The “It” factor. Character, toughness, charisma, discipline, execution, dedication, skill. All of the nouns that comprise the “It” factor were represented at the 2013 Ring of Honor Legends Luncheon Oct. 18 at the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes.
Three more Sun Devil football legends – Leon Burton, Al Harris and Mike Richardson – that all possess the “It” factor were inducted into the prestigious Ring of Honor at the annual event hosted by the ASU Alumni Association and the Sun Devil Club.
Burton, Harris and Richardson join 17 fellow Sun Devil football student-athletes in the Ring of Honor, created in 2010. Each of the inductees thanked their families, former teammates and especially their coaches, and reminisced on their Sun Devil days.
Harris developed a very close relationship with legendary coach Bill Kajikawa and talked about how he earned his degree and achieved the one thing repeatedly stressed to him by Coach Kaji, as he affectionately referred to him as during the speech.
Richardson, who walked to the stage while his verse of “The Superbowl Shuffle” as ‘L.A. Mike’ blared from the speakers, regaled the audience with stories of how ASU, head coach Frank Kush and the week at Camp Tontozona helped him the become the person he is today.
“It was a good thing there were no phones up north, because after my first day there as a freshman I wanted to call my mom and go home,” Richardson said. “But my time there and my coaches taught me how to fight, how to compete, how to get off the ground and fight back.”
Richardson also emphasized how important it is to hold events such as this, not for the recognition, but so former players have an opportunity to come back to campus and reach out to current Sun Devil football players, which is something he said he never experienced.
Thirty former student-athletes and coaches attended the event, including seven members of the Ring of the Honor and Sid Glenn, one the earliest living Sun Devil football letterman who played from 1947-1948. ‘Jumping’ Joe Caldwell, grand marshal of the Homecoming Parade and first Sun Devil Olympic gold medalist in men’s basketball also joined the festivities.
The three new Ring of Honor members will take part in the annual ASU Homecoming parade beginning at 11 a.m. tomorrow and will also be honored at halftime of the Devils’ 3 p.m. football game against No. 20 Washington.
2013 Class Bios
Sun Devil Football in attendance
Frank Kush (head coach)
Larry Laughlin (asst. coach)
Charlie McBride (asst. coach)
Ring of Honor Committee
City of Tempe elected officials and leaders in attendnace
Mayor Mark Mitchell (ASU alum)
Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage (ASU alum)
Councilmember Joel Navarro
City Councilmember Corey Woods
City Manager Andrew Ching. (ASU alum)