Nov. 17, 2012
Pasadena, Calif. - The Rose Bowl Operating Company will name the press box at the Rose Bowl Stadium the Terry Donahue Pavilion (effective fall, 2013). Donahue, the most successful football coach in UCLA football and Pac-8/10 (now 12) Conference history, was honored during the UCLA-USC football game on Nov. 17.
Donahue, who compiled a 151-74-8 record as UCLA's head coach from 1976-1995, was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1997 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Additionally, in 2008, he received the Edward A. Dickson (UCLA) Alumnus of the Year for "Outstanding achievement in his professional field, in service to his community, in public service and in service to the University."
"For the first time in my life I was speechless," said Donahue about the honor. "It is almost overwhelming because we never envisioned having the pavilion with my name on it; that was never even a consideration for us. To have that is really hard to put into words."
A committee made up of several prominent business executives that include former UCLA football player Andy Meyers, was formed for the purpose of raising $3 million to assist with the renovation of the press box and associate it with a UCLA legacy. That is one of the marquee projects in the renovation of the iconic stadium.
"Coach Donahue was not only a football coach but a mentor and coach for being successful in life. Having coach Donahue's name being permanently ensconced on the Rose Bowl is not only honoring his legacy as the winningest coach in PAC-10 history but an honor for Bruins everywhere", said Meyers.
Donahue's legacy to the university he attended in the 1960s and later coached is noteworthy. As a 195-pound defensive lineman on the 1965 UCLA team that upset heavily-favored USC, then took down top-ranked Michigan State in the 1966 Rose Bowl game, Donahue was the personification of the "gutty little Bruin."
After graduating, Donahue returned to the program under Pepper Rodgers and also served as an assistant under Dick Vermeil on the 1976 Rose Bowl championship team that beat Ohio State. He succeeded Vermeil that same year.
That began a 20-year stint in which Donahue brought UCLA into college football's elite. His bowl record was the envy of his fellow coaches after he became the first coach to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons. That was the foundation of an 8-4-1 career record in bowl games, including victories in four consecutive New Year's Day bowls.
"As UCLA's head football coach for 20 years, Terry Donahue amassed a truly remarkable record of achievement," notes UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "He has been widely recognized and honored for his unparalleled leadership. This most recent tribute is yet another reminder of Terry's outstanding accomplishments, reflecting the high esteem in which he is held by all who know him. I'm extremely happy for Terry. He continues to make the entire UCLA community very proud of what he has achieved both on and off the football field."
Included in that total were three Rose Bowls (1983, 1984 and 1986), emblematic of three of the five Pac-10 Conference titles Donahue won or shared. Donahue owns the most conference wins of any coach in Pac-10 history (98) and the most wins in UCLA history (151). He also owns bragging rights against cross-town rival USC, courtesy of a 10-9-1 record.
Under Donahue's tutelage, UCLA produced 34 first-team All-Americans and had 14 players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Besides his Rose Bowl and College Football Hall of Fame inductions, Donahue is enshrined in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame (2001) and the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame (2005).
"Terry Donahue has made a great impact on UCLA Football, and it is with pride that his name will become part of the fabric of our historic Rose Bowl", said president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, Victor Gordo.
Work began in January 2011 and will continue through August 2013. The new pavilion, upon completion in 2013, will be one of the renovation's key stadium needs that will allow the iconic facility to continue to operate for decades to come.
For further information about the Rose Bowl Stadium, please visit www.rosebowlstadium.com.
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