Harriman L. Cronk: Dec. 9, 1932 -- Nov. 25, 2013
Former Tournament of Roses leader remembered Tuesday
By André Coleman 12/17/2013
As preparations were being made for the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl college football game, the Tournament of Roses Association received word that longtime board member Harriman L. Cronk had died on Nov. 26. He was 80 years old.
A financial adviser for Crowell, Weedon & Co. since 1986, Cronk is perhaps best remembered for his work with the association’s Football Committee, which he chaired for 12 years after serving as Tournament president in 1988. During his time in charge, Cronk was among the key people involved with starting the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which plays its last game at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6, as well as negotiating lucrative television deals for the association and the colleges involved.
Cronk was also instrumental in keeping corporate influence over bowl games at bay. While other top college games were selling out to such businesses as Outback Steak House, Fed-Ex and Tostitos corn chips, the Rose Bowl was allowing only presentation rights, beginning with AT&T in the 1999 Rose Bowl Game.
For his work, Cronk was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2003 as one of the few non-football coaches or players to ever attain the honor.
Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn told the Pasadena Star-News that Cronk had “incredible passion,” a statement backed up by Cronk’s many years of service to the organization.
Cronk, who also volunteered with the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency, the Scripps Home and Rosemary Cottage, also championed expanding the Rose Bowl press box and other stadium improvements, most of which have since been supplanted in newer rounds of renovation.
“He was really a very valued and involved person in the Tournament for many years,” said Bill Flinn, executive director of the Tournament of Roses. “He assisted in the parade and the game and the development of the Tournament of Roses Foundation in the early years. He was retired the last several years, but his impact lives on.”
Cronk is survived by his wife of 54 years, Phyllis, sons Jim and David, daughter Mindy and four grandchildren. Services were held Tuesday at San Marino Community Church.