “Luke was not only an exceptional athlete, he was also an incredible person, great student and leader in his community. He was such an inspiration through his fight and unwavering faith. It was truly an honor to know him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and everyone whose lives he touched.”
Kingsbury and the Texas Tech program have continued to show their support for Gonsioroski in the months since his passing.
Kingsbury had ‘LG’ written on his shoes to honor Gonsioroski during the Red Raiders’ season-opening win against Eastern Washington. He’s worn those shoes during every game. Texas Tech is undefeated three weeks into the season.
— Texas Tech Football (@TexasTechFB) September 3, 2017
The team also sent Gonsioroski’s replica jerseys to his family, including a No. 5 jersey in a glass case.
— Hannah rae Gonsioroski (@hannah_gonzo) August 21, 2017
The show of compassion will continue Saturday. The Red Raiders are hosting No. 15 Oklahoma State in their Big 12 Conference opener in a game nationally televised on Fox.
It’s ‘Family Weekend,’ and Texas Tech has invited the Gonsioroski family – dad Charles, mom Katina, and sisters Hannah and Hope – to attend. They’ll be escorted onto the field during a second-quarter timeout to honor their son and brother as Texas Tech discusses a scholarship created in his memory.
“Kliff Kingsbury is an unbelievable individual,” Charles Gonsioroski said recently. “It’s the Big 12 and you’ve got to win. It speaks to his leadership that he did what he did. Luke never even practiced with them, and he still considered Luke part of his team. He blows me away. Kingsbury and the Texas Tech football program just blow me away.”
Saturday’s game kicks off at 6 p.m. (MST) on Fox, which tentatively plans to include Gonsioroski’s ceremony during the live broadcast.
The scholarship will be presented annually to the walk-on who best embodies the character and steadfastness that Gonsioroski displayed on a daily basis.
To contribute to the Luke Gonsioroski Memorial Scholarship Endowment, please contact the Red Raider Club at 806-742-1196.