FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Athletics Department has announced that it will honor hall of fame football player Rex Mirich on Friday, October 2 at a jersey retirement ceremony at the 1899 Bar & Grill from 6-8 p.m. Tickets to the dinner are $50 and can be purchased online or by phone 928-523-0639. Mirich will be recognized the following day at halftime of the Lumberjacks' game versus Montana State to coincide with Family Weekend.
"I think it's great (to have my jersey honored)," said Mirich. "I never thought I would see it happen but, I love it. I'm excited and very honored to come back to NAU and for the opportunity to have my jersey retired."
Mirich, a player on the Lumberjack football team from 1959-63, was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 2012. He is the only Lumberjack to receive the prestigious honor. Six years prior, Mirich was inducted into the 2006 NAU Athletics Hall of Fame for his stellar play as a Lumberjack.
"This is a very well-deserved honor for Rex," said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos. "To recognize his distinguished playing career is only fitting as he is one of NAU's all-time greats. We are proud to honor him."
While at NAU, Mirich accomplished the rare feat of being a two-time NAIA All-America First Team selection at two different positions. He was honored as a defensive guard in 1962 and repeated the honor as an offensive tackle the following season. The four-year letterman and team captain his senior season, helped the squad to a 20-15-4 overall mark while in Flagstaff, and he was a key player in a defense that limited opponents to 109.1 yards per game over a six-game span. Mirich was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the 16th round of the 1963 NFL Draft and the Oakland Raiders in the 20th round of the 1963 AFL Draft. He was a defensive lineman for the Raiders, the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots for a total of seven seasons.
Mirich will be the second Lumberjack to have his jersey retired at NAU. Former Walter Payton Award winner Archie Amerson had his jersey retired in 2014.