East–West Shrine Game

East–West Shrine Game
The game's logo, featuring a young girl recovering from surgery walking with Boston College player Mike Esposito before the 1974 game.[1]
Stadium Tropicana Field
Location St. Petersburg, Florida
Previous stadiums Kezar Stadium (1925–1941, 1943–1968, 1971–1973)
Stanford Stadium (1969, 1974–2000)
Tulane Stadium (1942)
Oakland Coliseum (1970)
AT&T Park (2001–2005)
Alamodome (2006)
Reliant Stadium (2007)
Robertson Stadium (2008–2009)
Orlando Citrus Bowl (2010–2011)
Previous locations San Francisco, California (1925–1941, 1943–1968, 1971–1973, 2001–2005)
New Orleans, Louisiana (1942)
Stanford, California (1969, 1974–2000)
Oakland, California (1971)
San Antonio, Texas (2006)
Houston, Texas (2007–2009)
Orlando, Florida (2010–2011)
Operated 1925–present
Shriners (1925–present)
2017 matchup
East vs. West (West 10–3)
2018 matchup
East vs. West (West 14–10)

The East–West Shrine Game is a postseason college football all-star game that has been played annually since 1925. The game is sponsored by the fraternal group Shriners International, and the net proceeds are earmarked to some of the Shrine's charitable works, most notably the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The game's slogan is "Strong Legs Run That Weak Legs May Walk".

Teams consist of players from colleges in the Eastern United States vs. the Western United States. Players must be college seniors who are eligible to play for their school.[2] The game and the practice sessions leading up to it attract dozens of scouts from professional teams. Since 1985, Canadian players playing in Canadian university football have also been invited (even though the CIS and NCAA play by different football codes). As such, this is the only bowl or all-star game in either the Canadian or American college football schedules to include players from both Canadian and American universities.

Since 1979, the game has been played in January, and has been played on January 10 or later since 1986. The later game dates allow players from teams whose schools were involved in bowl games to participate, which is important, as these teams often have some of the very best players.


For most of its history, the game was played in the San Francisco Bay Area, usually at San Francisco's Kezar Stadium or Stanford Stadium at Stanford University, with Pacific Bell Park/SBC Park (now AT&T Park) as a host in its final years in Northern California. For more than half of the games played in the Bay Area, entertainment was provided by the marching band from Santa Cruz High School.[3]

In January 1942, the game was played in New Orleans, due to the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This one-year relocation was based upon fears that playing the game on the west coast could make the contest and the stadium a potential target for an additional attack. The game, originally planned for January 1 in San Francisco, was played on January 3 at Tulane Stadium, two days after the 1942 Sugar Bowl was held there.[4]

In 2006, the game moved to Texas, leaving the San Francisco Bay area for the first time since 1942, and was played at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The growth of cable television meant NFL scouts could now view players around the country, making postseason all-star games less important. Even so, the Shrine Game's organizers relaxed efforts towards attracting top players to the game, meaning many of college football's best players went to the Senior Bowl, instead. In 2007, the game relocated to Houston and was played at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, to be closer to one of the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children; Texas has two Shriner's hospitals, one in Houston and the other in Galveston. The 2008 and 2009 games were held at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.[5][6]

In 2010, the game moved to Florida, and was held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Television coverage moved from ESPN/ESPN2 to the NFL Network, starting with the 2011 game.[7] After two years in Orlando, the 2012 game was held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg; it was the sixth different venue (in five cities and three states) in a span of eight contests.

Starting with the January 2017 game, the NFL now supplies coaching staffs for the game, drawing from assistant coaches of teams who did not advance to the NFL postseason, and the game is now officiated by NFL officials.[8]

A similar game, the North–South Shrine Game, was played in Miami from 1948 to 1973, and a final time in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1976.

