BERKELEY - When Todd Steussie returned to Cal in 2010 to finish his degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, he never got the chance to attend a football game.
The former NFL Pro Bowler is getting plenty of time to talk Cal football this weekend.
Steussie, the former All-American who went on to a 14-year NFL career, is one of eight former Cal student-athletes being enshrined into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. The class of 2013 was formally inducted in a special ceremony Friday night and is being honored at halftime of today’s game as well.
After finishing his pro career with the St. Louis Rams, Steussie and his family settled in St. Louis. Steussie attended classes at Cal during the week then flew home every weekend to be with his family.
Steussie wasn’t sure just how many former teammates would be on hand to help him ring in the honor this weekend, but he sure tried to at least get ahold of as many as possible beforehand. Steussie said his intention wasn’t necessarily to invite everyone, but more to thank them and let them know that they all shared in his honor.
“One of the biggest things for me was to basically let everyone know I didn’t get here by myself,” said Steussie, who played for the Bears from 1990-93 and was a first team All-American following his senior year. “We were part of an era that kind of changed the way Cal was perceived nationally. I just wanted to thank everybody. I didn’t get here on my own.”
After his time at Cal, Steussie was the 19th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1994 NFL draft. He played for the Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rams.
Steussie earned his degree from Cal and then received his MBA from the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern.
Steussie met his wife, Erica, at Cal and the couple has two sons, Jack (14) and Will (12).
“I was initially a little surprised but excited at the same time,” Steussie said. “It feels like a lifetime ago. It’s almost like a post-mortem. A lot of it is catching up with some people that I haven’t talked to in awhile.”
In addition to being named All-American, Steussie also won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-10 after his senior season. He was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection.
Steussie said his biggest on-field memories are beating Stanford in The Big Game as a senior after losing in each of his first three seasons at Cal, and defeating Clemson in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day as a sophomore.
The Citrus Bowl win capped one of the best seasons in school history, when the Bears finished 10-2 and ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press top 25.
“That was a nice little feather in our caps,” Steussie said. “They had a really good team but we got the better of them that day.”
Also included in the 2013 Cal Athletic Hall of Fame are:
- Rick Brown, track & field
- Candace Harper, softball
- Sean Lampley, men’s basketball
- Heather Petri, women’s water polo
- Trisha Stafford-Odom, women’s basketball
- Staciana Stitts, women’s swimming
- Gary Rogers, Hall of Fame Service Award
Lampley played for the Bears from 1998-01 and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer, a mark that has since been broken. He was the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior. As a sophomore, he helped Cal win the National Invitation Tournament championship and was named MVP of the tourney.
“That was the best team I played on in my career,” Lampley said. “I really enjoyed that year. If I had to pick, winning the NIT and then becoming the all-time leading scorer and Player of the Year would be the top highlights.”
Brown ran for the Bears from 1971-74 and was a four-time Pac-8 champion. In 1972, he set the school record in the 800 meters with a time of 1:45.4, a mark that still stands today. Harper played third base on Cal’s national championship team in 2002 and was an All-American as a senior.
Petri was an All-American at Cal who went on to become the only athlete in school history to win a medal in four different Olympics. Stafford played on the first two Cal teams ever to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 1990 and 1992 and was named a second team All-American.
Stitts was a 14-time All-American from 2000-03 when she set three school records. She also won a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. Rogers (’63), a rower at Cal, won the Dean Witter Trophy for loyalty, proficiency and spirit for Crew. Rogers went on to become a successful businessman. The crew team’s boathouse is named in his honor.