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CGB Hall of Fame: (16) Pete Cutino vs (9) Jerott Willard

The first Round of 32 matchup of the Brick Mueller Region features Pete Cutino with a gigantic upset over top-seeded Missy Franklin, and Jerott Willard prevailing in the 8-9 matchup over Rope Coach.

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Results from the previous round

Sixteenth-seeded Pete Cutino prevailed in a huge upset over top-seeded Missy Franklin 248-91, while Jerott Willard doubled up Kevin "Rope Coach" Parker in the 8-9 matchup, 44-22

(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.

(9) Jerott Willard

LeonPowe talks up Jerrott's case.

Jerrott Willard was a badass linebacker from 1991-1994 . . .who rocked the half shirt. Willard was the best linebacker we've had since Hardy Nickerson. Maybe Desmond Bishop was more physically gifted and maybe Follett was better at hitting the Qb, but nobody we've had since the mid 80s has been the absolute terror sideline to sideline, in the backfield or back in coverage that Jerrrott Willard was.

He completely dominated the 1994 Alamo Bowl, including a 64 yard interception return for a touchdown. He was everywhere you needed a linebacker to be, covering the tight end, in the backfield hitting the qb, shuffling down the line to nail the running back at the point of attack on a toss play.

The best linebacker I've ever seen at Cal.

Kodiak: Sideline to sideline terror who can play the run as well as drop into coverage.

Fierce hitter, great instincts, and tough guy who played with an almost signature bare midriff.

Would have had a great pro career if not for knee injuries.

From tightwad hill's description of Willard

Jerrott Willard was probably the best tackler I've ever seen wear Blue and Gold. Broadcasters love the cliche of "football instincts." Cliche or no, Willard had those instincts in spades. He exploded through ball carriers and rarely missed a tackle. His angles were as sharp as a geometry major's, and he squeezed the absolute most out of what God gave him. He played sideline to sideline with a non-stop motor that recalls Desmond Bishop of this year's team.

Willard led the Bears in tackles in each of his four seasons and wound up third all-time with 469 career stops, 54 of them for losses. He also had the knack for the big play, which separates him from other Cal defenders with gaudy stats. In his freshman year he blocked a critical punt for a touchdown against Oregon State in a 27-14 victory. In Cal's 37-3 Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa in 1993, he returned an interception 61 yards for a score, and was named Defensive Player of the Game. In countless other situations, we could count on Jerrott to make the critical stop on third down, or to force a turnover.

Though Willard played alongside some outstanding talents in his time at Cal, he was voted Team MVP after both his junior and senior seasons, and he was a two-time All-Pac 10 first team selection at inside linebacker.