Former Arizona Wildcats defensive lineman Joe Salave’a was inducted into the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old was one of four former players to be inducted. The rest of the 2019 class consists of former ASU defensive tackle Dan Saleaumua, former USC linebacker Lofa Tatupu and former Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo.
The quartet will be honored during the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend and the Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 18 and 19, 2019, respectively.
Salave’a, of Samoan ancestry, attended the UA from 1993-1997 where he was a three-year starter and two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Salave’a logged 157 tackles with the Wildcats, including 43.5 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks. He led Arizona in sacks and tackles for loss in 1996 and 1997, and in forced fumbles in 1994 and 1996.
Salave’a was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft and spent eight years in the league, including stints with the Titans, Ravens, Chargers and Redskins. In all, he appeared in 100 NFL games, making 28 starts, while accumulating 82 tackles, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Salave’a retired from the NFL in 2006 and launched his coaching career in 2008, when he was hired as San Jose State’s defensive line coach.
Salave’a became UA’s defensive line coach in 2011, but was not retained when Rich Rodriguez was hired to replace Mike Stoops, so Salave’a left for Washington State, where he doubled as the team’s defensive line coach and associate head coach.
Salave’a was then hired by Oregon in the same role in 2017, where he is coaching today.