Day 12: Sun Bowl Game

By on December 20, 2013

sun bowl stadiumToday is Day 12 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial Year.

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.

  1. Willie Quinn
    December 20, 2013

    To Whomever Is Interested:

    Even though this Blog mentions the 1957 TWC (UTEP) Sun Bowl Game, actually UTEP or its predecessors (Texas Western College and the College of Mines and Metallurgy) have played in eight (8) Sun Bowl Games. Those games were played in 1937, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1965, and 1967. UTEP has won 5 and lost 3 of these games. For more information about these games, their opponents, and/or scores the reader should access the Wikipedia Website at:

    Some other interesting facts about the Sun Bowl that may be found on the Wikipedia Webpage are: “The Sun Bowl, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl (first played 1902, played annually since 1916). Games are now played at Sun Bowl Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso. The first three were played at El Paso High School Stadium (1935–1937), then switched to Kidd Field until the present stadium was ready in 1963. For its first 24 years of existence the game was played on January 1 (New Year’s Day) or January 2; since then, with the exception of a January 2 game in 1977 [another 1977 game was also played in December 31], the game has been played in December with the last 15 games played on or near December 31.”

    Thanks for listening,