The 2019 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl shined bright once again, as the Arizona State University Sun Devils took on the Florida State Seminoles in the final gridiron battle of the decade in West Texas.
An opportunistic Arizona State defense made play after play and held on to edge Florida State 20-14 Tuesday afternoon, closing out the final day of 2019 with the victory in the 86th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
Arizona State freshman defensive back Willie Harts struck like a lightning bolt in the final quarter, picking off a James Blackman pass and darting 25 yards untouched into the end zone for the game breaker, giving the Sun Devils their 20-14 final margin with 10:06 left.
Arizona State finished the season 8-5 with Tuesday’s win. Florida State closed out 2019 at 6-7.
A crowd of 42,412 turned out on a sun-swept 50 degree day for this old bowl bash.
The Sun Devils gifted freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels won the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player trophy, completing 12-of-28 passes for 195 yards. The swarming Florida State defensive line hounded Daniels all afternoon, sacking him three times and giving him little time to throw and even less room to operate. Still, Daniels maintained his composure, completed key passes, ran for 36 yards and did not turn the ball over.
Seminole defensive lineman Robert Cooper was awarded the Jimmy Rogers Jr. Most Valuable Lineman Award and Arizona State’s Cristian Zendejas won the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams award by kicking four field goals – tying the Sun Bowl record shared by Paul Rogers of Nebraska in 1969, Drew Dunning of Washington State in 2001 and Conrad Ukropina of Stanford in 2016.
“You have to give credit to both defenses, I thought they both played really good and when you play in a game like that it becomes a defensive game. There were a couple scores but for the most part it was made by both defenses not allowing a lot of big plays,” said Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards. “I can’t say enough about our kicker and our defense, when you get 6 turnovers you should probably win a game. With that being said these guys (Florida State) kept fighting back, I give them a lot of credit. I’m happy for our seniors.”
The first half was defense, defense and a little more defense. Defense and Zendejas field goals. Arizona State led 3-0 after the first quarter off a 40-yard Zendejas kick. The Sun Devils led 9-0 at the half – thanks to a 26-yard Zendejas boot and a 24-yard Zendejas kick.
Florida State came roaring back in the second half. The Seminoles finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a three-yard run by Ontaria Wilson and a Ricky Aguayo extra point, narrowing the Arizona State lead to 12-7 with 3:17 left in the third quarter.
Florida State then dialed long distance to take the lead. Blackmon hit Tamorrion Terry streaking down the right sideline for a bowl record 91-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter, giving the Seminoles a 14-9 edge.
The throw and catch and run broke the previous Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl record of 80-yards for longest pass play, a mark set by Purdue’s Kyle Orton, who connected with Brian Hare against Arizona State in 2004.
But the young Sun Devil defense would not yield again.
Zendejas connected on his fourth field goal, a 34-yarder with 12:02 left in the game to cut the Seminole lead to 14-12.
And then came the Harts lightning bolt. Harts read the play perfectly, darting in front of the receiver and then dashing to the end zone with what would ultimately be the game winner.
Our crew, Chief Photographer Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta and Photog Johnny Yturales were there and we bring you their view of the game in this gallery.
The sun will scoot its way to high noon on the final day of 2019 and foot will meet ball and, for the 86th time, they will play some exciting college football in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
Arizona State brings a 7-5 record into the old bowl and Florida State comes in at 6-6.
A football season can pivot on a play or two – a mistake here or a special play there — and each of these teams were a play or two away from having an even better season.
CBS is televising this game for the 52nd year and it should be a fun, high scoring affair for the national audience. Florida State averaged 29.1 points a game and Arizona State put up an average of 25.2 points an outing.
Teams reflect the persona of their coach and each of these teams has an interesting persona at the helm.
Arizona State is led by Herm Edwards, the colorful, dynamic, energy-overloaded former NFL player and coach. Edwards, a beacon for anything positive, is an outstanding speaker and motivator.
The 65-year-old Edwards is in his second season as the Sun Devils head coach and has already put his imprint on the program with 14 wins. Edwards brought quite a resume to the desert southwest, playing 10 years in the NFL and serving as head coach for both the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.
Edwards left his footprint forever in the NFL landscape with one of the league’s most iconic and memorable plays – the Miracle at the Meadowlands. Edwards, a defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles, scooped up a final second fumble by New York Giant quarterback Joe Pisarcik, returned it for a touchdown, snatching victory from certain defeat.
