Tanuvasa, Schwitters head for Sports Hall
The Super Bowl and Holiday Bowl champ lineman and longtime UH tennis coach will be inducted Feb. 7
Maa Tanuvasa, at Aloha Stadium last week for the HUB Goodwill Classic, was checking out the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame exhibit when one of his fellow high school coaches nudged him.
"He said, 'One day you'll be in there.' I laughed and said, 'Yeah, right,' " Tanuvasa said.
Tanuvasa said he was "shocked" yesterday when informed he will be enshrined in less than two months.
The former NFL, University of Hawaii and Mililani High School football standout will be joined by longtime UH tennis coach Jim Schwitters in the hall's class of 2006.
As a Denver defensive tackle, Tanuvasa helped the Broncos to Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998. He also led the team in sacks in 1998 and 1999. Tanuvasa was an All-Western Athletic Conference lineman and key member of the UH team that won the WAC championship and the Holiday Bowl in 1992.
"I really am shocked to be considered and voted in," Tanuvasa said. "I was always just part of a team effort."
He is now an assistant coach at his high school alma mater.
"I'm just trying to pass on what I learned, and maybe it can help someone else can get to the next level, whether college or maybe the NFL."
Schwitters is the winningest coach in NCAA tennis history with 1,326 matches won. He was the UH coach from 1965 to 2003.
Schwitters is a member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association Hall of Fame and was inducted as a player at his alma mater, St. Ambrose University.
"It's totally unexpected," Schwitters said. The fact the hall is for Hawaii and honors all sports, not just tennis, "makes it very special," he said.
Tanuvasa and Schwitters will be honored at the Honolulu Country Club, Feb. 7. Call 540-5705 for information, or go to alohafame.org on the Internet.