Riki Ellison impact felt beyond playing days
College Football Share

Riki Ellison impact felt beyond playing days

First Maori inducted into Polynesian Football Hall of Fame founded YIP and MDAA

Photo: Riki Ellison speaking on the the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors pioneering athletes that have excelled at a purely American game originated on the other side of the globe from their South Pacific roots.

Riki Ellison, the first Maori- and New Zealand-born athlete to play in the NFL, joins the Polynesian Hall with the Class of 2017 on Saturday at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. Ellison played 10 NFL seasons as a linebacker as a fifth-round draft pick out of USC. He won three Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers (XIX, XXIII and XXIV) and a national title at USC in 1978. ... 

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and Chargers.com. He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer, MLB.com, Rivals.com and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."