Edwards is also well known for his nine-year tenure as an entertaining analyst for ESPN.
Florid State coach Odell Haggins may be only an interim head coach but, in many ways, he casts a giant footprint for Florida State football. He was an outstanding interior lineman for the Seminoles and, after three years in the NFL, returned to the Seminole coaching staff.
Haggins, the associate head coach and defensive line coach, will return next season for his 27th season at Florida State, making him the longest tenured assistant coach in the nation.
Highlighted on an HBO 24/7 special this season, Edwards said, “When you are a coach, you’ve got to have fun. I think your team takes on your personality and this is a kid’s game.”
Haggins said, ‘We are excited about coming to El Paso and we will come there and play hard and have fun.”
Each of these football teams – mirroring their coaches – will indeed play with fun, play as if their hair were on fire and play with passion. That formula should lead to some special football on the final day of this year.
Arizona State is led by highly touted freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels. The 6-foot-3, four-star recruit out of California completed 193-of-310 passes for 2,748 yards and 17 touchdowns against just two interceptions.
“It was important not to put too much on his plate” Edwards said. “But he’s got some special traits. He missed the USC game (with an injury) so it was good for him to come in and go 7-4 as a freshman.”
Daniels led the Sun Devils to a road victory at Michigan State and then erased Oregon’s national title hopes with a clutch fourth quarter drive.
“The moments aren’t too big for him,” Edwards said.
Each of these teams has a 1,000-yard running back. Arizona State brings Eno Benjamin to the dance with his 1,083 yards and 10 touchdowns. Benjamin also caught 42 passes for 347 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Florida State has Cam Akers, who ran for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Akers caught 30 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns.
The Arizona State defense will offer resistance, especially against the run. The Sun Devils gave up just 116.8 yards per game rushing, 21st best in the nation against the run. Darien Butler led Arizona State with 79 tackles, five for a loss. He also had a sack and forced three fumbles. Jermaine Lole had 68 tackles, 8.5 for a loss and had five sacks. Khaylon Thomas had 11 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks.
The Seminoles are led defensively by a pair of large and talented defensive tackles. Marvin Wilson, an All-ACC defensive tackle and a Bednarik Award semifinalist is 6-5 and 311-pounds and All-ACC counterpart Demarcus Christmas is 6-4 and 302-pounds.
The running backs will have their road blocks but will also likely have their moments but an aerial display should be the swipe the show at this 86th duel in the Sun.
Brandon Aiyuk was eighth in the nation for the Sun Devils, catching 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. Terry Tamorrion leads the Seminoles with 51 catches for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns.
Each of these teams was a heartbeat away from better days but a heartbeat away from heartbreak as well.
Arizona State played eight teams that were bowl eligible and went 4-1 against ranked teams. The Sun Devils were ranked 18th in the nation at one point, starting with a 5-1 record. They then hit a series of speed bumps – losing at nationally ranked Utah, losing at UCLA then dropping a 31-26 decision to USC (without Daniels) and falling 35-34 at Oregon State.
But they rebounded with two big victories, dropping Oregon title hopes 31-28 and then beating rival Arizona 24-14.
“We went through a spurt in the third quarter of the season when we didn’t understand the importance of the little things and we didn’t handle our success very well,” Edwards said. “We were able to win our last two. The lull we went through … it was interesting to see if we could find our way out of it.”
The Sun Devils did that and they are here, ready for this high noon fiesta in the sun.
Florida State had a bit of a roller coaster ride and the result was Haggins taking over the interim head coaching duties for the final four games. The Seminoles had a trio of “what if” losses to three good football teams – falling 36-31 to Boise State, 31-24 to Virginia and 22-20 to Wake Forest.
But Haggins brought the Seminoles home and to this moment in the Sun.
“We stayed together as a family at the end,” Haggins said. “The kids fought together. The coaches stayed together. We are Florida State. We have a great brand. We can do this together but we can’t do this by ourselves.
And so these two storied programs have negotiated the journey that is a football season and are here, ready for one more special opportunity – ready to play one more football game in 2019, ready to play in a bowl game, ready for a special duel on CBS in this 86th annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
Author: Bill Knight on behalf of the Sun Bowl Association
The 22nd Annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Fan brought fans, bands and residents alike downtown for an evening of family fun.
