HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a 12 year-hiatus the Hula Bowl will return to Aloha Stadium this weekend.
At it’s height the Hula Bowl was long regarded as one of the premiere post season college all star football games in the country.
Sunday’s match-up between Teams Kai and Aina will mark the first Hula Bowl game since 1985.
The game’s executive director Rich Miano played in the Hula Bowl in 1985 and coached in the game in the early 2000′s.
Miano, was instrumental in the game’s return and believes the game will serve as a final audition for players, ahead of the NFL draft.
“This will be one last opportunity to get in front of every single NFL team," said Miano. "Every single CFL team, XFL teams, and even the WWE is sending a representative to Hawaii.”
Former NFL coaches Mike Smith and Rex Ryan will coach Team Kai and Aina in the match-up.
Earlier this week during Hula Bowl festivities, Smith called the opportunity to take part in the Hula Bowl an experience he always hoped for as a coach.
“Well growing up as a young coach you always watched the Hula Bowl,” said Smith. “You knew they’re was going to be some great players that would go on to have great careers, it has a wonderful history, an I’m very excited to be apart of it -- especially the reboot.”
The Newsweek Hula Bowl will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. Sunday Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium.