Oregon coach honors Polynesian trailblazer
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Oregon coach honors Polynesian trailblazer

Michigan State's Bob Apisa first Samoan All-American on 1965-66 national title teams

Photo: Joe Salave'a

Oregon facing Michigan State football in the Redbox Bowl brings life full circle for Joe Salave'a, the Ducks' associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator. Born in America Samoa, Salave'a grew up fully aware MSU Athletics Hall of Famer Bob Apisa blazed a trail for Samoan and Polynesian athletes.

“It doesn’t take much for Polynesian players to get wind of stories about the older guys,” Salave'a said in phone conversation on Friday. “I have tremendous respect for Mr. Apisa. He seized his opportunity at Michigan State."

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Tom Shanahan, Author: Raye of Light http://tinyurl.com/knsqtqu

-- Book on Michigan State's leading role in the integration of college football. It explains Duffy Daugherty's untold pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.


David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer; "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom has also written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego, Chargers.com, Rivals.com, and Gameday Central. He has won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003 and USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

Purchase Raye of Light from Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or from August Publishing.

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