Game results

Through the 2018 playing of the game, the West currently leads all-time with 50 wins to the East's 38 wins, while five games have tied.[9][10]


  • For the December 1925 game, NCAA records list a 7–0 final score,[10] while contemporary newspaper accounts report 6–0.[11]


The Shrine Game first named a Most Valuable Player for the January 1945 game (Bob Waterfield, UCLA quarterback), and named a single MVP through the December 1952 game. Starting with the January 1954 game, two MVPs are selected for each game; they receive the William H. Coffman Award for Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and the E. Jack Spaulding Award for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.[12] Coffman was managing director of the game for 40 years, while Spaulding was one of the organizers of the first East–West Shrine Game.[12] MVPs starting with the January 2000 game are listed below; a complete list is provided on the official website.[13]

YearOffensive MVPCollegePositionDefensive MVPCollegePosition
2000Marcus KnightMichiganWRErik FlowersArizona StateDE
2001Steve SmithUtahWRLeo BarnesSouthern MississippiDB
2002Deonce WhitakerSan Jose StateRBEverick RawlsTexasLB
2003Donald LeeMississippi StateTETully Banta-CainCalDE
2004Ryan DinwiddieBoise StateQBBrandon ChillarUCLALB
2005Stefan LeForsLouisvilleQBAlex GreenDukeS
2006Reggie McNealTexas A&MQBJames WycheSyracuseDE
2007Jeff RoweNevadaQBDan BazuinCentral MichiganDE
2008Josh JohnsonSan DiegoQBSpencer LarsenArizonaLB
2009Marlon LuckyNebraskaRBMichael TauiliiliDukeLB
2010Mike KafkaNorthwesternQBO'Brien SchofieldWisconsinDE
2011Delone CarterSyracuseRBMartin ParkerRichmondDT
2012Lennon CreerLouisiana TechRBNick SukayPenn StateCB
2013Chad BumphisMississippi StateWRNigel MaloneKansas StateCB
2014Jimmy GaroppoloEastern IllinoisQBEthan WestbrooksWest Texas A&MDE
2015Marvin KlossSouth FloridaKZa'Darius SmithKentuckyDE
2016Vernon AdamsOregonQBMichael CaputoWisconsinS
2017Elijah McGuireLouisiana–LafayetteRBTrey HendricksonFlorida AtlanticDE
2018[14]Daurice FountainNorthern IowaWRNatrell JamersonWisconsinS

Canadian invitees

Although the Shrine Game is an American football competition, players of Canadian university football, contested under Canadian football rules, have been invited every year since 1985, when Calgary Dinos offensive lineman Tom Spoletini played. Usually, Canadian players on the West team come from Canada West schools, while Canadian players on the East team are from the other three Canadian conferences (Ontario University Athletics, Atlantic University Sport, and Quebec Student Sport Federation). One exception was Sean McEwen of the Calgary Dinos (a Canada West school), who played on the East squad in the 2016 game.

The only Canadian team that competes under American football rules is the Simon Fraser Clan, which was in the NAIA from 1965 to 2001, then spent several seasons in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and joined NCAA Division II in 2010. To date, the only Simon Fraser player to be invited to the Shrine Game is Ibrahim Khan, who played in 2004. Through the 2018 game, the Calgary Dinos have had the most invitees, with 12.

