Carlos Alvarez (American football)

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Carlos Alvarez
Carlos Alvarez (1971 Seminole).png
Alvarez vs. Georgia in 1970
Florida Gators – No. 45
PositionWide receiver
ClassGraduate (B.A. 1972)
MajorPolitical science
Career history
CollegeFlorida (19691971)
Bowl games
High schoolNorth Miami Senior
Personal information
Born: (1950-05-01) May 1, 1950 (age 69)
Havana, Cuba
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career highlights and awards
College Football Hall of Fame (2011)

Carlos Alvarez Vasquez Rodriguez Ubieta (born April 1, 1950) is a former American football college player who was a consensus All-American wide receiver for the Florida Gators football team of the University of Florida from 1969 to 1971.

Early life[edit]

Alvarez was born in Cuba in 1950, the youngest of Licinio and Isola Alvarez's three sons.[1] Alvarez's father Licinio had been a successful lawyer in Cuba, but his parents fled to the United States to escape Fidel Castro's communist revolution in 1960, when Alvarez was a 10-year-old boy.[1]

He was raised in Miami, Florida and attended North Miami Senior High School in North Miami, Florida, where he was an all-county high school football player for the North Miami Pioneers.[2] Alvarez was the Pioneers' star halfback who could run and catch, and was touted by the local newspapers as the best back in Dade County—on offense and defense.[3] On at least two occasions, he played all forty-eight minutes of a high school game, playing on both offense and defense.[3]

He was highly recruited by multiple universities, including the hometown University of Miami and the University of Florida, but he ultimately chose Florida where his older brothers Arturo and Cesar were already enrolled.[1][2] It was reported that his brother Arturo was the best athlete in the family and could cover Carlos one-on-one. Alvarez graduated from North Miami High School in 1968.[1]

College career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Alvarez accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Ray Graves and coach Doug Dickey's Florida Gators football teams from 1969 to 1971.[4] During Graves' final season as Florida's head coach in 1969, Alvarez was one of several talented second-year Gators known as the "Super Sophs" who led the team to its then all-time best record of 9–1–1.[5] At the close of his sophomore season, he was honored as a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection and a consensus first-team All-American,[4][6] and he caught a nine-yard touchdown pass to provide the Gators' margin of victory in their 14–13 upset of the Tennessee Volunteers in the 1969 Gator Bowl.[5]

Alvarez was known for his speed on the football field, and the media dubbed him the "Cuban Comet."[7] He was also the Gators' leading receiver in 1970 and 1971, marking three straight seasons as the Gators' top offensive weapon.[4] Alvarez was also a first-team Academic All-American in 1969 and a second-team Academic All-American in 1970 and 1971,[4] and was chosen for the Academic All-American Hall of Fame in 1991.[8]

In the last game of that 1969 season against the University of Miami he heard a popping sound in his right knee, which would be the start of a series of injuries. In 1970, he was limited with a balky right knee that tended to swell at the slightest irritation and was thought of having an arthritic condition. He was able to come back in 1971, but played sparingly, although against the University of Maryland, he had 10 receptions for 134 yards, including a spectacular 16-yard touchdown, helping the Gators win 27-23. In 1972, he did graduate work in law. On January 9, he saw part-time action in the American Bowl. Two days later, he had surgery on his left knee (which he had previously injured as a junior in high school). Three days later, the apartment he shared with his brother was destroyed by fire.

Florida Gators receiving records[edit]

Although Florida has fielded many prolific offenses including 17 All-American receivers and three Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks since Carlos Alvarez last played in 1971, he is still the Gators' record holder for pass receptions in a single game (15), in a single season (88), and career receiving yards (2,563)[4][7]/ At the end of his three-year college career, Alvarez held many Gator and SEC pass receiving records, including career, season and game pass receptions and yardage records.[4]

His career record of 176 receptions was broken by Andre Caldwell in 2007,[4] and he ranks second in Gator history (and third in SEC history) in receiving yards in a single season (1,329 yards in 1969) and second on the receiving yards charts in a single game (237 against Miami in 1969).[4] He ranks ninth among all-time Gators receivers in career touchdown receptions (26), seventh in touchdown receptions in a single season (18), and is tied for third for most touchdown receptions in a single game (3).[4] His 133 yards per-game average in 1969 is still the all-time single-season best among Gators, and has only been exceeded once in the SEC.[7]

Alvarez ranks second among Gators receivers with thirteen games for 100 yards or more receiving, one behind career leader Jabar Gaffney.[4] He ranks first among Gators for most 100-yard receiving games in a season, also tied with Gaffney and Travis McGriff, all with eight.[4] Alvarez achieved this in 1969 when six of those 100-yard games were achieved consecutively—also a team record he shares with two other Gators.[4]

Life after football[edit]

Alvarez graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in political science, with honors, in 1972. The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the fifteenth round (390th overall pick) of the 1972 NFL Draft, hoping he could return to health, but he did not sign a contract because of his chronic knee injuries. He received an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Award to attend the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, and earned his juris doctor (J.D.) degree summa cum laude in 1975.[9] After graduation, he worked as a law professor at the Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas, where he was named the Outstanding Law Professor in 1980.[10]

Following in the family legal tradition of his father and older brothers, Alvarez became a practicing attorney. He is a member of The Florida Bar, and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Claims.[10] He has served on the Florida Elections Commission and Second Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission, and was awarded the Jose Marti Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Cuban Community from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.[10] Alvarez is an environmental and land use attorney based in Tallahassee, Florida, but his current practice emphasizes mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Alvarez was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1986,[11][12] and elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.[13][14][15] In one of a series of articles written in 2006, The Gainesville Sun recognized him as No. 7 among the top 100 all-time Gators football players from the first 100 years of the team.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hubert Mizell, "Twenty years later, Alvarez is still a winner," St. Petersburg Times, p. 1C (September 30, 1989). Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Pioneers' Alvarez A Gator," The Miami News, p. 3-C (December 22, 1967). Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Charlie Nobles, "'Florida's Best 15 Football Prospects'," The Miami News, pp. 1-D & 4-D (November 2, 1967). Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 2014 Florida Football Media Guide Archived September 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 76, 80, 87, 90, 91, 93, 102, 104, 121, 141–143, 150–152, 154, 157, 165, 176, 187 (2014). Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, pp. 82–84 (2007).
  6. ^ 2012 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, pp. 7 & 14 (2012). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c Kelly Reynolds, "Carlos Alvarez—Walk Proud," (September 29, 2008). Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  8. ^ Franz Beard, "Carlos Alvarez: Meyer is the right coach Archived 2006-05-17 at the Wayback Machine," (March 14, 2006). Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  9. ^ "NFF Announces 2011 Football Bowl Subdivision College Football Hall of Fame Class," College Football Hall of Fame (May 17, 2011). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "SEC Sends Three to College Hall of Fame," (May 17, 2011). Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  11. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  12. ^ Jack Hairston, "Alvarez returns to enter Hall," The Gainesville Sun, p. 1B & 3B (April 11, 1986). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  13. ^ Edward Aschoff, "Carlos Alvarez inducted into HOF," (May 17, 2011). Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  14. ^ Pat Dooley, "Florida's Alvarez elected to College Hall of Fame Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine," The Gainesville Sun (May 17, 2011). Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  15. ^ College Football Hall of Fame, Hall of Famers, Carlos Alvarez. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  16. ^ Robbie Andreu & Pat Dooley, "No. 7 Carlos Alvarez," The Gainesville Sun (August 27, 2006). Retrieved March 31, 2013.


  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.

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