(1) Missy Franklin
For those of you who happen to not be acquainted with Missy Franklin, Franklin has won four Olympic gold medals, one Olympic bronze, three World Championship long course gold medals, one World Championship long course silver medal, one World Championship long course bronze medal, and two World Championship short course silver medals.
Actually, Missy has won far many more international medals than that. The above list is only what she has won before she ever became a Golden Bear.
Missy's career at Cal is equally as illustrious: She has been an individual NCAA champion four times in the 200-yard freestyle in 2014 and 2015, the 200-yard backstroke and individual medley in 2015. In doing so, Franklin set several American records and powered California to the 2015 NCAA title.
But, if that was all Missy Franklin ever did, she would never occupy the top seed in her bracket in the CGB Hall of Fame, nor would she occupy such a treasured place in the Cal family. Missy is extremely active in charity; she serves as an ambassador for multiple sclerosis research and for clean water initiatives.
On a much simpler level, it is her Cal spirit that has vaulted Missy to that special place for the Cal community. Cal athletes have laid their all at Mater's feet before, but none with the Missy's enthusiasm and the infectious smile that we have all grown to love.
Shout-out to @FranklinMissy for conducting Big "C" before @CalWSwim's victory over UCLA! pic.twitter.com/4uAXNqlxI7— Cal Band (@CalBand) January 31, 2015
Still feel like I'm waking up from a dream every morning #NattyChamps #GoBears pic.twitter.com/p1q7On8wVF— Missy Franklin (@FranklinMissy) March 24, 2015
MIssy may have only spent two years at California, but they were two very special years, and Missy left the Cal Family richer for it. For all of that, we thank you, Missy.
(16) Pete Cutino
If nominations were solicited for a Mt. Rushmore for California coaching legends, names like Pete Newell, Andy Smith, Pappy Waldorf, and Teri McKeever would be among the first. However, any list of nominees would be incomplete without water polo coach Pete Cutino.
The numbers are staggering: in twenty-five years as the head coach of Cal's Men's Water Polo program (1963-1988), Cutino won eight... eight national championships. Cutino was also the national team head coach, and coached 68 All-Americans and five Olympians.
Cutino's influence extended far beyond Cal's Men's Water Polo program. In addition to his coaching duties, Cutino also served as a professor of physical education. In that role, Cutino became an adviser and mentor to many future Cal coaches, including Kirk Everist (water polo head coach) and Bob Milano (baseball head coach).
Cutino's contributions to Cal, and to the sport of water polo, can be summed up in one fitting tribute: the Peter J. Cutino Award, which is presented to the top male and female collegiate water polo players in the nation.