Born as Emil Joe Holub January 5, 1938, E.J. Holub grew up in Lubbock, Texas
and attended R.W. Matthews Junior High and Lubbock High School
where he played for the Lubbock High Westerners. Legendary Baylor
Coach Grant Teaf scouted the senior star in 1957.
He was Texas Tech's first ever
all-American football player and went on to become an All-Pro and
Super Bowl champion with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"I had never seen anybody like him, he was a phenom," Teaff said. "I
liked to put him on the seven-man blocking sled, just him, and with
me standing on it, he could knock that thing about three yards."
the "Beast" in his high school days, Holub was known as one of the
toughest brutes around. Football recruiters came from Notre Dame,
Colorado, Texas, even Oklahoma for a look. But they all backed off
when Holub tore up a knee his senior season and had his first
operation. Only hometown Texas Tech delivered on the scholarship
He was a four-year starter at Tech, a two-time All-American and was
the first player to have his jersey number (55) retired. At 6-4 and
235 pounds, he was as tough on ball carriers as he was himself. He
was in and out of so many hospitals, he made himself a legend. From
the time he was a high school senior in Lubbock, Texas, to the
moment in 1971 when retirement ended an 11-year pro career, Holub
went under the surgeon's knife 17 times.
In 1961, the AFL's Dallas Texans and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys
drafted Holub. He chose to sign with the Texans, where he started at
linebacker and center during his career.
Even after nine knee surgeries, Holub was a leader
and he was a team player, enduring pain to lead his team. He would
spend hours in the training room, watching blood and liquid drain
from his knee, then go out to the field and perform as though he was
suffering from no physical problem. He has endured a total of 20
knee surgeries in his lifetime, 11 while he was playing. That is a
record by any athlete in the Guinness Book of World Records, just
one more record for a man with many.
With Holub's knees wearing out, the Chiefs selected his eventual
successor, Jack Rudnay, in the 1969 NFL Draft. Rudnay took over the
starting center position during the 1970 season, and Holub
subsequently retired in 1971.
In 1982, Holub was living at Cross Bell, Oklahoma, with his mother
and his two daughters where he owned a ranch. Today, he is
back in West Texas. He spent a number of years in ranching, but he
is now working for the Red Raider Club for the Midland and Permian
"This is home for me and this is where I want to be," says Holub.
E. J. Holub died on September 21, 2019. He was 81.
E.J. Holub is famous both for football and for his horse Lubbock
Talk Dedication, E.J. Holub Comes to Mind - NewsOK
J Holub Photos - by Tripsi Joshi at Alchetron
Tough As Nails - Big 12 Sports
Whatever Happened to E.J. Holub? KCBD