BEAUMONT, Texas — A trailblazer, and one of Lamar University’s most celebrated athletes, Anthony (Tony) Guillory, passed away Tuesday morning.
A 1985 Cardinals Hall of Honor inductee, Guillory broke the color barrier becoming the first African-American student-athlete to don a Cardinals’ football uniform. A three-year letterwinner, Guillory was known for dismantling opposing offenses while guiding the program to their first Southland Conference title and a berth in the 1964 Pecan Bowl. The title sparked a run of three consecutive titles for the Red and White, which would go down as their most successful run in SLC history.
Guillory was recognized for his efforts on the field earning All-Southland Conference honors at defensive guard. He was also named Lamar’s Most Outstanding Lineman that season.
Guillory made history the moment he stepped on the field during the 1962-63 season becoming the student-athlete to integrate the athletics program. He received honorable mention All-American honors on the gridiron that season.
A year before bringing a conference title to Beaumont in football, Guillory was a key figure in helping Big Red’s track and field team lay claim to the 1963 conference championship. He scored points in the shot put and discus, finishing with a record toss of 54-11.75 in the shot.
Guillory continued his playing career professionally being drafted in the seventh round of the 1965 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He spent three seasons with the Rams (1965, 1967-68) before closing out his career with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1969. He played in 53 games during his career registering 23 starts.