Hula Bowl to return after 12-year absence

The Hula Bowl is making its return after a 12-year absence, as the longtime all-star game for college seniors will kick off Jan. 26 in Hawaii, organizers announced Thursday.

Former NFL coaches Rex Ryan and Mike Smith will coach the teams, which will be made up of players from the United States, Australia and Japan.

The Hula Bowl began in 1946 and soon became a top college all-star showcase, taking place annually at Aloha Stadium near Honolulu until 2008. Several Heisman Trophy winners participated in the game, including Florida's Steve Spurrier and USC's Marcus Allen.

Three years ago, the Hula Bowl was set to return in Raleigh, North Carolina, after being championed by Gov. Pat McCrory. But after McCrory lost his re-election bid, the drive to bring the event to North Carolina fizzled.

This summer, the Aloha Stadium Authority approved a date for the game's return. The game will kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET and be televised by CBS Sports Network. It will take place one day after the Reese's Senior Bowl, now the premier pre-draft showcase, in Mobile, Alabama.

The Hula Bowl also announced that it will launch a hall of fame and is asking fans to vote for the inaugural class on the bowl's website.