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CGB Hall Of Fame Tournament: Sweet 16: Matt Biondi (2) v. Tosh Lupoi (6)

Interesting match up here. Matt Biondi, one of the greatest swimmers ever. Versus Tosh Lupoi, rising recruiting superstar!

You can view the full bracket here. Note that Voting ends this Friday, so go and vote. GO BEARS!

Matt Biondi (2)



Scootie provides the defense of Biondi.

I have to right an egregious wrong that was committed last year with the admission of Natalie Coughlin to the Hall of Fame before Matt Biondi.

Matt Biondi is, quite simply, the most accomplished individual athlete to ever graduate from Cal.

> NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 1985, 1986 and 1987
> Eight individual NCAA swimming titles, 13 overall titles including relays
> Twelve individual world records
> By the time he graduated from Cal, he had the ten fastest times ever swum in the 100m freestyle. Ever. In the world.
> World swimmer of the year in 1986 and 1988

Oh, did I forget to mention the Olympics? Silly me. He competed in three Olympic games, winning golds at each. He was the most decorated athlete at the Seoul Olympics, the summer after his graduation. By the time he retired, he had won ELEVEN Olympic medals,EIGHT of them gold.

Oh, and what’s that? You heard he might have played a bit of water polo in the offseason to keep himself interested in things aquatic? Well, yes, indeed he did. In fact, he was a water polo star. And the boys in Speedos brought home three NCAA water polo championships with him on the team.

Fix the injustice! It’s no Hall of Fame without Matt Biondi.

Tosh Lupoi (6)

Tosh Lupoi gets an early invite, courtesy of dballisloose.

Justification: While he didn’t always stand out as a player, and his overall book of work wasn’t enough to get him into the NFL, he has certainly stood out as a coach and role model for future generations of Bears. His reputation as a great recruiter was backed up by Lupoi earning National Recruiter of the Year honors for the incoming class of 2010, which is being called one of Tedford’s top 3 recruiting classes of all time.

ESPN has an excellent write-up of Tosh here:

"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."

"During Lupoi's time on the staff under Delgado, Tedford often slept in his office four nights a week. When the coach stumbled out in search of a late-night drink of water, Tedford usually noticed the kid. Still at work.

"You could tell it was a passion," Tedford said. "I think some people who become [graduate assistants] are kind of searching, deciding if they really want to do it or not.

"I don't think there's any question about his dedication."