ASU to honor football legends at halftime of UCLA game
Legendary Coach Frank Kush and eight former Sun Devil football players, all iconic names in the history of Sun Devil Football, will be recognized in a halftime ceremony during the UCLA/ASU football game on Friday, November 26th. The nine men represent the initial inductees of the newly instituted Arizona State Football Ring of Honor. The inductees, along with Coach Kush, are running back Wilford "Whizzer" White, running back Bobby Mulgado, linebacker Ron Pritchard, quarterback Danny White, defensive back Mike Haynes, wide receiver John Jefferson, offensive lineman Randall McDaniel and defensive back Pat Tillman.
"The careers of the wonderful players that we will recognize on November 26 span a fifty year period, and their achievements helped forge the great tradition that is Sun Devil Football," said Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love.
It will be the first time that all eight of these Sun Devil legends will be together on Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium at the same time.
"It is significant, and most wonderful that these men will appear as a group in Sun Devil Stadium together for the first time. I hope that all of our fans take advantage of this opportunity to come to the game and meet the greatest names of Sun Devil Football," said Love.
Kush coached at Arizona State from 1958 to 1979, owning a career record of 176-54-1 (.764). He led the Sun Devils to nine conference titles, and went 6-1 in bowl games. He twice had undefeated teams (1970 and 1975) and was named the 1975 National Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995 and had the playing field at Sun Devil Stadium named in his honor in 1996.
Wilford "Whizzer" White was a running back for ASU from 1947 to 1950, rushing for 3,173 yards in his career, second most in school history.
Bobby Mulgado played running back for the Sun Devils from 1954 to 1957, amassing 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Ron Pritchard was a linebacker from 1966 to 1968, becoming ASU's first consensus All-American. He was the 15th player selected in the 1969 NFL Draft and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Danny White was the Sun Devils' signal caller from 1971 to 1975, leading ASU to three Fiesta Bowl victories. He left the school as its all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He played 13 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame 1997.
Mike Haynes was a defensive back at ASU from 1972 to 1975, twice earning All-American honors. He intercepted 17 career passes, second most in school history and led the nation with 11 during his junior season. He was the fifth overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft and appeared in nine Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
John Jefferson caught passes for Arizona State from 1974 to 1977, setting an NCAA record by recording at least one reception in 44 consecutive games. He is second in ASU history with his 188 receptions and 2,993 receiving yards, but he is perhaps most famous for making "The Catch" against Arizona in 1975. A two-time All-American, he played nine seasons in the NFL and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Randall McDaniel revolutionized the offensive guard position at Arizona State, playing from 1984 to 1987. A two-time All-American, he was the leader of the offensive line that helped Arizona State to the 1987 Rose Bowl championship. He played 14 seasons in the NFL earning 12 Pro Bowl berths. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
The late Pat Tillman was the leader of the Arizona State defense from 1994 to 1997, including the 1996 Pac-10 Champions. He was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American in 1997 and played four seasons in the NFL. The Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award was named in his honor in 2004 and he was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
"Remembering all of the players who helped create the great Sun Devil Football Tradition creates a link to our wonderful football history", said Sun Devil Club staff member and former Sun Devil Football player Kevin Miniefield.
In the future, membership will be limited to just four inductees per year. To be eligible, a player must have been out of college for a minimum of 20 years and broadly acknowledged to have had an outstanding career at Arizona State University. The player led initiative will also include a scholarship component whereby former players help propel Sun Devil Football successfully into the new Pac-12 conference.
"The fact that we will have a player driven initiative to help raise scholarship funds will play a very significant role in securing our futures," said Miniefield.
Sun Devil fans will have the unprecedented opportunity to meet all eight of the Sun Devil legends prior to the UCLA football game on November 26. The honorees will meet fans from 11:30 am to 1 pm at the Sun Devil Tailgate, located in Wells Fargo Arena. Admission to the pre-game tailgate is free.