This free event, held at the El Paso Convention Center, featured dances by traditional Ballet Folklorico groups accompanied by mariachis, live music, as well as plenty of food, drinks and games.
The “Battle of the Bands” between FSU and ASU and the drumline competition, got everyone ready for Tuesday’s football fun. Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the event in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
The 22nd Annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta presented by Favor will once again bring an evening of family fun to Downtown El Paso on December 30 starting at 3 p.m.
“This annual tradition continues to grow year after year.” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “We hope all visitors from out-of-town and locals can enjoy everything Downtown El Paso has to offer.”
This free event, which will be held at the El Paso Convention Center, features dances by traditional Ballet Folklorico groups accompanied by mariachis, live music by Soul Parade and Beatles United, as well as plenty of food, drinks and games.
The Fan Fiesta is highlighted by the “Battle of the Bands” between the two competing universities bands, followed by a “drumline competition”.
Fan Fiesta Schedule
3:00 p.m. Doors Open
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Performance by the TEMPO Dance Academy
3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Lobby Performers
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Live Music by Soul Parade
5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. National Anthem
5:15 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. Live Music by Soul Parade
5:50 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Introduction of Sun Court
5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Marching Bands Parade with Tony The Tiger through Downtown
6:00 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. Battle of the Marching Bands inside Convention Center Hall
6:50 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Battle of the Marching Band Drum Lines inside Convention Center Hall
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Lobby Performers
7:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Live Music by Beatles United
9:00 p.m. Event Ends
What: 22nd Annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta presented by Favor
When: Monday, Dec. 30, 2019
Time: 3:00-9:00 p.m. (MT)
Place: Judson F. Williams Convention Center (1 Civic Center Plaza)
Saturday morning, the offensive and defensive coordinators from Arizona State and Florida State attended a press conference, sharing their thoughts on the upcoming game and answering a few questions.
The 86th Annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl is set for Tuesday, December 31 at 12 p.m. (MT) in Sun Bowl Stadium.
Arizona State Co-Offensive Coordinator Shaun Aguano
Thank you for having us here and we’re excited. Our guys have been off for almost a month and now we’re getting back to practice, so we’re excited. Just being from Arizona State, it’s been awesome this week so we’re excited.
Highlights from his week in El Paso so far:
The hospitality has been incredible and out practice has been good. We’re looking at out second practice today and trying to refine everything that we’re doing.
Regarding Eno Benjamin not playing in the game and how his possible replacements look:
They look fantastic. It’s their chance to shine now. Eno took about 90% of the reps this season, but those guys are ready and it’s nice for them to step up, so we’re excited about that.
How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?
We’ve been out recruiting so Coach Christensen has done the majority of the work back at the office, but just making sure we collaborate together in anything that he needs from the offensive side and getting ready to prepare for this game. So, it hasn’t changed much, we’re just excited to play.
Is there an advantage to playing in similar weather than back home in Arizona?
I think so, it’s our home field, we’re closer than Florida State. Our kids have been practicing outdoors, the weather is exactly the same and so it won’t be uncomfortable for our guys.
On Florida State’s Defense:
Of course, Florida State has always been very athletic and they don’t make mistakes, so we’re going to have to play our best game and not turn over the ball to be successful.
Arizona State Co-Offensive Coordinator Dave Christensen
Well it’s certainly a pleasure to be here and this is my third opportunity calling plays in the Sun Bowl. It’s been a great experience with the exception of not winning those two other games, but the hospitality is second to none. Obviously traditionally this is a great venue, I know our staff, our players are excited to be here and we’re really looking forward to playing this game.
Regarding new Title Sponsor, Tony the Tiger:
Yea, I think they’re GR-R-REAT! But I haven’t had any Frosted Flakes yet, but no it’s been fantastic to see Tony the Tiger everywhere. Again, you guys have done a fantastic job here. They take care of all of our needs, the entertainment’s been great, the hospitality, players are well taken care of. Like I said, it is second to none, I’ve been to a lot of bowl games in my 38-year career and have been treated well here each and every time.
How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?
