Arizona Cardinals Offensive Lineman Mike Iupati has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award, presented by Hawaiian Airlines.  The award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player of Polynesian ancestry.

As dedicated sponsors of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award, Hawaiian Airlines is proud to support the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame and the charitable organization’s work in the community. Hawaiian also serves as the official carrier of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

“As a proud Polynesian and Samoan, I am honored to be selected as the inaugural Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year,” said Mike Iupati.  “I would like to congratulate the other finalists, Marcus Mariota, Rey Maualuga, Koa Misi and Manti Te`o as they represent the very best of our culture and the National Football League.”

Iupati, in his sixth season out of the University of Idaho, has helped lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 13-3 regular season record.  As a team, the Cardinals finished the regular season ranked first in total offense (408.3 yards per game), second in points scored (30.6 points per game), eighth in rushing yards (119.8 yards per game) and sixth in rushing touchdowns (16).  Iupati was also selected to his fourth NFL Pro Bowl this season.

“On behalf of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors and Selection Committee, we congratulate Mike on this historic accomplishment,” said Ma'a Tanuvasa, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman. “Mike is a great role model and inspiration for our youth around the globe.”

The formal presentation of the Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award will be made at the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Celebration Dinner on January 29, 2016.
 
The Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award was voted on by the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee members, composed of past head football coaches Dick Tomey (Chairman), LaVell Edwards, Ron McBride and Dick Vermeil, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett, NFL player personnel expert Gil Brandt, past NFLPA president and Inaugural Inductee Kevin Mawae and Hawai’i sportscaster Robert Kekaula.
 
Other Polynesian Pro Football Player of the Year Award Finalists included QB Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans), LB Rey Maualuga (Cincinnati Bengals), LB Koa Misi (Miami Dolphins) and LB Manti Te`o (San Diego Chargers).

About the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame honors Polynesia’s greatest players, coaches and contributors.  As a 501(C)(3) organization, the Hall of Fame preserves and promotes Polynesian football history and awards scholarships for Polynesian student-athletes.

About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 11 years (2004-2014) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i.

Now in its 86th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. Mainland. Hawaiian offers non-stop service to Hawai‘i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 160 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands, with a total of more than 200 daily flights system-wide.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and become a fan on its Facebook page.

For media inquiries, please visit Hawaiian Airlines’ online newsroom.