Former USC Quarterback and Rose Bowl MVP Vince Evans Named To Rose Bowl Hall Of Fame
LOS ANGELES--Vince Evans, a pioneer for Black quarterbacks who was named the 1977 Rose Bowl MVP, has been inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
He is the 27th Trojan player, coach or administrator elected to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
Evans will be inducted in a private event held in Pasadena the week of the this year's Rose Bowl Game. He will also be honored in the Rose Parade and on the field during the 109th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2023.
Joining Evans as 2022 inductees are Hugo Bezdek, the only coach to bring three different teams to the Rose Bowl (Oregon, Mare Island Marines and Penn State), former Rose Bowl Stadium CEO, Darryl Dunn and Lorenzo White, a two-time First Team All-American and two-time Big Ten MVP running back at Michigan State.
Evans became USC's starter in 1975, the year after the Trojans won a national title, but he had a poor season, completing just 31.3% of his passes and throwing 9 interceptions with just 3 touchdowns.
Coach John McKay, in his final season coaching the Trojans, stuck with Vince despite heated media criticism. USC did finish the season 8-4 despite a 4-game late-season losing skid with the Trojans beating Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl.
Under new coach John Robinson, the Trojans dropped their opener in 1976 to No. 8 Missouri, but then won their final 11 games, including three consecutive victories over No. 2 UCLA, No. 13 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan in the 1977 Rose Bowl. He led the Trojans to the Pac-8 title in 1976, which earned a spot in the 1977 Rose Bowl Game against Michigan. On the season, Evans threw for 1,440 yards (53.7% completions) with 10 TDs and just 6 picks, quite the redemptive turnaround from his junior year. The Trojans finished ranked second nationally. Evans was named the Rose Bowl MVP, scoring USC's first touchdown on a fourth down 1-yard bootleg and completing 14-of-20 passes for 181 yards against the Wolverines' fifth-rated defense (including key completions on USC's game-winning fourth quarter scoring drive).
Evans was the 1976 season recipient of the USC Davis-Teschke Award, which is awarded annually to the most inspirational player on the football team and chosen by vote of the varsity lettermen at season's end.
Evans had a successful NFL career that spanned 18 years. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears. He broke barriers by becoming their first-ever Black starting quarterback in 1981. During his career, he also played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and the USFL's Chicago Blitz and Denver Gold. Evans was a pioneer for Black quarterbacks by helping open the door for the current NFL quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts.