June 9, 2006
Two events in the last week, Bruin Flashback Football and a 30-year reunion of the 1976 Rose Bowl champion football team, have brought close to 100 former players back to campus.
Bruin Flashback Football, an adult fantasy camp, began on Thursday afternoon with practices, a player draft and film sessions for Bruin fans who signed up as players, coaches and owners. On Friday, the campers have more practices, games and drills in Drake Stadium, film sessions in the Knapp Football Center, including one on great plays in Bruin history.
The campers will spend Friday night at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, just the way the Bruin players do before a home game, and will get to practice at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
In addition to receiving coaching from the current staff, led by head coach Karl Dorrell, several former UCLA stars are in attendance to coach the campers and tell stories about their Bruin careers. Among the former players participating are quarterback Tom Ramsey, safety James Washington, tailback Freeman McNeil, defensive tackle Mike Lodish, quarterback/halfback Billy Kilmer, lineman John Peterson (co-captain of the 1954 National Championship team), wide receiver Mike Sherrard and linebacker Roman Phifer.
On Saturday, June 3, UCLA hosted a 30-year reunion of the team that defeated No. 1-ranked Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl. The reunion was primarily organized by former linebackers Frank Stephens, an administrator in the UCLA athletic department, and Ray Bell, a sports producer at FOX 11.
The reunion began at 11:00 a.m. with a welcome reception at the Morgan Center. Following some welcoming speeches, including one by head coach Karl Dorrell, who discussed how that team set a standard for other Bruin teams, the former players, coaches, administrators and spirit squad members enjoyed tours of the new athletic facilities, including the football locker room, weight room and training room.
At 1:30 p.m., busses departed for Lawry's for a 30th Reunion Beef Bowl. Everyone enjoyed a prime rib lunch, did some interviews with L.A. media and were welcomed by the President of Lawry's and a member of the Tournament of Roses. When the players arrived at Lawry's they were greeted by members of the Marching Band playing the Bruin fight song, as well as several cheerleaders.
Following the Beef Bowl, the players and coaches returned to campus. They took a team picture at Janss Steps and then watched a special reunion video in the Morgan Center press room. Following the video, members of the coaching staff spoke and introduced the returning players by position. The final speech was delived by former head coach Dick Vermeil and the event ended just around 9:00 p.m.
Former coaches in attendance included Vermeil, Carl Peterson, Lynn Stiles, Jim Criner, Terry Donahue, Dick Tomey, Jerry Long and Mike Flores.
A partial list of former offensive players in attendance included John Sciarra, Wendell Tyler, Wally Henry, Eddie Ayers, Norn Amdersen, Rick Walker, Don Pederson, Theotis Brown, James Owens, Gus Coppens, Greg Taylor, Keith Eck, Mitch Kahn, Jack DeMartinis, Bob Reyes, Kenny Lee, Phil McKinley, Jim Main, Rob Kezirian, Jeff Dankworth and Steve Bukich.
A partial list of former defensive player in attendance included Cliff Frazier, Frank Stephens, Ray Bell, Ray Burks, Oscar Edwards, Jerry Robinson, Manu Tuiasosopo, Mike Molina, Michael Coulter, John Fowler, Bill Baggott, Dale Curry, Wilbur Harden, Harold Hardin, Johnnie Lynn, Terry Tautolo, Steve Tetrick, Levi Armstrong, Pat Schmidt, Jeff Muro and Frank Manumaleuna.
Both Bruin specialists, place kicker Brett White and punter John Sullivan, were among the returnees.