Ex-USC And NFL Fullback Mosi Tatupu Dies

    Feb. 24, 2010

    Mosi Tatupu, a fullback on USC's 1974 national championship football team who then played 14 years in the NFL, died on Tuesday (Feb. 23) in Attleboro, Mass. He was 54. The cause of his death has yet to be determined.

    Tatupu, a native of American Samoa who was a 3-sport star at Punahou High in Honolulu, Hi., lettered 4 years (1974-77) with the Trojans. He ran for 1,277 yards on 223 carries in his career at Troy and was USC's Offensive Player of the Year and Most Inspirational Player in 1977. He played in the 1978 Hula Bowl. USC went 37-10-1 in his career and won 4 bowl games (2 Rose Bowls, plus the Liberty and Bluebonnet Bowls).

    He then played in the NFL with the New England Patriots (1978-90) and Los Angeles Rams (1991). He was known for his rugged running style, tough blocking and stellar special teams play, making him a fan favorite. He played in the 1986 Super Bowl and made the Pro Bowl that year. He rushed for 2,415 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in his 13-year Patriots career. He set an NFL record for most games played by a running back (199).

    After his playing career, Tatupu was the head football coach at King Philip Regional High in Wrentham, Mass., where he coached his son, Lofa, who later lettered on USC's 2003 and 2004 national championship teams and was a 2004 All-American linebacker. Lofa is now a Pro Bowl linebacker with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

    The elder Tatupu then was an assistant coach at Curry College in Milton, Mass., from 2002 to 2007.

    Besides his son, Lofa, Tatupu is also survived by his ex-wife, Linnea.

    A wake for Tatupu, open only to family, teammates and close friends, will be held this Sunday (Feb.28) from 2 to 5 p.m. at Ross Funeral Home, 135 South Street, Wrentham, MA 02093, 508-384-3133.

    Condolence cards can be send to the Tatupu family to: Linnea Garcia-Tatupu, P.O. Box 426, Lemon Grove, CA 91946.

    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in the form of a check to: USA Football, c/o Mosi Tatupu Memorial Fund, 8300 Boone Blvd., Ste. 625, Vienna, VA 22182.



    Checks must be made payable to USA Football. This is very important as they can't deposit checks made payable to anything other than USA Football. Please put "Mosi Tatupu" on the check's memo line. Donations will assist in the development and advancement of youth football in American Samoa. This will enable others to have the opportunities available through the sport of football to pursue their dreams of education and athletics. USA Football is a 501(c)3 & all donations are tax-deductible (Tax I.D. # 11-3667205). PLEASE include name and address of contributor for acknowledgment of the donation.