Travis Ortega enters his first season with the University of Houston football staff, serving as the defensive graduate assistant in 2007. In this position he will assist Charlie Rizzo and Alan Weddell with the Cougar linebackers, as well as compile the defensive playbook and the development of the new walk-on program for Cougar football.
A former Academic All-American at Rice University, Ortega played three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. Even though he was injured during the 2005 campaign, Ortega assisted the Blue Bomber Defensive Coordinator with breaking down game film of opponents and grading game performances of Winnipeg players.
Prior to his CFL stint, Ortega attended back-to-back training camps with the Dallas Cowboys.
Ortega was a four-year starter at strong safety for Rice, concluding his career by playing the Blue-Gray All-Star Game in Mobile, Ala., in 2000. Selected a team captain prior to his senior season, Ortega was a Second-Team, All-Western Athletic Conference pick and picked up the prestigious James W. Glanville Award as well.
Ortega was a three-time recipient of the Arthur Ashe Award, and was selected three straight years (1998-2000) to the WAC Academic All-Conference squad. He also was an honorable mention, all-conference pick in 1999.
A native of Rockdale, Texas, Ortega was an All-State defensive back and was the District MVP at the conclusion on the 1995 season. Ortega graduated from Rice in May of 2001 with a bachelor's degree in political science.