It’s not uncharted territory, I was an offensive coordinator for 16 years, so I’ve been in this position a number of times. Obviously, game planning, most of our staff is out. Got guys on the road and a couple of us back home so you get back in the mode of game planning again, writing scripts, drawing up practice plans and cards, just putting together a game plan. I was coaching offensive line and mainly focused on the run game and preparation for this game, obviously I had to come up with a game plan.
Regarding the two Freshman Offensive Linemen LaDarius Henderson and Dohnovan West and how far they’ve come since the beginning of the season:
It’s interesting you ask me that because LaDarius hit me up the other day and said he had a growth spurt and now he’s 6’5’’. Not only is he 6’5’’ he’s not 17 anymore, so now I got an 18-year-old left tackle. He’s grown an inch in the season but he and Dohnovan have done a fantastic job as true freshman. We’ve talked a number of times in 38 years of coaching I’ve never started two true freshmen in my entire career. I’ve started one freshman in 38 years and this year I’ve started two all season. They’ve done a fantastic job getting better each game and they’re continuing to get better and stronger but they’re still freshman.
Arizona State Defensive Coordinator Tony White
I know everybody says this, but it really is an honor to be back home, got a chance to see so many people being back, family, friends, people who have helped me out all my career. I told the guys I remember walking off that bus seeing the dancers and singers in 2000 as a player and came back one time when UCLA played here against Northwestern, and now I get a chance to coach it. This game means a lot both personally and as well calling it for the first time against a great Florida State program, a lot of tradition, a lot of great athletes over there. I think it’s going to be a great game as Mr. Olivas said and we’re looking forward to going out there and playing hard.
How has your job changed in the past couple of weeks?
Things changed a lot. I’m totally opposite of Coach Christensen, this is his first time calling it so he knows a lot. But being with Coach Edwards and Coach Lewis and then having all that NFL presence around I think it’s been a pretty eye-opening experience for me. I think we got a great staff, a lot of great football minds.
On missing players this game:
It really comes down to fundamentals, focusing on what you want to do, having your identity and making sure players play fast and execute. Again, with all guys not playing, coaching changes on both sides, you just want to make sure the players feel comfortable in the game plan.
Florida State Defensive Coordinator Harlon Barnett
Coach they are obviously missing a running back (Eno Benjamin) and receiver (Brandon Aiyuk) how does that if at all change what you guys do?
Change what we do, I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but we thank God for that, cause those two guys are really good football players. Number two and number three, they’re really good football players for them and you know, they’ll make their adjustments just like everybody else does when you have an injury or guys not playing or what have you, but as far as us adjusting any differently, yeah we don’t have to be concerned about those two guys so we’re going to stick with our plan.
Stanford Samuels III having declared did that catch you a little by surprise and how does that shuffle the depth chart at corner?
Well a place like Florida State you’re not really surprised about a guy after three years declaring and things like that, so wish him nothing but the best and told him that and if he needs me for anything, he can always call me. As far as changing around what we’re going to do we got some guys opportunity, it’s an opportunity now for a guy like Isaiah Bolden or a guy like Akeem Dent, A.J. Lytton, those type of guys to step out there and play some corner for us and do a good job and we believe they will.
What’s the scouting report on Arizona States offense?
Quarterback is good man, for a freshman, true freshman, he’s very poised, understands the offense, does a good job of running their offense, they believe in what their system tells them to do and they’ve got a deep threat in 84 (Frank Darby) at wide receiver, number 10 (Kyle Williams) is another good receiver for them. They’re a good team, offensive line works well together, so we got to go in there prepared, our guys know this and we’ll be ready to go, we’ll be ready to go, hopefully we’ll play the best game of the year, our best game of the year.”
How have the players responded to all the uncertainty in the last few weeks?
They’ve been great, believe it or not man, they’ve been great, like everything is normal, but even though they know it’s not truly normal. They’ve responded to us extremely well, they’re going out there working hard and I wish them nothing but the best. The reason why I’m even in this is because of the players and I, that’s what I truly believe and so I’m giving them everything I got, I told them that and they know that all the way till the very end. That’s why I’m in business and when you do it that way and not because of any other then you gonna be alright and they’re gonna come out and play very well for us on Tuesday, I truly believe that.
Cory Durden a guy you think you’ll have available on Tuesday?
I think so, yessir.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was there and we bring you his view of the conference via this gallery.
