Feb. 8, 2013
Calvin "Cal" Rossi, a two-sport star at UCLA from 1944-47 and a member of the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, passed away on January 23 at age 88 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Rossi enjoyed a brilliant four-year varsity football career at right halfback and in the defensive backfield for the Bruins. During his career, he rushed for 1,490 yards on 255 carries, which put him third on the all-time list. His career rushing average of 5.85 yards per carry was the highest in school history at the time.
In addition, Rossi's 169 rushing yards against Oregon in 1945 stood as a school record for 15 years. He ended his career with seven interceptions, including a team-leading three picks in 1947. Rossi earned All-Coast first team honors 1945.
In baseball, Rossi enjoyed an equally successful career. He hit .456 in 1945 and won All-Coast honors and hit above .300 in two other seasons.
Rossi was a first-round choice of the NFL Washington Redskins in 1946 but remained at UCLA to finish his senior year and then entered high school coaching.
His first teaching and coaching assignment was at Visalia High School, starting there in 1949 and leading the team to the CIF Championship of the San Joaquin Valley that year. Next, Rossi moved to Redondo Beach, where he taught business classes and coached at Redondo Beach High School. It was there that he eventually became an advocate for teachers' rights through his work with the California Teachers' Association.
In 1971, Rossi moved his family to Los Altos Hills, Calif., where he continued working for CTA, and his work focused on higher education. He retired from his position as Deputy Executive Director of CTA in 1984.
In 1997, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.
Rossi is survived by his wife of 65 years, Alberta, their three children Randy Rossi, Rick Rossi and Roberta (Rossi) Pyne, as well as daughters-in-law, Cristy Rossi and Debbie Rossi; his son-in-law Kevin Pyne; and adoring granddaughter, Chelsea Pyne.