PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman saw his jersey retired Friday at halftime of the UCLA game against Stanford.
Aikman’s No. 8 jersey marked the ninth time a UCLA football player has had his number retired.
During the 1987 and 1988 season, Aikman led the Bruins to a 20-4 record concluding his career second in school history in passing yards, touchdown
passes, completions and completion percentage.
The College and Pro Football Hall of Famer was the first player chosen in the 1989 NFL draft and helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships.
Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and College Football Hall of Fame in 2008, one of three UCLA players to be enshrined in both Halls of Fame.
“Troy is the embodiment of what it means to be a Bruin,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said.
Aikman arrived in Westwood in the fall of 1986, spending the season learning the Bruin offense after transferring from the University of Oklahoma. Over the next two seasons, Aikman led the Bruins to a record of 20-4, including two bowl victories, and became the first quarterback in school history to lead UCLA to back-to-back 10-win seasons. In 1987, the Bruins tied for the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) title and finished the season with a victory over Florida in the Aloha Bowl, giving the team a 10-2 record.
As a senior in 1988, Aikman earned consensus All-America honors, placed third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy and won the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Year Award. He led the Bruins to victory over Nebraska at the Rose Bowl, helped UCLA earn a No. 1 ranking for two weeks and finished his career with a victory over Arkansas in the 1989 Cotton Bowl.
During his two-year Bruin career, Aikman completed 406 of 627 passes for 5,298 yards and 41 touchdowns. At that time, he ranked second on UCLA’s career lists for passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and completion percentage despite playing just two seasons. He still ranks third on the school’s career charts for completion percentage, sixth for touchdown passes and completions, seventh for passing yards and eighth for total offense (5,294 yards). In addition, he ranks fourth (tied) in single-season touchdown passes (24), fifth in completions (228) and seventh in passing yardage (2,771) and total offense (2,854).
Selected by Dallas with the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, Aikman led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span. His 90 wins in the 1990s made him the winningest quarterback of that decade. Overall, he passed for 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns during his 12-year career (all with the Cowboys) while being named to six Pro Bowls.
Aikman earned his first Super Bowl victory in 1993 in the same Rose Bowl Stadium in which he played as a Bruin, with the Cowboys practicing for the game at UCLA’s Spaulding Field. His Super Bowl completion percentage of 70.0 is the highest in NFL history among players with 40 or more career attempts, while his four touchdown passes in Super Bowl XXVII are tied for the third-most touchdown passes in a single Super Bowl in NFL history.
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