By Earl Heath –
The 2011 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame class was filled with the traditional Pac-10 Big Ten flavor. For USC’s Brad Budde representing the Pac-10, while former Purdue All-American Leroy Keyes and Iowa coach Hayden Fry did the Big Ten proud.
Budde grew up in Kansas City always watching the Rose Bowl on TV. His father Ed spent almost two decades with the Kansas City Chiefs. Ed and Brad became the first and only father and son in NFL history to be drafted in the first round, to the same team and play the same position.
“The first thing I thought about was the community of Pasadena,” said Budde. “The military and athletes are always about teamwork and about family.”
Budde himself won three different Rose Bowls, 1977, 1979 and 1980. The offensive lineman was also the 1979 Lombardy Award winner.
Fry was not as fortunate. The Hawkeye head coach fell short in 1982, 1986 and 1991 on his trips to Pasadena. A case could be made for game preparation.
At the time, the Hawkeye’s had no indoor facility. “We had to practice in the ice and snow,” said Fry. “Then we met three great teams. We played Washington twice one year when they were National champs and the other year they were ranked 5th in the country.”
Fry also ran into a red hot UCLA team coached by Terry Donahue. “We had a great experience coming here.” Despite the loses, there was a lifetime change for one of Fry’s players.
Starting QB Gordie Bohannon who fell in love with the Rose Bowl Queen and they got married and had a great family.
Keyes was one of the greatest athletes to ever land on the floor of the Rose Bowl. He was a two way player – a running back and defensive back.
Spending some time with him, he looks as though he could still put on the pads and run over a few.
Keyes and his underdog Boilermaker squad came to Pasadena and upset USC. As a junior, Keyes ran for over 986 yards with 13 touchdowns and amassed 1,870 offensive yards. He was named the Big Ten MVP.
“Coming from West Lafayette, Indiana was a God send,” said Keyes. “To come out and represent the Big Ten, the University and your family was a wonderful, exciting, warm feeling. We give all the credit to our Heavenly Father.”
Keyes is already in the Purdue Hall of Fame and the College Hall of Fame. He thought he was through with inductions until the Rose Bowl called.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Keyes when he received the call.
“We don’t make mistakes,” said Libby Wright. “We induct those who deserve it and you deserve it.”
Keyes now works on the Purdue Club at the University. His wife Monica is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. With all that talent and personality, Chuck ‘the Ironman’ Hayes summed up Keyes the Best. “He was prime before prime.”