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Vic Bottari


Victor Bottari, Jr.

Inducted 1981

Date of Birth



Vallejo, CA


University of California (1936-1938)


Midway through the 1936 season, California was a struggling 3-4 team that was trailing Southern California 7-6 in the second half. Golden Bear head coach "Stub" Allison looked to the end of his bench and said, "Bottari, get warmed up." The debut of Victor Bottari would transform California into a team that would post a 23-2-1 record over the remainder of his collegiate career. With the ball at mid-field the halfback completed one pass to put Cal at the 31 yard line and another for a touchdown to take the Bears on a two-play drive that proved to be the winning score. The next season saw Bottari become a member of the "Thunder Team" backfield as Cal went undefeated, winning the Pacific Coast and Rose Bowl titles. Losing Rose Bowl coach Frank Thomas of Alabama said after the game, "This California team was tough and that Bottari can hit." In 1938, California was Pacific Coast co-champion and posted a 10-1 won-lost mark. In his last home game with Cal leading Georgia Tech 13-0, Bottari was substituted for on the next to last play of the game, receiving one of the most thunderous ovations in the history of Memorial Stadium. That season he was a consensus All-America and placed fifth in the Heisman voting.


Height 5'9

Weight 185

Career Highlights

  • 1938 All-West Coast
  • 1938 Consensus All-America
  • 1938 Heisman - Fifth
  • 1937 All-West Coast
  • 1937 Second Team All-America
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