In the industrial bayou town of Bridge City, Texas, former
Longhorns fullback Steve Worster still occasionally opens his
mailbox to find a copy of the SI that featured him on the cover
more than 32 years ago--and a note from a Texas fan asking him to
autograph the magazine. Remembered as the powerhouse in the
wishbone offense, Woo Woo, as he was christened by Longhorns
faithful, helped lead Texas to national championships in 1969 and
'70. A two-time All-America, he finished fourth in balloting for
the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1971.
Recently retired from a 28-year career in sales, Worster, 53,
manages his rental properties in Bridge City (pop. 8,651), along
the Texas-Louisiana border. "I always knew I was going to be a
typical hardworking soul out there earning a living," he says.
"Football wasn't going to be my life."
Not that he didn't give the pros a try. After finishing as the
Longhorns' career leader in rushing touchdowns (36, a record that
stood for seven years), Worster was selected in the fourth round
of the 1971 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. The two sides
couldn't agree on a contract, however, so Worster headed to the
Canadian Football League, where he spent one season with the
Hamilton Tiger-Cats, playing in three games.
Disenchanted with the pro game, Worster returned to Texas and
completed courses for a communications degree. After working
briefly in Austin, he moved to San Antonio in 1975 to become a
sales manager with Lone Star Brewery. While there he met his
future wife, Ann; they were married for seven years and had two
children--Scott, now 25, and Erin, 23--before divorcing.
Worster left the brewery in 1988 and took a sales position with
Texas Mill Supply, a petrochemical plant supply company near
Bridge City, where Ann and the kids had relocated. "I couldn't
see the kids growing up without me," says Worster, who hasn't
remarried. "It's the best thing I ever did."
Since retiring from Texas Mill Supply two years ago, he's had
even more time to take his children out on Sabine Lake in his
21-foot motorboat and to "burn meat" year round on his grill.
In late March he plans to return to Austin for an annual reunion
of former Texas football players. In addition to watching the
Longhorns' spring game, the Exes play in a golf tournament.
Worster, however, hasn't given in to the game that consumes many
retirees. "I don't golf," he says. "I drive a cart and harass the
players." --Kayleen Schaefer
COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR.(COVER) WISHBONE WHIZ Worster, now retired, rushed for 36 TDs.
COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL [See caption above]
After spurring Texas to two national titles, Worster tried the
Canadian Football League and then settled on a career in sales.