Rose Bowl Tunnel Now Honors Revered Pasadena High School Football Coach

Friends, family and former players gather to dedicate tunnel named in coach’s honor

Published : Friday, November 1, 2019 | 3:46 AM

More than 50 friends, family and former players of the late Pasadena High Coach and Athletic Director Tom Hamilton gathered Thursday afternoon to dedicate Tunnel 4, now known as the Tom Hamilton tunnel, on the eastern side of the Rose Bowl.

Hamilton was honored by the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation through a dedication by former player now philanthropist Mickey Segal, who made the donation along with his wife, Lee.

Segal is the president of the Legacy Foundation Board of Directors and the chair of the organization’s $40 million capital campaign.

Coach Tom Hamilton carried high by his victorious players

“The respect that Tom had from his players and his coaches, just seemed to resonate in me, and that certainly made a difference in my life,” said Segal Thursday. “If I had to create my success to anything, it would be Tom Hamilton.”

Councilmember Victor Gordo, who played at Pasadena High when Hamilton was athletic director, said, “Going into the two Turkey Tussle games I played in, Coach Hamilton said, ‘This will be the greatest game of your life.’ Having played in that game, I can tell you, that’s true…”

But what they didn’t tell me, Gordo remembered, was the lasting importance of the preparation leading up to that game.

“And the life lessons that were imparted upon us, was really what the game was about.”

Numerous former players, including Skip Robinson and Tom Fleming, also recounted their experiences under Hamilton at the event, which was emceed by former player now attorney Alex Agahjanian.

Rose Bowl Operating Company CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said before the ceremony it is fitting to honor Coach Hamilton.

“I absolutely knew Coach Tom,” Dunn said. “He was very active in the community and I got to know him pretty well. After he left coaching I used to see him working out at the Rose Bowl. He was a great person, he cared so much for the community and cared about his kids. It’s exciting that he will be honored with having a tunnel named after him at the Rose Bowl.”

The dedication took place prior to the annual Turkey Tussle between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School. Muir won, 33-0, extending its victory streak to 13-1 against the Bulldogs since 2004.