Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation Announces Major Gifts to Establish California High School Football Hall of Fame at America's Stadium
December 9, 2021
PASADENA, Calif. (December 9, 2021) The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation announced two major pledges to establish the California High School Football Hall of Fame. Funded due to lead foundational gifts from prominent philanthropists and business leaders in the Los Angeles area, Brian Panish and Mickey Segal, the Hall of Fame will be located at the Rose Bowl Stadium with plans to open in late 2022. The opening will include the induction of the inaugural class during the venue’s centennial year.
The Legacy project will be planned and founded to honor the history, quality, and overall impact of players, coaches, and integral moments that have shaped the landscape of high school football in the state. Panish and Segal, who have regularly supported Legacy’s efforts to preserve, protect, and enhance the Rose Bowl Stadium’s future over the years, both consider their time on the gridiron as value-shaping experiences that have crafted very successful careers.
Panish, a former football student-athlete at St. John Bosco in Bellflower and Fresno State, has been involved in football for his entire life. Bosco’s football stadium in Bellflower bears the Panish family’s name. Panish is an Advisory Board member for the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation as part of a volunteer philanthropist group continuing to preserve, protect, and enhance the future of the venue. His competitive passion under the helmet has led to his leadership as the Founding Partner at Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP where he has become a national leader in his own right by obtaining some of the most significant jury verdicts and settlements in U.S. history on behalf of plaintiffs.
Segal is a former football student-athlete at local Pasadena High School and played under legendary coach Tom Hamilton for which tunnel 4 at the Rose Bowl is named. The PHS Bulldogs compete annually on the hallowed Rose Bowl turf as part of the Turkey Tussle against rivals John Muir High School, the alma mater of the great Jackie Robinson. Segal is currently the President of the Legacy Foundation’s Board of Directors and is the Chair of its ongoing fundraising campaign in honor of the venue’s centennial. He has been involved with the Foundation since its inception in 2010 and has heavily committed to the Stadium’s heritage including a 2017 major gift to renovate and open one of the Rose Bowl’s original locker rooms as a museum and supporting the venue’s new videoboard that was erected in 2020. Mickey is a Founder and Managing Partner of NKSFB, building a firm that started in 1981 into the largest business management firm in the United States.
“This project will appropriately recognize the players, coaches, administrators, and so many contributors that have positively shaped the lives of so many on the football field during the formative high school years,” Panish and Segal said in a joint statement about the project. “Understanding the Rose Bowl Stadium’s rich history and experience with generational moments rooted in football, there is no better place in the State of California to house the high school football hall of fame.”
With the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and National Football Foundation (NFF) playing a role, along with Cal-Hi Sports in conjunction with the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, a selection committee has been formed representing the entire state to begin consideration of the inaugural class. The class will be inducted during the Rose Bowl Stadium’s centennial year in late 2022 upon completion of the project space.
“The National Football Foundation is honored to play a role with the California High School Football Hall of Fame,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “California has such a rich history of high school football, and the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and the Rose Bowl Stadium are the perfect stewards to showcase the state’s gridiron greats.”
“The CIF is privileged to participate in the selection process for the California High School Football Hall of Fame,” said Ron Nocetti, CIF Executive Director. “We thank the Rose Bowl Stadium, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation and the National Football Foundation for honoring the long and storied history of high school football in California and look forward to the induction of its inaugural class.”
The project will be designed by Forty Nine Degrees, who has a successful history highlighting experiential elements at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium. They have overseen key design and interactive elements for some of the venue’s most popular heritage projects to date, including the 1922 Locker Room Museum, the Legacy Foundation offices, historical statues, inside of the Terry Donahue Pavilion, and around the Stadium’s public concourse areas. Forty Nine Degrees is an industry leader for creating sharable experiences, often amplifying elements for some of the nation’s most prominent intercollegiate athletic programs.
“We are excited to create another engaging, shareable experience at the Rose Bowl Stadium. To have the opportunity to profile California’s rich High School Football history in perhaps the most storied venue in all of sports, is a creative teams’ dream, said Michael McClurg, President of Forty Nine Degrees.
