LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech Athletics mourns the loss of B.R. “Rip” Griffin, who passed away late last week at the age of 88.
Griffin, born in 1929, was a lifelong supporter of the Texas Tech Athletic program after graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1955. Before Tech, he graduated from Lubbock High School in 1948 and served for four years in the U.S. Army. During his time in the military, Griffin played baseball for a traveling oil league in towns such as Levelland, Brownfield and Denver City, before being discharged in 1953.
“Rip Griffin had a vision and commitment to Texas Tech baseball that precedes our current run of success,” Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. “His extraordinary support will always be noticed and remembered every time we step foot inside Rip Griffin Park.”
After leaving the service, Griffin enrolled at Texas Tech as a business administration major, while also hauling gasoline on the weekends and keeping books in the evening for a trailer company.
He and his son, Mark, turned a three-pump gasoline station on Avenue A built in 1962 into a nationwide chain of upscale truck stops that catered to the modern trucker. The father and son assembled a multimillion dollar company from the travel centers, petroleum and gas ventures, construction and a myriad of other enterprises.
“The news of Rip Griffin passing away reminds us all how fortunate we are to have known such a great man,” Texas Tech head baseball coach Tim Tadlock said. “The mark that Rip has left in our community, at Texas Tech and for our program will never be forgotten and will continue to make an impact. The Griffin family is in all of our thoughts and prayers.”
When fans drive around Texas Tech’s campus, they are greeted by the silver lettering of “Rip Griffin Park” that sits in front of the home of Red Raider baseball. Dan Law Field had been the previous name of the park from 1988-2011, but an anonymous donor in 2012, who helped contribute toward the $5 million renovation, requested the name go to Rip Griffin.
Since the name change to “Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park,” the stadium has housed over 4,700 fans on any given midweek or weekend game from the February to June months. Average and total attendance figures have increased every year since 2012, as the ballpark has become one of the premier venues in college baseball.
In 2006, Griffin was presented with the 2006 Heritage Award, which is given by the Double T Varsity Club to letterwinners who go on to distinguish themselves in life after Texas Tech Athletics.
COURTESY OF TEXAS TECH ATHLETICS