Texas Tech celebrated and commemorated a Red Raider's life and dedication Saturday afternoon. 

Tommy McVay passed away late last week after suffer a fall.  He oversaw Texas Tech's football operations for more than 20 years.

McVay served across five head coaches, including Matt Wells and Kliff Kingsbury. Both looking back on how Coach McVay made them feel.

"I can hear him in that distinct Oklahoma accent. 'Kliff, you're the best I've ever been around,'" Kingsbury said. "It didn't matter that he said the same thing to Coach Dykes, Coach Leech and Coach Tubberville before me, you still felt like you were the best coach in the country and you could beat any one."

"You feel empowered, you feel like you can go conquer anything," Wells added.

McVay was involved in recruiting. He convinced Mike Leach to sign Wes Welker, who capture the NCAA record for punt returns and went on to play 12 years in the NFL. Welker crediting his success to Coach McVay.

"I thank God for Tommy. Cause there's just no telling where this road would have taken me without him," Welker said.

Many knew McVay as a storyteller and the life of the party, but he was also remembered as a family man.

"But just so selfless. Sacrificed anything for the good of the program and I know for his family as well," Wells said.

Kingsbury calling McVay the backbone of the program.

"And while there are many excellent people throughout college athletics, Tommy McVay will always be the golden standard. Of his many gifts, the ability to relate to people may have been his strongest," he said.

His impact even reached beyond Texas Tech Athletics.

"Everyone of us that ever passed through those doors of that program knew no matter what happened on Saturday Coach McVay had us. And not just that season or during your time at Tech, but he had your back for the rest of your life -- no matter where that might take you," Kingbury said.

In addition, Texas Tech has established an endowed scholarship in McVay's name. Contributions can be made - here. Donations can also be made in McVay's name to the South Plains Food Bank.

Tommy McVay was 76 years old.

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