(3) Brittany Boyd
Nick Kranz describes what Boyd meant to Cal and the Women's Basketball Program.
These hall of fame bios are supposed to be relatively succinct. I am incapable of being succinct when I get talking about Brittany Boyd. Just to start with, she was the final piece of Cal's Final Four puzzle. The Bears had everything they needed to be a great team except for an elite, two-way point guard, but those aren't necessarily easy to find. The got one within walking distance of campus.
Cal got so much from Brittany Boyd. They got a brilliant on-ball defender who occasionally took over games on the defensive end like few players ever have. They got an elite passer who broke down defenses and set up her teammates in ways both subtle and spectacular. The got a fierce competitor who relished throwing her body around the court for 40 minutes every game, who put more effort into every 40 minutes than anybody else. They got a beloved teammate. I loved hearing about Boyd's mentee-mentor relationship with Layshia Clarendon and her clairvoyant relationship with the cornflakes to her milk (or was is the milk to her cornflakes), Reshanda Gray. I love how Lindsay Gottlieb has trouble talking about Boyd without shedding a few tears because that's how much Boyd has meant to the program.
From a fan perspective, it's simple: Brittany Boyd is perhaps the single most entertaining, fun, compelling, thrilling athletes I've ever watched.
(14) Troy Taylor
unclesam22 muses on the impact Troy Taylor had on Cal.
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.