This year’s Sun Bowl game marks the 80th game in one of the oldest traditions in college football history.
The first Sun Bowl was played New Year’s Day 1935 as a fundraising event for the El Paso Kiwanis Club. The public submitted suggestions on what to name the game, and Doctor C.M. Hendricks suggested the “Sun Bowl.” Hendricks later became the first Sun Bowl Association President.
In 1934, the Sun Bowl Association was founded to present a football game of national importance, to promote the El Paso region, and to generate tourist income.
Legendary athletes have played Sun Bowl games over the years, including Ara Parsegian, Merlin Olsen, and Tony Dorsett.
Texas Western, now UTEP, played a Sun Bowl in 1957 losing to underdogs, George Washington University.
Aside from some nail-biters and blowouts, the Sun Bowl has also produced some strange moments in its 80-year history. During the Fog Bowl of 1974, a freak winter storm the night before caused steam to rise from the frosty field during the first half.
This year, teams from the ACC and the Pac-12 will meet on December 31st. Virginia Tech will take on UCLA with kickoff scheduled for noon. The 2013 Sun Bowl will mark the first meeting between the two teams. The game will be broadcast on CBS for the 46th consecutive year – the longest running partnership between a network and a bowl game.
Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.