A formal California High School Football Hall of Fame website is currently in development and will allow the public to nominate players and coaches for consideration. The website is expected to be ready for public viewing by the end of the year.
The generous gifts by Panish and Segal to this project continue momentum in the Legacy Foundation’s centennial campaign efforts to raise $40 million in support of Stadium’s future by the end of its centennial birthday. The campaign is over 80 percent complete with a growing national donor base.
“The ongoing generosity of Brian and Mickey to this project is humbling, thoughtful, and will provide a transformational result to recognize the great history of high school football in the State of California. We are incredibly grateful,” said Dedan Brozino, Chief Development Officer. “The Rose Bowl is the most appropriate home for this Hall of Fame and we are looking forward to delivering an exciting project in the midst of the venue’s centennial and for years to come.”
About the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation
Formed in 2010, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt organization whose primary goal is to financially ensure the protection, preservation, and enhancement of the future of the Stadium as a National Historic Landmark. The Foundation has established funding for key capital improvement initiatives, educational programming and heritage protection due to the generosity of supporters from around the world who are invested in its premier future.
About the Rose Bowl Stadium
The Rose Bowl Stadium is the proud home of the Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game, UCLA Bruins football, AmericaFest Fourth of July Celebration, concerts including Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Taylor Swift and U2, international and Premier League soccer matches and the World’s Largest Flea Market.
A National Historic Landmark built in 1922 and known around the world, the Rose Bowl Stadium has earned its world-class reputation by hosting five NFL Super Bowl games, the 1984 Olympic Soccer matches, the 1994 Men’s World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup, four BCS National College Football Championship Games and the College Football Playoff Semi-Final game.
About the National Football Foundation (NFF)
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. The NFF programs include:
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, a state-of-the-art and highly interactive facility in the heart of Atlanta that brings the game to life for fans of all ages while paying tribute to the game’s greatest legends. The NFF oversees the nominations, voting, election and induction of the annual College Football Hall of Fame Class.
The William V. Campbell Trophy® and National Scholar-Athlete Program, awarding more than $1.3 million annually and distributing nearly $30 million since its inception in 1959. The program is highlighted by the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments and The William V. Campbell Trophy®.
Future For Football, the NFF's cross-platform media campaign to celebrate the positive impact the game of football has made on millions of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers and fans nationwide.
NFF Chapter Network, providing those who love the game an opportunity to stay involved and give back to future generations by replicating the national efforts at the grassroots level. Boasting 120 chapters in 47 states, the network honors 3,500 scholar-athletes and distributes $1 million in scholarships annually.
The NFF Annual Awards Dinner, the organization’s marquee event that attracts more than 1,600 of the game's most influential supporters each December to honor those who embody the spirit of the game. The annual event includes the induction of the College Football Hall of Fame Class, the awarding of The William V. Campbell Trophy®, the presentation of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Presented by Fidelity Investments and the recognition of other NFF Major Award recipients.
The Senior High School Showcases, which currently provide more than 1,000 high school seniors an opportunity, at no cost, to display their skills in front of coaches from more than 100 divisional colleges with the hopes of earning participation and academic scholarships.
The NFF Major Awards, honoring those who represent the key ideals of the organization and have made major contributions to the sport and/or society.
News, Outreach and Partnerships, implementing a variety of initiatives that promote the game’s best storylines and engage the key stakeholders and the more than 765 football-playing colleges and universities nationwide.
About the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF)
The CIF governs interscholastic athletics, promoting equity, quality, character and academic development.
Its vision is such that Athletic competition is an integral part of the high school experience. CIF is uniquely positioned to foster student growth in values and ethics. CIF’s ideal of “Pursuing Victory with Honor,” provides the opportunity to dramatically influence the actions of the athletic community. CIF strives to strengthen the integrity of students and adults across the state by promoting the concepts of sportsmanship, honesty and quality academics. These priorities advance the highest principles of character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship.