PASADENA, Calif. (September 24, 2015) – The Tournament of Roses today announced that Mark Brunell, Fritz Pollard, Tyrone Wheatley and Jim Muldoon will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame presented by Northwestern Mutual as the Class of 2015.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at noon PT on Dec. 30 at the Pasadena Convention Center, two days before the kickoff of the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. After serving as a semifinal game for the inaugural College Football Playoff, this year’s game will return to a traditional matchup featuring the top available teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. 

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to pay tribute to members of the Rose Bowl Game who have contributed to the history and excitement of the game, and those who embody the highest level of passion, strength, tradition and honor associated with The Granddaddy of Them All®. In 2015, Northwestern Mutual, the presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl Game, became the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame sponsor, adding to its support of America’s New Year Celebration®.

“We are thrilled to announce the inductees for this year’s Hall of Fame Class,” said Tournament of Roses Executive Director Bill Flinn. “These four individuals represent the wide range of talent we’ve seen associated with our game through the years and we’re honored to add them to our distinguished list of Hall of Fame inductees.”

Mark Brunell played in three Rose Bowl Games for the University of Washington from 1991-1993. As a sophomore in the ’91 Rose Bowl Game, he led the Huskies to a 46-34 win over Iowa and was named the Player of the Game. While a knee injury sidelined Brunell for most of his junior season, he did manage to still complete a touchdown in the ‘92 game in which the Huskies’ topped Michigan, 34-14. Brunell was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 NFL Draft and went on to have a very successful career in the NFL. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection with the Jacksonville Jaguars and also played for the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, and New York Jets during his 19 seasons in the league. In 2010, Brunell earned a Super Bowl ring as part of the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl XLIV winning team. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida and is the head football coach for the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.  He also works as an NFL analyst for ESPN.  Mark and his wife, Stacy, have four children.  

This year’s Rose Bowl Game marks the 100th anniversary of Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard’s appearance in the1916 Rose Bowl Game. The Brown University running back was limited to 47 yards in 13 carries in a 14-0 loss to Washington State University. Pollard was the first African- American to play in the Rose Bowl Game and later he became the first black coach and quarterback in the formative days of the NFL. Pollard was a college football standout despite his modest 5-foot-9, 165-pound stature. In 1916, he led Brown to back-to-back wins over Ivy League powerhouses Harvard and Yale en route to an 8-1 overall record. For his efforts, he was honored as the first African-American running back named to Walter Camp's All-American team. After leaving Brown, Pollard was recruited to play professional football and played professionally through 1926. He also had a successful coaching career through 1938. In 1954, Pollard was the first African-American elected to the National College Football Hall of Fame. In 1981 he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Brown University. Pollard died on May 11, 1986, at age 92. In 2005, Pollard was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His name lives on through the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which was founded in 2003 to help promote the hiring of minorities in the NFL.

Tyrone Wheatley was a standout football player at the University of Michigan from 1991 to 1994. He led the Wolverines to a 38-31 victory over Washington in the 1993 Rose Bowl Game in which he scored three touchdowns and rushed for 235 yards on just 15 carries (15.7 avg.) and was named Rose Bowl Game Player of the Game. Wheatley also enjoyed success in track and at Michigan and was named to All-Big Ten teams in both sports a combined four times. Wheatley went on to play 10 seasons in the National Football League after being selected 17th overall by the New York Giants in the 1995 draft. He played in New York through the 1998 season, then joined the Oakland Raiders. Wheatley played with the Raiders from 1999-2004, and appeared in the 2003 Super Bowl. During his career, he totaled 47 touchdowns and 6,562 all-purpose yards as a running back and kickoff returner. Following his playing career, Wheatley went on to have a successful coaching career. He has coached at the professional, collegiate and high school levels and is now at Michigan, his alma mater, in his first year as a running backs coach.

Jim Muldoon served as the Rose Bowl Game Media Director for 29 years, handling the media operations and promotion of the Grandaddy of Them All from 1979-2007. Up until 2007, the Pac-10 Conference handled all media relations for the game.  Muldoon served 32 years as associate commissioner of the Pac-10 with responsibilities in media relations, football administration and event management. A graduate of Notre Dame, Muldoon worked for one year as an Assistant SID at San Diego State University and four years for the San Francisco 49ers before joining the conference office. He and his wife, Rose-Meri, are parents of a son, Brian.

With the addition of this year’s class, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame includes 117 inductees over its 26-year history. Inductees are honored with a permanent plaque that includes their name and year of induction at The Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl Stadium, they are featured during the Rose Parade® presented by Honda®, and are recognized on the field during the Rose Bowl Game.

The Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Luncheon is open for public attendance. For more information on tickets, please visit www.tournamentofroses.com.


Connect With Us


By Category