PASADENA, Calif. (June 8, 2023) – The winningest coach in UCLA football and Pac-12 Conference history, Terry Donahue, will be celebrated with a statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium this Fall. The unveiling and dedication event, which is open to the public, will take place on Friday, October 27th at 3:00 PM at America’s Stadium in Pasadena.
The statue of Coach Donahue will be surrounded by 151 bronze roses of varying shapes and sizes. As a gift by over 100 donors to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, the non-profit that supports the preservation, protection and enhancement of the Stadium’s future, each rose has been supported by an individual or family and honors one of the conference- and school-record 151 wins during Donahue’s career on the UCLA sidelines.
Coach Donahue’s statue will be the fourth on Rose Bowl property to represent key moments and people in the venue’s history, joining Jackie Robinson (dedicated in 2017), the 1999 Team USA FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions (dedicated 2019) and iconic broadcaster Keith Jackson (dedicated 2019). The commemorative statue will celebrate Donahue’s presence as a coach as well as commemorate his 151 wins. It will be the first, statue located inside the Stadium’s gates with the other three located outside the venue’s fence line near the Stadium’s main entrance at Gate A.
The statue’s location inside the venue will be an area of enjoyment and education for all fans, student-athletes, coaches, and visitors to the Stadium. Adjacent to the Charles E. Young Locker Room, UCLA players and coaches will pass by the iconic coach before each home game.
Over 20 years, Coach Donahue had more wins than any football coach in the school’s history, including seven consecutive bowl championships. He became the face of football at UCLA as a player and coach, staying in the latter position for two decades and leading the school to seven consecutive bowl-winning seasons in the 1980s.
“Coach Donahue’s spirit and what he meant to his players, colleagues, the UCLA community and to the history and preservation of the Rose Bowl Stadium was larger than life,” said Dedan Brozino, President of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation. “He represented the integrity, sportsmanship and care for teaching that is emblematic of only the special coaches in the game – and Terry was beyond legendary.”
Donahue won more games than any other coach in the school’s and the Pac-12 Conference’s history. He ended his career with a winning record against each of the conference’s teams, including the Bruins’ crosstown rival, the University of Southern California Trojans.
Overall, he won 151 of the 233 games he coached, and 98 of those victories were in the Pac-10 (as the conference was known before adding two teams in 2011). His eighth and final win in a bowl came in the 1991 John Hancock Bowl.
Donahue’s streak of bowl victories included Rose Bowl Game® wins in ’83, ’84 and ’86. He was the first person to appear in the Rose Bowl Game® as a player, an assistant coach and a coach.
“On behalf of the Terry Donahue family, we are humbled by this outpouring of support for the Terry Donahue Statue and 151 Roses Dedication,” said Andrea Donahue. “The Rose Bowl has always played a meaningful part in our lives and provided us many opportunities and great joy. We can’t begin to express our gratitude for this iconic stadium and all the people that make it so special. It is a great honor to continue Coach Terry Donahue’s legacy so that he may continue to impact the lives of others.”
On the field, Donahue played in UCLA’s 1966 Rose Bowl Game® victory, the upset win over Michigan State was UCLA’s first Rose Bowl Game® victory. The team earned the nickname “Gutty Little Bruins” because nobody on the defensive line weighed more than 225 pounds. Donahue, a walk-on, weighed just 195 pounds.
“Coach Donahue impacted thousands of young men from all over America, not just in football, but in life,” said Troy Aikman. “As good as he was at coaching the game, his greatest gift was being an example for how to be better men. We all carry a part of him deep within us. I’m so proud to support this project at the Rose Bowl to honor Coach and his lasting impact on so many.”
“On behalf of the Rose Bowl Stadium, we want to thank all the donors who made this project possible. We are proud to honor a man who is not only iconic to the legacy of UCLA football, but to all of college football,” said Chief Executive Officer / General Manager Jens Weiden. “This statue will stand at America’s Stadium for generations to come so we can remember his impact, and all that he represented for the Bruins and the game of college football.”
Having hosted two Olympic Games (with a third coming in 2028), two FIFA® World Cup Finals, five Super Bowls, and countless first-class entertainment moments, the Rose Bowl Stadium has highlighted key moments around the venue over the years. Statues, historical markers, historical photos, paintings, timelines, the 1922 Locker Room Museum, and the soon-to-open California High School Football Hall of Fame have transformed the world-renowned venue into a walking museum of sports and entertainment excellence.