(8) Thomas DeCoud
Cal Football - Come to College Day (via calfbkid)
Thomas Decoud might not be the most impactful Cal player, but one such blogger made a great case for his reliability.
Solid. That's what you can say about Thomas DeCoud. He found receiver. He saw receiver made catch. He tackled said receiver. And the pattern repeated itself. Even when Cal slid, he didn't slide along with them. DeCoud hit double digits in tackles in four of Cal's losses, although some of that could be accounted for a defensive line collapse. Nevertheless, his effort was solid from beginning to end, in spite of the other shortcomings of Cal's defense (in 2007).
He was defensive captain (I'm like 90% sure this is true) his senior year, and was our defensive impact player in NCAA Football 08. Honorable mention All-Pac-10 his senior year. 6 games of double digit tackles....He was a very calming presence as a safety because you knew he was always there to make a play if a guy got past everyone else.
DeCoud has gone on from Cal to have an extremely successful NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, where he has turned into one of the best and most reliable Free Safeties in the game today. And he hasn't lost his sense of humor either, as evidenced by his playing the "Meow Game" during an ESPN interview.
Thomas DeCoud - SportsCenter (LIVE) - "Meow" Game (via iGoLYTELY)
(9) Pete Cutino
In 1963, Pete began working as a supervisor in physical education and coach of swimming and water polo at the University of California, Berkeley. Each of his swim teams from 1963 to 1974 had a winning season, and his water polo teams established an unprecedented record of having won eight NCAA titles as well as having been the runner-up four times, placing third once and fourth twice. In his 26 years as a coach at Cal, Pete was the all-time winning coach in U.S. water polo history. He was also a four-time NCAA and Pac-10 Coach of the Year, directing Golden Bear teams to a record of 519-172. Pete retired in 1989 on the momentum of a 33-game win streak and a second straight NCAA title. He coached 68 All-Americans, six Pac-10 and NCAA Players of the Year, and many Olympians. Pete also coached 13 teams to victory in the U.S. water polo senior national championships and served as the head coach of U.S. National Water Polo team from 1972-76, during which he led the team to the Pan American Games and many other international tournaments, including the World University Games.
Throughout his years on and beyond the pool deck at UC Berkeley, Pete Cutino worked tirelessly on promoting and raising funds for Cal Aquatics - to perpetuate the success he had built there. Along with Rick Cronk, Pete founded the "Splash Club," which consisted of supporters of the men's water polo and swimming teams at Cal. More recently, Pete was a driving force, along with Rick Cronk, Peter Schnugg, and many others, in establishing the "Friends of Cal Aquatics," a broader-based support group which continues to seek philanthropic support in order to insure that Cal's championship men's and women's water polo and swimming teams will have world-class training and competition facilities.
Via reader MV Bear
Watching him at the edge of pool was like watching a Bear in a Cage; you didn't want to mess with him. In the 80's Cal Water Polo was the ONLY sport that you felt like we were superior. Pete Cutino was frequently honored as an educator and coach, and was presented with the U.S. Congressional Award by the Honorable Leon E. Panetta. Pete received the Distinguished Alumnus-of-the-Year from Cal Poly, and he was also inducted into 8 Halls of Fame.
Cutino coached 68 All-Americans, six Pac-10 and NCAA Players of the Year, and five Olympians. "He taught us that anything worth accomplishing would not come without discomfort," recalls Kirk Everist, who played for Cutino at Cal and is now the head coach there. "And he was always there to administer the discomfort."
A few quotes fromPete:
1. "The opportunity to compete in sports is short-lived, and to compete at this level is truly extraordinary. So it is important to pause and reflect on the values and principles inherent in what you do. These principles can, depending on you, guide your future."
2. "If you are a champion, you become the standard, the target, and that is as it should be - in order for you to constantly develop towards excellence."
3. "Do not trade long-term values like character and dignity for temporary bravado and the in-your-face mentality."