Canadian invitees to the East–West Shrine Game 
YearWest InviteesEast Invitees
1985Tom Spoletini (OL, Calgary Dinos)(none)
1986Kent Warnock (DE, Calgary Dinos)Mike Schad (OT, Queen's Golden Gaels)
1987Leo Groenewegen (OT, UBC Thunderbirds)Louie Godry (OL, Guelph Gryphons)
1988Craig Watson (OL, Calgary Dinos)Pierre Vercheval (OL, Western Ontario Mustangs)
1989Brent Korte (DE, Alberta Golden Bears)Leroy Blugh (LB, Bishop's Gaiters)
1990Mark Singer (LB, Alberta Golden Bears)Chris Gioskos (OL, Ottawa Gee-Gees)
1991Mike Pavelec (OL, Calgary Dinos)Paul Vajda (OL, Concordia Stingers)
1992Jason Rauhaus (DE, Manitoba Bisons)Chris Morris (OL, Toronto Varsity Blues)
1993Chris Konrad (DE, Calgary Dinos)Mike O'Shea (LB, Guelph Gryphons)
1994Travis Serke (OT, Saskatchewan Huskies)Val St. Germain (OG, McGill Redmen)
1995Rohn Meyer (OG, Calgary Dinos)Matthieu Quiviger (OT, McGill Redmen)
1996Don Blair (WR, Calgary Dinos)Harry Van Hofwegen (DT, Carleton Ravens)
1997Ben Fairbrother (OL, Calgary Dinos)Mark Farraway (DL, St. Francis Xavier X-Men)
1998Bob Beveridge (OL, UBC Thunderbirds)Dave Miller-Johnston (P/K, Concordia Stingers)
1999Scott Flory (OT, Saskatchewan Huskies)Cameron Legault (DT, Carleton Ravens)
2000Kevin Lefsrud (OT, Saskatchewan Huskies)Kojo Millington (DE, Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks)
2001Carlo Panaro (OL, Alberta Golden Bears)Randy Chevrier (DL, McGill Redmen)
2002Jason Clermont (IR, Regina Rams)Kojo Aidoo (RB, McMaster Marauders)
2003Israel Idonije (DT, Manitoba Bisons)Adam MacDonald (LB, St. Francis Xavier X-Men)
2004Ibrahim Khan (OL, Simon Fraser Clan)Carl Gourgues (OL, Laval Rouge et Or)
2005Nick Johansson (DT, UBC Thunderbirds)Jesse Lumsden (RB, McMaster Marauders)
2006Daniel Federkeil (DE, Calgary Dinos)Andy Fantuz (WR, Western Ontario Mustangs)
2007Jordan Rempel (OL, Saskatchewan Huskies)Chris Best (OL, Waterloo Warriors)
2008Dylan Barker (S, Saskatchewan Huskies)
Brendon LaBatte (OG, Regina Rams)
Samuel Giguère (WR, Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or)
Eric Maranda (LB, Laval Rouge et Or)
2009Simeon Rottier (OT, Alberta Golden Bears)Etienne Légaré (DT, Laval Rouge et Or)
2010Jordan Sisco (WR/SB, Regina Rams)Matt Morencie (C, Windsor Lancers)
2011Anthony Parker (SB, Calgary Dinos)Matt O'Donnell (OT, Queen's Golden Gaels)
2012Ben Heenan (OT, Saskatchewan Huskies)
Akiem Hicks (DE, Regina Rams)
Arnaud Gascon-Nadon (DE, Laval Rouge et Or)
2013Kirby Fabien (OL, Calgary Dinos)Matt Sewell (OT, McMaster Marauders)
2014Evan Gill (DL, Manitoba Bisons)Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (OT, McGill Redmen)
2015Addison Richards (WR, Regina Rams)Daryl Waud (DL, Western Ontario Mustangs)
2016David Onyemata (DE, Manitoba Bisons)Sean McEwen, (OL, Calgary Dinos)
Charles Vaillancourt (OL, Laval Rouge et Or)
2017Geoff Gray (OG, Manitoba Bisons)Antony Auclair (TE, Laval Rouge et Or)
2018[15]Mark Korte (OL, Alberta Golden Bears)Regis Cibasu (WR, Montreal Carabins)

Hall of fame

A hall of fame was established in 2002, with additional former players being added each year.[16] Through 2018 inductees, there are currently 57 members of the hall of fame.

YearQtyInductees (Game no. played in)
20026Dick Butkus (40), Gerald Ford (10), Eddie LeBaron (25), Ollie Matson (27), Volney Peters (26), Dick Stanfel (26)
20036Hugh McElhenny (28), Craig Morton (40), Merlin Olsen (37), Alan Page (42), Leslie Richter (27), Gene Washington (44)
20045Chris Burford (35), Mike Garrett (41), Gino Marchetti (27), Tom Matte (36), Ed White (44)
20051Pat Tillman (73)
20064Raymond Berry (30), Joe Greene (44), Mike Haynes (51), Bob Lilly (36)
20074Joe DeLamielleure (48), Gale Sayers (40), Paul Warfield (39), Randy White (50)
20086Dave Butz (48), Carl Eller (39), Forrest Gregg (31), E.J. Holub (36), Lenny Moore (31), Larry Wilson (35)
20094Jerry Kramer (33), Charley Taylor (39), Brad Van Pelt (48), Doug Williams (53)
20104Larry Csonka (43), James Groh (21), Jim Walden (35), Kellen Winslow (54)
20112Buck Belue (57), Tom Flick (56)
20122Martín Gramática (74), Joey Harrington (77)
20132Buddy Curry (55), Steve Bartkowski (50)
20142Tony Berti (70), Steve Atwater (64)
20152Tommie Frazier (71), Jim Hanifan (30)
20162Rickey Jackson (56), Chris Chandler (63)
20172Robert Porcher (67), Mark Rypien (61)
20183Brett Favre (66), Willie Roaf (68), Gary Huff (48)[17]

Inductees range from having played in game 10 (January 1935) to game 77 (January 2002). Game 48 (December 1972) has had the most players honored, four.

