Former BYU linebacker Gouveia named to inaugural Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class

(HONOLULU) — Former BYU standout linebacker Kurt Gouveia will be one of seven inaugural members of the newly formed Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

Inductees will be honored on Jan. 23, 2014 (prior to the NFL Pro Bowl) at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s Inaugural Enshrinement Ceremony held at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu. ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Neil Everett and former NFL player, Cougar standout and current Philadelphia TV News Anchor Vai Sikahema will serve as Masters of Ceremonies.

The seven inductees were selected from a list of 25 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. The inaugural class includes Kurt Keola Gouveia (Hawaiian ancestry), Olin George Kreutz (Hawaiian ancestry), Kevin James Mawae (Hawaiian ancestry), Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau, Jr. (Samoan ancestry), Jack Thompson (Samoan ancestry), Herman John Wedemeyer (Hawaiian ancestry) as player inductees and Ken Niumatalolo (Samoan ancestry) as a coach inductee.

The selection committee was comprised of former college head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, Honolulu TV sportscaster Robert Kekaula and Everett of ESPN.

Inaugural Inductees

KURT KEOLA GOUVEIA (Player)

Linebacker … Brigham Young University … Led his high school team to three consecutive state titles and named Player of the Year (on offense & defense), first in Hawai’i history … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … 1984 NCAA Champion at BYU … Washington Redskins (1986-1994 & 1999), Philadelphia Eagles (1995), San Diego Chargers (1996-1998) … 13 NFL seasons … Selected by Redskins in 8th Round, 213th player overall (1986 NFL Draft) … Two time Super Bowl Champion (1987, 1991) … Born September 14, 1964 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

OLIN GEORGE KREUTZ (Player)

Center … University of Washington … All-State and SuperPrep All-American … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … First Team All-Pac 10 … Morris Trophy winner (1997) … Consensus All-American (1997) … Chicago Bears (1998-2010), New Orleans Saints (2011) … 14 NFL seasons … Selected by Bears in 3rd round, 64th player overall (1998 NFL Draft) … Six Pro Bowls (2001-2006) … Four times named All-Pro (2001, 2004-2006) … 2000s NFL All-Decade Team … Born June 9, 1977 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

KEVIN JAMES MAWAE (Player)

Center … Louisiana State University … LSU Sports Hall of Fame … Seattle Seahawks (1994-1997), New York Jets (1998-2005), Tennessee Titans (2006-2009) … 16 NFL seasons … Selected by Seahawks in 2nd round, 36th player overall (1994 NFL Draft) … Six Pro Bowls (1999-2004) … Eight times named All-Pro (1998-2002, 2004, 2007 & 2008) … Ed Block Courage Award (2009) … 2000s NFL All-Decade Team … All-Time Jets Four Decade Team … First Polynesian to serve as NFLPA President (two terms) … Born January 23, 1971 in Savannah, Ga.

TIAINA BAUL “JUNIOR” SEAU, JR. (Player)

Linebacker … University of Southern California … Unanimous First Team All-American … San Diego Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-2005), New England Patriots (2006-2009) … 20 NFL seasons … Selected by Chargers in 1st round, 5th player overall (1990 NFL Draft) … 12 Pro Bowls (1991-2002) … 10 times named All-Pro (1991-2000) … Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Winner & AFC Player of the Year (1994) … 1990s NFL All-Decade Team … Chargers 40th & 50th Anniversary Teams … Chargers Hall of Fame … Number 55 is retired by Chargers … Born January 19, 1969 in San Diego, Calif. … Died May 2, 2012.

JACK THOMPSON (Player)

Quarterback … Washington State University … Three times named All-Pac-10  … Named First Team, Second or Honorable Mention All-American three times … Finished ninth in 1978 Heisman Trophy voting … Graduated as most prolific passer in NCAA History (7,818 yards) … Led NCAA in nine different offensive categories (1976) … Cincinnati Bengals (1979-1982), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1983-1984) … Six NFL seasons … Selected by Bengals in 1st round, 3rd player overall (1979 NFL Draft), highest Polynesian ever selected … Number 14 is retired by WSU … Nicknamed The Throwin’ Samoan … Born May 19, 1956 in Tutuila, American Samoa.

HERMAN JOHN WEDEMEYER (Player)

Halfback … Saint Mary’s College … Hawai’i Sports Hall of Fame … Consensus All-American … Finished fourth in 1945 Heisman Trophy voting … First Polynesian to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (1979) … Los Angeles Dons (AAFC) 1948, Baltimore Colts (AAFC) 1949 … Two seasons … Selected by Dons in 1st round, 9th player overall (1947 AAFC Draft) … Led AAFC in punt return yardage (1948) … Later starred as Sergeant/Detective “Duke” Lakela in television series Hawaii Five-O … Nicknamed Squirmin’ Herman, Flyin’ Hawaiian & The Hula Hipped Hawaiian … Born May 20, 1924 in Hilo, Hawai’i … Died January 25, 1999.

KEN NIUMATALOLO (Coach)

Head Football Coach, United States Naval Academy (2007-present) … Seven seasons, 70 games … Regular season record: 43-27 … Five Bowl Appearances … First person of Samoan ancestry to be named a collegiate head coach and winningest Polynesian FBS head coach in history … 40 wins in first five years are most in Navy History … First Service Academy coach to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy in his first two years as Head Coach …  Attended the University of Hawai’i … Born May 8, 1965 in Laie, Hawai’i.