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Golden Nuggets: Tosh Lupoi Refuses to Lose

ESPN is running its annual "WE LOVE CAL!" week before they inevitably realize that it's not another repeat of 2004 or 2006 this season.  Until then, we can enjoy several impressive stories written by Ted Miller and others.  Here is an excellent profile of our favorite defensive line coach, Tosh Lupoi.  All his life he has been fiercely competitive.  His intensity and unceasing work ethic have obviously influenced players such as Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan.

As much as he loves football, Lupoi loves winning perhaps even more.

When young Tosh's teams lost, he locked himself in his bedroom.

"My wife and I really didn't know what to say or do about it," John Lupoi said.

Other kids played outside. Tosh only wanted to practice again. Posted on his bedroom wall throughout his high school and college days, motivational words drove Lupoi: "When you are not practicing, someone, somewhere is practicing. And when you meet him, he will win."

He never experienced a loss at De La Salle. But when he got to Cal, the Bears went 3-8, then 1-10.

"It was a dramatic experience," Lupoi said. "I had no idea how to react to it. I would shut down in my dorm room, feel horrible, almost ashamed."

Roommate and Cal teammate Wendell Hunter was astounded.

"He would cry all night," Hunter said. "I was like, 'Tosh, you didn't even play.' He said, 'Man, I'm not used to losing.' For me, I felt like I had finally met my match. I felt like this dude would do anything for football. I felt like I ate, slept and breathed football. But for this guy, there were no off days."

That desire led to an irrepressible coaching work ethic and bred the respect of teammates.

After the jump Cameron Jordan's draft stock keeps on rising, Ted Miller has several more interviews, and the number of potential replacements for Joanne Boyle shrinks by one.