Wave Staff Report
WEST LOS ANGELES — NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was honored by his alma mater, Hamilton High School, March 24 with the unveiling of a mural at the entrance to the Girls Gym facing the school quad.
Moon graduated from Hamilton High in 1974 before going on to a career at the University of Washington, the Canadian Football league and the NFL.
He is the only player inducted into the NFL and Canadian Football Halls of Fame.
He won at every level he played in, leading Hamilton do a league title his senior year in 1973, and at West Los Angeles College, where he played in 1974 after failing to generate any interest from college recruiters.
His season at West L.A., attracted the attention of the University of Washington, where he played under new head coach Don James.
The Huskies went 11-11 in 1975 and 1976, but in 1977 they won the Pac 8 title and went on to defeat Michigan, 27-20 in the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day 1978, with Moon being selected the most valuable player of the game after scoring two touchdowns and throwing for another.
This was in the 1970s, however, when NFL coaches and general managers were hesitant to sue Black quarterbacks. Not wanting to play another position, Moon headed to Canada, where he played with the Edmonton Eskimos for six season, helping lead the Eskimos to five consecutive Grey Cup titles 1978-82.
Moon was named the offensive player of the game in the Grey Cup — the Canadian league’s title game — in 1980 and 1982.
In 1983, though the Eskimos fell to 8-8, Moon threw for 5,648 yards and was chosen the league’s most outstanding player.
After that season, Moon decided to try his luck in the NFL. The Houston Oilers won a bidding war for his services and Moon began an 18-year career in the NFL that saw him play for the Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs.
He threw for 49,325 yards with 291 touchdowns in his career. He was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, the first Black quarterback to be enshrined. That honor came five years after he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Since retiring from football, Moon has been active in a variety of roles. He has established scholarship funds at Hamilton High and the University of Washington and operates the Crescent Moon Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support for educational pursuits of children most in need of assistance.
“It is truly an honor to celebrate Warren Moon,” Adaina Brown, local district west superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said at the March 24 ceremony. “Nothing is more impactful than coming back to your community to not only be recognized but to pay it forward.
“We appreciate your modeling excellence on and off the field and there is a true testimony for all our students to never give up on your dreams, big or small.”
The mural of Moon unveiled at Hamilton was painted by artist Mike Sullivan.