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Former USC kicker Chris Limahelu dies at 59

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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Pretty bummed. Chris Limahelu, one of my college football coaches, died today of cancer. If the name rings a bell with some of you, Chris played at USC in 1972-1974. If you remember the classic 1974 game against Notre Dame, (Chris was the guy kicking every extra point-after) when USC came back from a 24-0 deficit to win 55-24. I still see the game on ESPN classics. Nothing like Anthony Davis running back kick-offs and John McKay coaching USC to victory over Notre Dame! I'll always remember asking Chris to bring his Rose Bowl rings & National Championship rings to practice....the thing was huge! I also remember Steve Sloman and I doing security for Chris' daughters 16th B-day party. Slo looked the part of a bouncer....I was just trying to act tough. Lastly, that relationship lead to meeting his brothers, especially Al, who would be a great mentor for me throughout my college days.

I am just numb right now.

My condolences and prayers go out to the entire Limahelu family.

God bless the Limahelu family.

Too many recent losses for those of us raised on the McKay Trojans.

I was thinking of Chris just last evening, maybe 45 minutes after his death. We had the pleasure of meeting him at the Bookstore a few years ago, as my sons were sporting their brand new #11 jerseys. Here's hoping that USC Football never spoils TRADITION-- by adding players' names to jerseys.

Fight On, Chris Limahelu, in memory as in life.

Chris was my taxman for the last twenty years. He had a fantastic enthusiasm for life and everything he did. And always upbeat. His many clients and friends in and around Covina will miss him. Rest in peace.

Chris Limahelu came into my life as a new wrestler for South Hills High School. I remember how strong he was for his size as we competed for a spot on the team. His large smile and laughing chuckle could never be forgotten my fellow Huskies. I was so proud of his football days at USC because somehow I know that we pushed each other thru grueling practices and school activites. Chris Limahelu (Coach Farley Day always called him "Pineapple") chuckled when our wrestling coach stumbled his words in trying to pronounce his last name and ended up yelling out "Hey Pineapple, ten steps and ten laps for you". Off we would go running to just talk and make each other endure the hard workouts. So your jouney in life has ended but not without bringing you into my life and the fondest of high school memories to cherish. Your thick black curly hair and smile that was as wide as your heart will be with me.God bless you my little wrestling partner, you will be missed by not just your family, but with the many other people you came across in your life. A life that was blessed with friends, family, sports and memories. A Husky first,a Trojan second, a Angel always. My condolences and prayers will not be enough for the loss we are feeling, but my thanks to God for bringing you into my life will ease our pain and sorrow for you leaving us. God speed and go with grace.We all love you.

they will never forget........

was thinking of Chris just last evening, maybe 45 minutes after his death. We had the pleasure of meeting him at the Bookstore a few years ago, as my sons were sporting their brand new #11 jerseys. Here's hoping that USC Football never spoils TRADITION-- by adding players' names to jerseys.

Chris was a great guy and I enjoyed working with him on several committees for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. He was always eager to do his best and I send my condolences to his friends and family.
May he rest in peace and msy perpetual light shine upon him.
Fight on!

I am saddened to learn of the passing of my friend, Chris Limahelu. We shared a lot of fun during our time as Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association volunteers, especially an overnight detail watching guard over floats on Orange Grove Boulevard one New Year's eve. Chris was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. As a fellow USC alum, Chris and I took an immediate liking to one another and we would talk at length about his days on the USC football team playing for Coach John McKay. He was so proud of USC's national championship in 1974. Fight On!, my friend.


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