(6) Caitlin Leverenz
Cal Athletics: Bears in London - Caitlin Leverenz (via calathletics)
NorCalNick gives us some info:
Let’s start with the obvious achievement: Caitlin Leverenz is an Olympic medalist already, winning a bronze in the 200m Individual Medley. Cal athletes win plenty of medals, but it’s still pretty rare to win one when you’re still enrolled as a student. And to get a medal in an event that is essentially measuring how well-rounded you are as a swimmer? Even cooler!
But in a way, her collegiate accomplishments seem somehow more impressive. At the 2011 NCAA championships she swam in five events and placed 5th, 4th, 3rd, 1st (relay) and 1st (relay). In 2012, she again swam in five events (3 individual, 2 relays), and this time she recorded four wins and one 2nd place finish . . . and that 2nd place finish was an American record. And Cal won national titles both years.
2013 wasn’t quite as illustrious as 2012, but Leverenz again competed in five events and finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd and 6th. 15 NCAA championship races, and finishing 6th or higher every time. That’s a level of versatility and endurance rarely seen, and I have no doubt the Bears will miss her next year.
(11) Troy Taylor
Troy Taylor came to Cal in 1986 and midway through his first season, he became the Golden Bears starting quarterback. Taylor went on to set 17 school passing records, all of which remained intact for 10 years. Included in that group are passing yardage (8,126), total offense (8,236) and touchdown passes (51).
Taylor was a fourth round draft choice of the New York Jets in 1990 and spent the 1990 and '91 seasons there as Ken O'Brien's back-up. He then spent part of the '92 season with the Miami Dolphins.
After his playing career ended, he went into coaching and ended up back at Cal from 1996-99, working with the Bears' receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks. After some time away to work at his High School alma mater he returned to Cal to be the color analyst for the football radio broadcasts, a position that he has held since 2005.
On a personal note: As a young and impressionable 8/9 year old just learning to love all things Cal, going to one of my first games and seeing Taylor play and getting a set of Cal trading cards that featured him were a huge highlight. He was definitely the first Cal player I was a huge fan of and for that he always holds a special place.