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04/07/2010

Former USC kicker Chris Limahelu dies at 59

April 7, 2010 |  4:32 pm

Chris Limahelu, 59, the kicker on USC’s 1974 football team that won a share of the national championship, died of prostate cancer Wednesday in Los Angeles, the university announced.

Kicker Only 5 feet 5 and 135 pounds during his playing days, Limahelu kicked for USC in 1973 and '74 when John McKay was coach. In the '73 season he set two Trojan records: He kicked 14 field goals, six more than any previous Trojan kicker in a season, and his 47-yard field goal against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl was the team’s longest ever. Both records have since been broken. He also is remembered for a 34-yard field goal with 3 seconds left against Stanford that gave USC a 27-26 victory.

In 1974, Limahelu kicked a personal-best 50-yard field goal against UCLA, earned all-Pac-8 Conference honors and USC went 10-1-1. The Trojans were voted No. 1 in the UPI poll; Oklahoma at 11-0 finished first in the Associated Press voting.

Limahelu was born Oct. 16, 1950, in Indonesia, the second of nine children. When he was an infant he moved with his family to the Netherlands, where he learned to play soccer and developed his kicking technique. The family moved to the United States when he was 10 and he was on the football, tennis and wrestling teams at South Hills High School in West Covina.

After USC, he became an accountant and for the last 15 years had volunteered with the Tournament of Roses.

-- Claire Noland

Photo: Chris Limahelu in 1973. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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