Florida State and Arizona State made their way to the Sun City with just under a week to go before the annual Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl game.
As tradition dictates, both teams were met by Mariachis, colorful dancers, the Amigo Man and for the first time – Tony the Tiger. Players from the Seminoles and the Sun Devils danced and donned the traditional hats, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
The 86th Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl will be played Tuesday, December 31, at 12 noon MT at Sun Bowl Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on CBS, for the 52nd year.
Our very own Johnny Yturales was there and we bring you his view of the welcome via this featured video.
Surrounded by fans, the Sun Court and Sun Queen, officials with the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl announced that Florida State and Arizona State would be the featured teams in the annual Sun Bowl.
ASU will play in its 32nd bowl game overall and the team’s eighth bowl appearance in the last nine seasons. It will be the Sun Devils’ seventh overall appearance in the Sun Bowl, appearing in 1940, 1941, 1997, 2004, 2014 and 2017.
Florida State will appear in the postseason for an NCAA-best 38th time in the last 40 seasons. The Seminoles are returning to the Sun Bowl for the first time since 1966 and also played in the 1954 Sun Bowl, which was the second bowl appearance in program history.
“We are thrilled to be invited to El Paso for the opportunity to play in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl,” Florida State Director of Athletics David Coburn said. “We will face an outstanding program in Arizona State, which should make for an exciting game. Our team and staff are excited about spending time in a different part of the country. It will be a chance for Seminole fans in the southwest to see their Noles in person.”
Florida State leads the all-time series with Arizona State 3-1 and has won three straight against the Sun Devils. The teams first met in the 1971 Fiesta Bowl before squaring off in Tampa in 1979 and playing in Tempe in 1983 and 1984.
The Seminoles are 9-2 all-time against current members of the Pac-12.
“Arizona State University and Sun Devil nation will enjoy The Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl experience,” Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “We are great friends with the Sun Bowl organization and they always welcome us with open arms. This will be a fantastic reward and experience for our football team, its seniors and our fans. The Sun Bowl committee and community put on a first-class experience for everyone.”
“The Tony The Tiger Bowl invitation provides a tremendous opportunity for our team and coaching staff to compete against a quality program and close out the 2019 season,” Head Coach Herm Edwards said. “We look forward to representing Arizona State University and our fans in El Paso. A bowl game is a reward for a good season and I am grateful for our players and coaching staff to be able to have this experience.”
The Sun Devils are coming off a 7-5 campaign that saw the program finish third in the Pac-12 South under second-year head coach Herm Edwards.
Arizona State enters the contest riding a two-game win streak to cap the regular season, featuring a historic upset of sixth-ranked Oregon before closing out the year with its third consecutive victory of the Arizona Wildcats in the annual Territorial Cup contest – the first three-game winning streak in the series since 2005-07.
The Sun Devils went 3-1 over ranked opponents this season and Edwards already has five wins over ranked opponents to his name in his tenure at ASU.
The 2019 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at noon MT at Sun Bowl Stadium. The 2019 game will mark the 86th anniversary of the Sun Bowl game and the 52nd consecutive broadcast on CBS.
Gallery+Video by Ruben R. Ramirez and Johnny Yturales – El Paso Herald Post
For those fans looking for more fun while visiting El Paso for the 86th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, officials Wednesday extended the invitation to play with other college football fans and El Paso natives in the 2019 Sun Bowl Fan Golf Challenge.
This year’s challenge is scheduled for Monday, December 30 at Butterfield Trail Golf Course with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. (MT).
Butterfield Golf Course has been chosen to host the Sun Bowl Fan Golf Challenge, for the first time. Representatives (fans) from the ACC and the Pac-12 will be pitted against each other in an 18 Hole Four-Person-Scramble.
“It’s always great to see the fans and the locals having a great time out on the course,” said Executive Director of the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas. “The volunteers and organizers at Butterfield Trail are excited to host this fun event.”
The event will begin with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. (MT). Butterfield Trail is a Tom Fazio designed course and was rated the No. 4 best course you can play in the state of Texas by Golfweek Magazine. It was also ranked the No. 3 best municipal course in America by Golfweek, while Golf Advisor ranked it as the No. 3 course in Texas.
Fans can sign-up for the four-person scramble by calling 915-772-1038 or by going online. The cost of the event is $95 per player or $380 per team.
