Rainbow Warriors Sapolu, Tuinei in Poly Hall of Fame class of 2015

Jesse Sapolu and Mark Tuinei — two of the greatest players in University of Hawaii football history — were announced today as members of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s second class, which will be inducted in January.

In addition to shining at UH, Sapolu (San Francisco 49ers) and Tuinei (Dallas Cowboys) were important offensive line starters on two great NFL dynasties. They’re both also products of local high schools; Sapolu from Farrington and Tuinei from Punahou.

Others in the Class of 2015 announced today at the Sheraton Waikiki by selection committee chairman and former UH coach Dick Tomey: Mosi Tatupu, Ray Schoenke, Russ Francis and Luther Elliss.

UH linebackers coach Kurt Gouveia, a member of 2014’s inaugural class, appeared at today’s news conference.

The PFHOF is off to a great start … and there are many, many more deserving legends who will be enshrined in future years. Who would you like to see in the Class of 2016?


  1. innocent observer October 8, 2014 9:31 pm

    is russ francis a Polynesian? Are not his whole family from Oregon originally and all white?

  2. Dave Reardon October 8, 2014 9:37 pm

    Russ Francis is not of Polynesian ancestry. He was voted in to the hall in the contributor/coach category, which does not require Polynesian ethnicity.

  3. innocent observer October 9, 2014 8:38 am

    what did RF contribute or coach in regards to Polynesian football?

  4. Dave Reardon October 9, 2014 10:18 am

    That’s a good question and a topic for tomorrow’s column. I tend to agree with the sentiment that the Kailua High alum helped bring a lot of positive exposure to football in the islands (with the help of Howard Cosell) in the 1970s and 80s. Not necessarily sure I agree that he should be in this class, ahead of many others who are at least as deserving.

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