October 8, 2014 (Honolulu, HI) – The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2015 today. Six Inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
The Class includes Luther John Elliss (Samoan ancestry), Manase Jesse Sapolu (Samoan ancestry), Raymond Frederick Schoenke (Hawaiian ancestry), Mosiula “Mosi” Faasuka Tatupu (Samoan ancestry), Mark Pulemau Tuinei (Samoan ancestry) as player inductees and Russell Ross Francis as a contributor inductee.
The Selection Committee was comprised of past college football head coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards and Ron McBride, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
Last year, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrined legends Junior Seau, Kevin Mawae, Kurt Gouveia, Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson, Herman Wedemeyer, Olin Kreutz and Ken Niumatalolo as the Inaugural Class.
Inductees will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, to be held on January 23 & 24, 2015 in Oahu, Hawai’i. For more information you can visit www.PolynesianFootballHOF.org.
CLASS OF 2015
LUTHER JOHN ELLISS (Player)
Defensive Tackle … University of Utah … Three-time First-Team All-WAC Selection … WAC Defensive Player of the Year (1994) … Consensus All-American … Detroit Lions (1995-2003), Denver Broncos (2004) … 10 seasons … Selected by Lions in 1st Round, 20th player overall (1995 NFL Draft) … Two Pro Bowls (1999, 2000) … Nicknamed “Pass Rushing Luther” as member of the Lions … Born March 22, 1973 in Mancos, CO.
MANASE JESSE SAPOLU (Player)
Offensive Line (Center and Guard) … University of Hawai’i … Three-time All-WAC Selection … San Francisco 49ers (1983-1997) … 15 seasons … Selected by 49ers in 11th round, 289th player overall (1983 NFL Draft) … Two Pro Bowls (1993, 1994) … Two-time All-Pro (1994, 1995) … Four-time Super Bowl Champion (XIX, XIII, XXIV, XXIX) … One of 23 players in NFL History with four or more Super Bowl Rings … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … Born March 10, 1961 in Apia, Samoa.
RAYMOND FREDERICK SCHOENKE (Player)
Offensive Line (Tackle and Guard) … Southern Methodist University … Member of SMU’s 75th Anniversary All Time Football Team … Academic and Football All-American … Dallas Cowboys (1963-1964), Washington Redskins (1966-1975) … 12 seasons … Selected by the Cowboys in 11th round, 146th player overall (1963 NFL Draft) … 50th Anniversary Greatest Redskins Team … One of the top 100 players in Redskins history (2002) … Born September 10, 1941 in Wahiawa, HI.
MOSIULA “MOSI” FAASUKA TATUPU (Player)
Running Back/Kick Returner … University of Southern California … Former Hawai’i High School rushing record (3,367 yards) … Namesake of Mosi Tatupu Award (College Football Special Team Player of the Year) … New England Patriots (1978-1990), Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (1991) … 15 seasons … Selected by the Patriots in 8th round, 216th player overall (1978 NFL Draft) … Pro Bowl and All-Pro (1986) … Led NFL with 5.5 yards per carry (1983) … Former record holder for most games played at RB (199) … Patriots All-1970s and All-1980s Teams … Born April 26, 1955 in Pago Pago, American Samoa … Died February 23, 2010.
MARK PULEMAU TUINEI (Player)
Offensive Line (Tackle) … University of California Los Angeles … University of Hawai’i … Selected as Hawai’i Prep Lineman of the Year … Dallas Cowboys (1983-1997) … 15 seasons … Two Pro Bowls (1994, 1995) … Two time All-Pro (1994, 1995) … Three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX) … Tied for most seasons played for Cowboys (15) … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … Born March 31, 1960 in Oceanside, CA … Died May 6, 1999.
RUSSELL ROSS FRANCIS (Contributor)
Tight End … University of Oregon … New England Patriots (1975-1980 & 1987-1988), San Francisco 49ers (1982-1987) … 13 seasons … Selected by the Patriots in 1st round, 16th player overall (1975 NFL Draft) … Three Pro Bowls (1977-1979) … Super Bowl Champion (XIX) … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … Selected one of the greatest sports figures in Hawai’i history … Brought positive exposure to football in Hawai’i and Polynesia … Born April 3, 1953 in Seattle, WA.
About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors. As a 501(C)(3) organization, the Hall of Fame serves as a resource for Polynesian football history, provides scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes and hosts educational programs for Polynesian youth.