Former Washington State quarterback Jack Thompson and ex-Washington center Olin Kreutz were named Wednesday to the inaugural seven-man class of the Polynesian Hall of Fame. They’ll be honored next Jan. 23 in Honolulu in conjunction with NFL Pro Bowl activities.
Thompson, nicknamed the “Throwin’ Samoan,” established WSU passing records from 1975-78, some NCAA standards and was the third player selected in the 1979 draft, the highest Polynesian player ever selected. He had his No. 14 retired by the Cougars.
Kreutz had a standout career with the Huskies in the late 1990s and went on to a 14-year NFL career, all but one year of it with the Chicago Bears. He was a four-time all-pro.
Also named were former BYU and NFL linebacker Kurt Gouveia; Kevin Mawae, former LSU and NFL center whose pro career began with the Seahawks in 1994; the late Junior Seau, ex-USC linebacker and 20-year pro; Herman John Wedemeyer, Hawaii product who excelled at St. Mary’s and was fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1945 as a halfback, and was the first Polynesian voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979 before starring on the TV series Hawaii Five-O; and Ken Niumatalolo, Navy head coach and the first of Samoan ancestry to become a college head coach.