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CGB Hall of Fame: (16) Pete Cutino vs (4) Mike MacDonald

Pete Cutino squares off against Mike MacDonald for the penultimate spot in the CGB Hall of Fame Elite Eight.

Results from the previous round

Sixteenth-seeded Pete Cutino prevailed over ninth-seeded Jerott Willard, 74-20, while fourth-seeded Mike MacDonald routed twelfth-seeded Scott Fujita, 137-32.

(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.

(4) Mike MacDonald

Calbears03 introduces Mike MacDonald:

Mac is considered by most rugby fans to be the greatest American rugby player ever. Between 2000-2004 he was a 5-time All American at Cal and won 4 National Championships. As a professional for Leeds in England, he became the first American to be named Captain to a Pemiership team. Furthermore, he was the youngest player to ever start for Team USA, and is America's all-time most capped player (meaning international matches started) playing in 3 World Cups.

Cal truly runs in MacDonald's blood as well. After retiring from professional and international rugby, MacDonald returned to the Bay Area to become an assistant coach for Cal Rugby under long-time head coach Jack Clark. Clark's own words about MacDonald:

"‘Big Mac' is truly a singular figure in the history of American rugby," Clark said. "He's consistently demonstrated unwavering sportsmanship and loyalty to team and country. His retirement closes out a generation of our most distinguished internationals. We can only say thanks."

For more on MacDonald, check out our very own interview of the Cal Rugby legend from 2011:

1. What got you interested in playing rugby initially?

1. Well, my brother started playing when I was a freshman in high school while he was a senior. The next year, all of his teammates were asking me to come out, so I decided to give it a try. Plus it was a great way to bridge the gap between the end of wrestling season and the start of football season.

2. What got you interested in playing rugby at Cal?

2. I've always been a Golden Bear, since the day I was born. My dad played football and rugby while he was at Cal and then when he graduated, he went on to be an assistant coach for the football team. After a few years of playing rugby for Lamorinda, I had the chance to come to Cal and further my career and jumped at the chance.