SB FILE / 1992
Bob Wagner heads this year's class for the Circle of Honor.
Wagner in UH Sports Circle of Honor
Three men linked through the University of Hawaii football program will also be linked as the Class of 2008 in the UH Sports Circle of Honor.
The new inductees are Rainbows football coach Bob Wagner; defensive lineman Ma'a Tanuvasa; and three-sport athlete Charlie Bessette, best known for his prowess on the football field who later became the manager for both Honolulu and Aloha Stadium.
They will be inducted during halftime of the Hawaii-Utah State basketball game Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Wagner, now athletic director at Kamehameha-Hawaii, spent 10 years as a UH assistant before becoming the program's 19th head coach in 1987. During his nine years as head coach, he led the Rainbows to their first two NCAA-sanctioned bowl games.
Wagner, a founder of Na Koa football booster club, was also a two-time Western Athletic Conference coach of the year. In 1992, Hawaii won what was then a school-record 11 games, including a 27-17 upset of Illinois in the Holiday Bowl. He was fired near the end of the 1995 season, when UH went 4-8.
Tanuvasa was a co-captain of that Holiday Bowl team. The Mililani High graduate played three seasons for the Rainbows. He went on to nine NFL seasons, earning two Super Bowl rings while playing for the Denver Broncos in 1997 and '98.
Bessette, a McKinley High graduate, had his college career put on hold by World War II. He spent three years in the Army and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Bessette returned to UH where he played football, basketball and baseball. Considered a triple threat in football as a rusher, passer and kicker, Bessette's most memorable game was the 1948 Pineapple Bowl, when he accounted for three touchdowns as UH rallied past Redlands 33-32.
His professional career included stints with the Hawaii Islanders baseball team, and managing Honolulu Stadium until it closed in 1974, and Aloha Stadium until his retirement in 1988.
UH's Circle of Honor will grow to 74 individuals when the next class is inducted on Saturday:
» Bob Wagner, UH head football coach from 1987 to 1995
» Ma'a Tanuvasa, UH defensive lineman from 1990 to 1992
» Charlie Bessette, three sport star for UH in the 1940s