Courtesy Courtesy of MDES Sports Information

Shell Oil Company, the Official Sponsor of the Houston Super Bowl Committee, continued the upcoming Super Bowl Festivities by sponsoring The Educator Event, held at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), in Houston Texas, the site of Super Bowl LI. The event honored among others, Gerald Irons, who is a University of Maryland Eastern Shore Athletic Hall of Famer and 10-year NFL veteran.

Irons was recognized by Shell at the event for his dedication to education in the Houston community. He is a Past President of the Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees and has served on the CISD Board for 19 years.

Irons is Senior Vice President of Business Development with Conine & Associates, Commercial Real Estate Advisors. He represents commercial real estate on behalf of The Woodlands Development Company. Irons has been married for 44 years to Myrna. They have raised three sons, all graduates of Conroe ISD high schools. All five members of The Irons Family were selected and honored by The Woodlands residents as “Original Hometown Heroes” at The Woodlands 25th Year Celebration.

Because of his work to his community, a junior high named Irons Junior High School in The Woodlands, Texas was named after him in August 2012.

Gerald Irons played 10 seasons in the National Football League. His youngest son Grant Irons played for the Oakland Raiders. Eldest son Gerald, Jr. played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and middle son Jarrett was the fifth junior elected captain for the Michigan Wolverines. Gerald has been listed among the 100 greatest Cleveland Browns of all time.

Irons earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from then, Maryland State College. He earned his master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Chicago, during six off-seasons, while playing professional football as a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders. He attended John Marshall Law School at night, while playing linebacker with the Cleveland Browns for 4 years. Cleveland, Ohio Jaycees named him “Man of the Year.”

After 10 years in the NFL, he retired from football and moved his family to Texas. Five years after arriving in Texas, the Osaka Japan Jaycees selected him to represent the United States at its worldwide “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Conference,” held for 10 days in Osaka. During the conference, he met with the Crown Prince, Crown Princess, and with the Prime Minister. The Mayor of Osaka presented him with a gold key to the city of Osaka. Irons also speaks Japanese.

At Maryland State, Irons was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 for a career that saw him drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1970 in the third round as the 76th overall pick. For the Hawks, Irons played both ways as an offensive guard and defensive end and even appeared on special teams — basically never leaving the field. He would make his mark on the NFL as a linebacker.

The Educator Event sponsored by Shell that honored Irons was a conference-style event that gave Houston area educators a unique chance to learn about the educational opportunities provided by the HMNS, other science related educational nonprofits and organizations in and around Houston. Educators earned three hours of continuing professional credit (CPC) by attending three 445-minute exciting, hands-on workshops that explored science careers. The Educator Event @HMNS sponsored by Shell was open to all Houston-area teachers, school administrators, student teachers, education undergraduate and graduate students and home school educators. Following the workshops, educators received complimentary entrance to the HMNS permanent exhibit halls all day.

Shell is a Host Committee Founding Sponsor of Super Bowl, the centralized planning entity for Super Bowl LI and acts as the liaison between the NFL, City of Houston, Harris County and community. Activities are scheduled 1/27-2/5. Super Bowl Sunday is February 5, 2017.