USC Record-setting Kicker Chris Limahelu Dies
April 7, 2010
Chris Limahelu, the record-setting placekicker on USC's 1974 national championship football team who kicked a last-second field goal to beat Stanford in 1973, died today (Wednesday, April 7) in Los Angeles of prostate cancer. He was 59.
Born in Indonesia, the diminutive (5-5, 130 pounds) Limahelu came to USC from South Hills High in West Covina (Calif.) and then Citrus Junior College in Glendora (Calif.). He was on USC's junior varsity team in 1972 as a sophomore.
He lettered 2 years at USC (1973-74). As a Trojan junior in 1973, he hit 14-of-18 field goals and 31-of-34 PATs. His 14 field goals set a since-broken school season record. His 47-yard field goal against Ohio State in the 1974 Rose Bowl was the longest ever by a Trojan, breaking a 64-year-old record. His 34-yard field goal with 3 seconds to play against Stanford that season gave USC a 27-26 victory as the Trojans overcame a 26-17 deficit in the final game's 2:10 and stayed alive in their bid for a Rose Bowl berth.
He then earned All-Pac-8 first team honors as a 1974 senior when the Trojans won the national title. He was 10-of-17 on field goals and 39-of-43 on PATs. He hit a 50-yard field goal against UCLA that season to break his 1-year-old USC distance mark. He kicked a field goal and a PAT in USC's 18-17 win over Ohio State in the 1975 Rose Bowl.
After his playing career, Limahelu became an accountant. He also was a volunteer for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses for the past 15 years.
He is survived by his mother, Juliana, brothers Al, Robert, Frank, Henry, Rocky and Patrick, and sister Juliette.
His nephew and godson, Sean Limahelu, was a walk-on punter on USC's 2005 football team.
There will be a private funeral service for family members. A public memorial service is being planned.