Rose Bowl to honor coach Eddie Robinson and Fritz Pollard with historical markers

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Eddie Robinson

PASADENA, Calif. – As it continues its 100th year, the has announced the addition of two more historical markers on the Stadium property honoring legendary Head Coach Eddie Robinson and football pioneer Fritz Pollard. The addition of the historical markers continues the venue’s commemoration and recognition of a century of heritage and key moments that have positively influenced sports, entertainment and the communities that the Rose Bowl serves.

Made possible by generous donations to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, the two markers will educate the public and acknowledge key historical figures that have contributed to the iconic history of America’s Stadium. The markers will be installed later this year. The donations also supports the preservation, protection and enhancement of the future of the Rose Bowl Stadium as a National Historic Landmark.

The historical markers are the fourth and fifth on the Stadium’s property joining plaques honoring Stadium Architect Myron Hunt and the Home of the Rose Bowl Game (both located on Gate A) and Peyton Manning (located at Tunnel 16), who took his first collegiate snaps in America’s Stadium.

Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson coached Grambling State to a win in the Pasadena Bowl, also known as the Junior Rose Bowl, in 1968 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. For 56 years, Robinson was the head coach at Grambling State University, a historically black university (HBCU) in Grambling, Louisiana. Robinson is recognized by many football experts as one of the greatest coaches in history. He retired in 1997 with a record of 408-165-15 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Fritz Pollard was a pioneer in all levels of football competition. He was the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl Game, doing so for Brown University in 1916 at Tournament Park. Pollard was the second African-American elected to the College Football Hall of Fame (1954) and was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. After playing for Brown, Fritz served in World War I before turning professional. As a player and coach, Pollard was a two-time All-American who also coached four National Football League (NFL) teams. He was the first African-American head coach in the NFL for the Akron (OH) Pros in 1921 and helped integrate the NFL by recruiting other black players to suit up. Fritz founded both the Chicago Black Hawks and the New York Brown Bombers.

“The Rose Bowl Stadium has created so many positive stories and legacies in its century of existence that can teach us more about our future – Coach Robinson and Mr. Pollard are without a doubt a key part of that story,” said Dedan Brozino, Chief Development Officer at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Since 2017, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation has funded key historical recognition projects that have been placed around the venue to educate visitors to the iconic venue such as statues (Jackie Robinson, 1999 Team USA Women’s World Cup Champions and Keith Jackson), historical markers, the 1922 Locker Room Museum and preservation of the two original Stadium locker rooms and the California High School Football Hall of Fame (opening late-2022).

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