The cost includes a golf cart, range access, meals before and after the event and two drink tickets. Also included with this fee is a commemorative Titleist hat, sleeve of Titleist golf balls and a Butterfield Trail Golf Club bag tag.
This event is open to all fans. Teams must be entered and paid in full no later than Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019.
As the NCAA, the Football Bowl Association and the Division I football conferences are scheduled to announce all placements for post-season play Sunday, December 8 at approximately 2 p.m. (MT), the Sun Bowl Association is planning a party of their own.
A Selection Sunday Party will be hosted by the Sun Bowl Association to announce the 2019 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl match-up at Sunland Park Racetrack (1200 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, N.M.) on Sunday, December 8 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. (MT).
The event is free and open to the public as there will be plenty of opportunities to win some great prizes.
“This has been a very interesting college football season as teams from both conferences were very competitive and the standings were changing week after week,” said Executive Director of the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas. “Other than Clemson out of the ACC and Oregon and Utah out of the Pac-12, both conferences were evenly matched.”
The 2019 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game will take place on Tuesday, December 31 at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso.
The 2019 game will mark the 86th anniversary of the Sun Bowl game and the 52nd consecutive broadcast on CBS. The game will feature selections from the ACC and Pac-12 conferences.
Stanford defeated Pitt, 14-13 in the 2018 Sun Bowl.
What: Selection Sunday
When: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019
Time: 12:30-2:30 p.m. (MT)
Place: Sunland Park Racetrack (1200 Futurity Dr., Sunland Park, N.M.)
Ahead of the upcoming Sun Bowl Parade, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Game and all the events, officials with the Sun Bowl Association premiered a short video to introduce the community to the 2019-2020 Sun Queen, Elizabeth Vega.
Vega is the daughter of Angela Olivas and Manuel Vega. She is a 2016 graduate of Coronado High School and the International Baccalaureate Program where she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class.
Her philanthropy began in high school when she formed Packages for Patriots, assembling care packages for Fort Bliss soldiers returning from deployment.
Vega’s college education commenced at the University of Arizona where she was appointed as the Vice President of IT for the Eller College of Management Dean’s Council and was the recipient of the Rising Star Award her outstanding achievements in academics.
She was a Pre-Professional Academic Communities of Excellence (P.A.C.E.) member, serving as a mentor for incoming Eller College of Management pre-business freshmen. She has since continued her education at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Now a senior majoring in Marketing, she has maintained a 4.0 and has been named to the Dean’s list at both Arizona and UTEP.
Outside of her education and career goals, Elizabeth has made it her mission to volunteer her time throughout El Paso. She assisted in bell ringing during the holiday season to encourage donations towards the Salvation Army. She helped with the demolition and clean up for a new location for the El Pasoans Food Bank.
At the Make-a-Wish Walk for Wishes, she directed participants and cheered them on along the route. She worked with Rebuilding Together El Paso to repaint and repair the house of a community member as a part of National Rebuilding Day.
While Elizabeth has worked at UTEP and El Paso Locomotive FC, volunteered throughout the city, and served as a 2018 Sun Princess, she has gained a greater understanding of the city of El Paso.
Vega’s reign is now part of the long history of the Sun Queen and the Sun Court Coronation. The Sun Court has been a part of the Sun Bowl since the first-ever college Sun Bowl game played in 1936.
Coronation played a huge social role in the “Sun Carnival”, the week-long pageantry associated with the Sun Bowl.
According to the 1938 Sun Bowl game program, “The social side of the Sun Carnival centers around the Coronation of the Sun Queen with her Lady-In-Waiting and Royal Court of Princesses from all the cities of the Sun Empire and the Grand Ball tendered by the Association in honor of Her Majesty and Court.”
Today, the Sun Court serves as ambassadors for the city of El Paso. The ladies of the court volunteer at various community events and make appearances at the Marathon All-America Golf Classic, Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl Parade, Weststar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, Helen of Troy Charm Camp and many other events throughout the year.
From the beauty of the Franklin mountains, the richness of the culture, and the hospitality of El Pasoans, it truly is a place like no other. The Sun Bowl is an organization that exemplifies these qualities to every visitor while also giving back to the community.
Elizabeth is honored to represent both the Sun Bowl Association and the City of El Paso as the 2019 Sun Bowl Queen.