Pat Tillman Award

Game organizers initiated a Pat Tillman Award in 2005, the year that Tillman was posthumously inducted to the game's hall of fame, to recognize "a player who best exemplifies character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service".[18]

2005Morgan ScalleySUtah
2006Charlie PeprahSAlabama
2007Kyle ShotwellLBCal Poly
2008Justin TryonDBArizona State
2009Collin MooneyFBArmy
2010Mike McLaughlinLBBoston College
2011Josh McNaryLBArmy
2012Tauren PooleRBTennessee
2013Keith PoughLBHoward
2014Gabe IkardCOklahoma
2015Jake RyanLBMichigan
2016Keenan ReynoldsQBNavy
2017Weston SteelhammerSAir Force
2018[19]J. T. BarrettQBOhio State

Head coaches who played in the game

There have been several Shrine Game head coaches who previously played in the game.[20]

Person As player As coach
Jeff Cravath 1927USC 1949USC
Chuck Taylor 1943Stanford 1954Stanford
Eddie Crowder 1952Oklahoma 1971Colorado
Jim Walden 1960Wyoming 1985Washington State
Joe Tiller 1963Montana State 2005Purdue


  1. "Story Behind the Logo". shrinegame.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  2. "Team Selection". shrinegame.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  3. Brown, Susan D. (January 13, 2005). "Dedicated to the band". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Retrieved January 22, 2018 via newspapers.com.
  4. "New Orleans Will Get Shrine Game, Kerr Announces". The Fresno Bee. Fresno, California. Associated Press. January 16, 1941. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  5. "Utah State's Robinson shines in Shrine Game". Visalia Times-Delta. Visalia, California. Associated Press. January 21, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2017 via newspapers.com.
  6. Duncan, Chris (January 19, 2009). "Shrine game a 'job interview' for aspiring pros". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press. Retrieved December 25, 2017 via newspapers.com.
  7. "Future NFL Stars on Display as 86th Annual East-West Shrine Game Debuts on NFL Network in 2011". shrinegame.com (Press release). December 6, 2010. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011 via Wayback Machine.
  8. "League Partners with East-West Shrine Game for Development". Montgomery Advertiser. Montgomery Alabama. Associated Press. January 1, 2017. Retrieved January 15, 2018 via newspapers.com.
  9. "East-West Shrine Classic Games". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved 2008-12-07 via Wayback Machine.
  10. 1 2 "Bowl/All Star Game Records" (PDF). ncaa.org. NCAA. 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  11. "West Triumphs Over East in Benefit Gridiron Struggle". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. Associated Press. December 27, 1925. Retrieved January 14, 2018 via newspapers.com.
  12. 1 2 "West's Adams, Caputo named Most Outstanding Players". shrinersinternational.org. January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  13. "MVP Award Recipients". shrinegame.com. 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  14. Daphne (January 20, 2018). "Natrell Jamerson Named MVP as West Wins East-West Shrine Game 2018 14-10". theusabulletin.com. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  15. Dunk, Justin (November 24, 2017). "Two USports players selected to prestigious U.S. university all-star game". 3downnation.com. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  16. "Hall of Fame Inductees". shrinegame.com. 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  17. "Brett Favre, Willie Roaf and Gary Huff Selected to 2018 East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame". shrinegame.com (Press release). Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  18. "Pat Tillman Award". shrinegame.com. 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  19. "East-West Shrine Game Presents Pat Tillman Award to J.T. Barrett". ohiostatebuckeyes.com. January 19, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  20. "2005 Rosters" (PDF). shrinegame.com. January 2005. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
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