Oct. 9, 2013
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced its Inaugural Class today. Seven Inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The Inaugural Class includes Kurt Keola Gouveia (Hawaiian ancestry), Olin George Kreutz (Hawaiian ancestry), Kevin James Mawae(Hawaiian ancestry), Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau, Jr. (Samoan ancestry), Jack Thompson (Samoan ancestry), Herman John Wedemeyer(Hawaiian ancestry) as player inductees and Ken Niumatalolo (Samoan ancestry) as a coach inductee.
Inductees will be honored on January 23, 2014 (prior to the NFL Pro Bowl) at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Enshrinement Ceremony to be held at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu. ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Neil Everett and former NFL player, Philadelphia TV News Anchor Vai Sikahema will serve as Masters of Ceremonies.
The Selection Committee was comprised of former college head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride, ESPN Sportscaster Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt and Honolulu TV Sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
KURT KEOLA GOUVEIA (Player)
Linebacker … Brigham Young University … Led his high school team to three consecutive State Titles and named Player of the Year (Offense & Defense), first in Hawai’i history … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … 1984 NCAA Champion … Washington Redskins (1986-1994 & 1999), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), San Diego Chargers (1996-1998) … 13 seasons … Selected by Redskins in 8th Round, 213th player overall (1986 NFL Draft) … Two time Super Bowl Champion (1987, 1991) … Born September 14, 1964 in Honolulu, HI.
OLIN GEORGE KREUTZ (Player)
Center … University of Washington … All-State and SuperPrep All-American … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … First Team All-Pac 10 … Morris Trophy winner (1997) … Consensus All-American (1997) … Chicago Bears (1998-2010), New Orleans Saints (2011) … 14 seasons … Selected by Bears in 3rd round, 64th player overall (1998 NFL Draft) … Six Pro Bowls (2001-2006) … Four times named All-Pro (2001, 2004-2006) … 2000s NFL All-Decade Team … Born June 9, 1977 in Honolulu, HI
KEVIN JAMES MAWAE (Player)
Center … Louisiana State University … LSU Sports Hall of Fame … Seattle Seahawks (1994-1997), New York Jets (1998-2005), Tennessee Titans (2006-2009) … 16 seasons … Selected by Seahawks in 2nd round, 36th player overall (1994 NFL Draft) … Six Pro Bowls (1999-2004) … Eight times named All-Pro (1998-2002, 2004, 2007 & 2008) … Ed Block Courage Award (2009) … 2000s NFL All-Decade Team … All-Time Jets Four Decade Team … First Polynesian to serve as NFLPA President (two terms) … Born January 23, 1971 in Savannah, GA.
TIAINA BAUL “JUNIOR” SEAU, JR. (Player)
Linebacker … University of Southern California … Unanimous First Team All-American … San Diego Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-2005), New England Patriots (2006-2009) … 20 seasons … Selected by Chargers in 1st round, 5th player overall (1990 NFL Draft) … 12 Pro Bowls (1991-2002) … 10 times named All-Pro (1991-2000) … Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Winner & AFC Player of the Year (1994) … 1990s NFL All-Decade Team … Chargers 40th & 50th Anniversary Teams … Chargers Hall of Fame … Number 55 is retired by Chargers … Born January 19, 1969 in San Diego, CA … Died May 2, 2012.
JACK THOMPSON (Player)
Quarterback … Washington State University … Three times named All Pac-10 … Named First Team, Second or Honorable Mention All-American three times … Finished Ninth in 1978 Heisman Trophy voting … Graduated as most prolific passer in NCAA History (7,818 yards) … Led NCAA in nine different offensive categories (1976) … Cincinnati Bengals (1979-1982), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1983-1984) … Six seasons … Selected by Bengals in 1st round, 3rd player overall (1979 NFL Draft), highest Polynesian ever selected … Number 14 is retired by WSU … Nicknamed The Throwin’ Samoan … Born May 19, 1956 in Tutuila, American Samoa.
HERMAN JOHN WEDEMEYER (Player)
Halfback … Saint Mary’s College … Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame … Consensus All-American … Finished Fourth in 1945 Heisman Trophy voting … First Polynesian to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (1979) … Los Angeles Dons (AAFC) 1948, Baltimore Colts (AAFC) 1949 … Two seasons … Selected by Dons in 1st round, 9th player overall (1947 AAFC Draft) … Led AAFC in punt return yardage (1948) … Later starred as Sergeant/Detective “Duke” Lakela in television series Hawaii Five-O … Nicknamed Squirmin’ Herman, Flyin’ Hawaiian & The Hula Hipped Hawaiian … Born May 20, 1924 in Hilo, HI … Died January 25, 1999.
Ken Niumatalolo (Coach)
Head Football Coach, United States Naval Academy (2007-present) … Seven seasons, 70 games … Regular season record: 43-27 … Five Bowl Appearances … First person of Samoan ancestry to be named a collegiate Head Coach and winningest Polynesian FBS Head Coach in history … 40 wins in first 5 years are most in Navy History … First Service Academy coach to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy in his first two years as Head Coach … Attended the University of Hawai’i … Born May 8, 1965 in Laie, HI.
About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian Football history and will provide college scholarships for student-athletes of Polynesian ancestry and educational programs for Polynesian youth. Twitter.com/PolynesianFBHOF Facebook.com/PolynesianFootballHallofFame