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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Junior Seau, 6 others inducted

By David Ching
ESPN.com

The late Junior Seau was among seven coaches and players selected to form the inaugural induction class into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in January.

The 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker will be inducted alongside former NFL and college standouts Kevin Mawae, Olin Kreutz, Kurt Gouveia, Jack Thompson and Herman Wedemeyer and Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo at the Jan. 23, 2014, ceremony in Hawaii, which will coincide with the NFL's Pro Bowl weekend.

Junior Seau
Junior Seau always embraced his Polynesian heritage throughout his college and NFL career.

About the inductees:

• A former All-American at USC, Seau was a 10-time All-Pro during an NFL career that had stops with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

• Both standout centers, Kreutz (six Pro Bowls, four All-Pro designations) and Mawae (six Pro Bowls, eight All-Pro designations) played a combined 30 seasons in the NFL.

• Gouveia won an NCAA championship at Brigham Young and two Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins as a linebacker.

• Thompson became the highest-drafted Polynesian player when the Cincinnati Bengals picked him third overall in 1979 following an All-America career playing quarterback at Washington State.

• Wedemeyer was a College Football Hall of Fame running back at Saint Mary's College before launching careers in acting -- he was best known for playing Duke Lukela on "Hawaii Five-O" -- and politics.

• The lone coach in the class, Niumatalolo is the first person of Samoan ancestry to be named a college head coach. His 40 wins in his first five years at Navy are the most in program history, and he has led the Midshipmen to five bowl appearances.

A six-man selection committee comprised of former coaches Dick Tomey, LaVell Edwards and Ron McBride, ESPN sportscaster Neil Everett and Robert Kekaula and player personnel expert Gil Brandt picked the seven inductees out of a field of 25 finalists.