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CGB Hall of Fame: (1) Teri McKeever vs. (16) Thomas DeCoud

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Cal's Women's Swimming coach, who has mentored Olympians from Natalie Coughlin to Missy Franklin, faces off against Cal Football great and NFL Pro Bowler Thomas DeCoud.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

(1) Teri McKeever

TheBuckeyeBear gives us the run down on Coach McKeever:

Many athletes have tried to transition from competitor to coach, but not all have been as successful as Coach Teri McKeever in parlaying personal victories into mentorship triumphs. She has received many accolades at the helm of Cal Women’s Swimming & Diving and as the first female head coach of the US Olympic women’s swim team; the only reason the Golden Bears’ NCAA record in 2013 and 2014 could be described as "a mere [second and] third place" was because the team took home the national title in 2011 and 2012. These achievements are rooted in her personal experience and coaching philosophy.

McKeever has cited sports as "the first place [she] felt good about [herself]" and strives to instill the same love of swimming in those she coaches. Cal alumnus Anthony Ervin returned to competitive swimming in the 2012 London Olympics because McKeever took his "very fragile mentally kind of persona" and "brought back what it was like to swim for fun." She has been able to harness the mind-body connection in yoga, dance, jump-roping, and other cross-training for her athletes so that swimming is not just the drudgery of thousand-fold laps. Without her diverse training program, alumna Dana Vollmer observed that "you’re going to get good, but you might not get great."

Although McKeever delights in her swimmers’ medals, she is most proud of helping college students develop skills that will "translate into the next 30, 40, 50 years." Her genuine concern for her athletes, alongside her coaching wisdom, attracts world-class swimmers like Olympic gold medal winners Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin to Cal. The Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA have both anointed McKeever as Coach of the Year, recognizing her team-building success to be rooted in a commitment to her swimmers’ well-being and excellence.

(16) 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).

Rollonubears added this:

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, who is currently a free agent, has had an extremely successful NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, where he 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)