Steve Worster, Legendary Texas Longhorns FB in Wishbone Offense, Dies at 73

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Steve Worster, a two-time All-American guard in Darrell K Royal’s pioneering Wishbone offense for the Longhorns, died Saturday at age 73, the University of Texas athletic department announced.

Worster is in the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor and is a member of the halls of fame of three organizations – Texas Sports, Texas High School Football and Cotton Bowl.

Worster isn’t just a Longhorn legend, as his fame was statewide, starting at Class 3A Bridge City near the Texas-Louisiana border. He led the Bridge City Cardinals to the 1966 state championship and was “one of the crown jewels in the 1967 Longhorns signing class,” the university said.

As a guard for Royal’s Wishbone offense in the late 1960s, Worster’s punishing running style was perfect for wearing down defenses in the three-option set that changed college football forever. In three seasons with the Longhorns (freshmen weren’t allowed to play in college), he rushed for 2,353 yards and 36 touchdowns on 457 carries. He led the Longhorns to two national championships in 1969 and 1970 and three Southwestern Conference titles as well as three consecutive trips to the Cotton Bowl.

To cap off the 1970 national title year, Worster rushed for 155 yards on 20 carries in a 21–17 win over Notre Dame and was named the game’s most outstanding player on offense.

“Steve was the toughest football player I’ve ever seen,” Bob McKay said via a UT press release. McKay was an offensive lineman and teammate of Worster. “He hit or got hit on every try and never backed down or slowed down.”

Bill Little, UT’s former director of sports information, said in the statement that Worster was the “greatest of all time,” long before the popular acronym GOAT entered the American lexicon.

“He was arguably the best that ever was in his time,” Little said. “For those who saw him play in the late 1960s as an All-American guard in Texas, if he wasn’t the ‘best’ to play in Texas, nobody was better.”


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