AP FILE PHOTO
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 | 3 p.m.
The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will reach the 20-year milestone with this December's game at Sam Boyd Stadium, and that is being commemorated by the starting of the bowl game's Hall of Fame.
The four-member inaugural class, which will be inducted the week of the game, was announced Tuesday.
It includes former Utah State quarterback Anthony Calvillo, former Oregon State running back and Las Vegas native Steven Jackson, former UNLV coach John Robinson and the game's founding father, Rossi Ralenkotter.
The inductees will be honored at the annual Kickoff Luncheon on Dec. 21, then at the game, as well. The game will be played on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. PT, airing live on ESPN HD.
Ralenkotter, who is president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). He was instrumental in securing the bowl slot from the defunct California Raisin Bowl and moving the game from Fresno to Vegas in time for the 1992 season.
Robinson was a long-time coach both USC and with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams before taking over the UNLV program in 1999. In his second season, they made their first bowl appearance in six seasons, defeating Arkansas in the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl, 31-14.
Jackson enjoyed a stellar career at Oregon State after starring at Eldorado High. In his final collegiate game, he led the Beavers to a 55-14 Las Vegas Bowl victory over New Mexico on Christmas Eve 2003. Jackson was voted as the game's Most Valuable Player after compiling 149 yards off of 28 carries, scoring five total touchdowns in the process (four rushing, one receiving). He was taken 24th overall in the 2004 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, and now in his eighth season with the organization, has rushed for more than 8.000 yards while racking up more than 2,600 as a receiver out of the backfield, scoring 55 total touchdowns in the process.
Calvillo helped Utah State win the 1993 co-Big West Conference championship, earning the Aggies their first bowl bid since 1961. He completed 25 of 39 passes in the Las Vegas Bowl that year for 286 yards and three touchdowns in leading Utah State to a 42-33 victory over Ball State. He was the game's MVP. It is still the program's lone bowl victory in its 113-year history. He's still playing in the Canadian Football League, where he's won three Grey Cup championships and was named the league's Most Outstanding Player three times, most recently in 2009.
A new class will be inducted into the game's Hall of Fame every five years.
This year's game will again pit the top choice from the Mountain West against the fifth pick from the Pac-12 Conference. It currently stands as the 16th oldest game in the current 35-bowl lineup. In last year's game, Boise State defeated Utah, 26-3.