Bruce Binkowski, Bowl Executive
In 1978, Bruce Binkowski was hired as the first full-time employee of the Holiday Bowl and remained a cornerstone for the organization for the following 38 years. As Public Relations Director and then Director of Marketing, Bruce was instrumental in helping build the Holiday Bowl’s national reputation as America’s Most Exciting Bowl Game. Binkowski was eventually named the Holiday Bowl’s Executive Director in 2001. He remained in that role through the 2014 bowl games. He retired in February of this year. Under Binkowski’s leadership, the Holiday Bowl delivered an annual average economic impact of nearly $30 million per year to the city of San Diego, and, in 2005, the NCAA certified a second San Diego bowl game, the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, adding to the region’s economic impact.
Mack Brown, University of Texas, Head Coach
Holiday Bowl 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011
Coach Mack Brown brought the Texas Longhorns to five Holiday Bowls, the most appearances in the game’s history by any coach other than BYU’s LaVell
Edwards. Starting in 2000, the Longhorns played in three Holiday Bowls over a four-year span, and each game went down to the wire. A back and forth battle with the Oregon Ducks came down to the final play, with Texas falling just short, 35-30. In 2001, Brown’s squad scored 27 fourth quarter points, and roared back to beat Washington 47-43 in one of the most exciting games in the Bowl’s history. Two years later, the Longhorns once again mounted a fourth quarter rally that fell just short in a 28-20 loss to Washington State. In 2007, Coach Brown evened out his Holiday Bowl record with a 52-34 win over Arizona State, and in his final appearance in America’s Most Exciting Bowl Game, the Longhorns defeated the Cal Bears 21-10 in 2011.