50@50: Orange Bowl stunt an early “win” for FIU football

To celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary, FIU News will share 50 moments in FIU’s history as part of our “50@50″ series. We continue this weekly series with audio from alumnus Eddie Hondal, a former director of the Office of Alumni Relations who pulled off a now-legendary promotional stunt to encourage interest in FIU football.

As the world anticipates Super Bowl Sunday in another week-and-a-half, Eddie Hondal ’88, MS ’00 remembers how FIU waited years for its own football dreams to become reality. Hondal, who served as the director of Alumni Relations from 1993-98 and director of football development from 1998-2002, employed a rogue approach to building interest in Panther gridiron.

On Oct. 10, 1998, four years before an FIU team would finally take to the field, he hired a small plane to fly over the Orange Bowl during a UM-FSU game with a banner trailing behind it that read, “FIU Football… Still Undefeated.” Hear how he pulled it off and what fans had to say.