Steve Worster Cause of Death: How the Texas Legend Passed Away

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Steve Worster, a former American football player who was a fullback for the Texas Longhorns and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, died on Saturday, August 13, 2022, at the age of 73. He was one of the original participants in the wishbone formation, a revolutionary offensive strategy that helped the Longhorns win two national championships in 1969 and 1970. He was also a two-time consensus All-American, a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, and the 1970 Texas Amateur Athlete of the Year.

Worster was born in Rawlins, Wyoming, on July 8, 1949, but his parents settled in Orange County, Texas when he was a young boy. He attended Bridge City High School, where he excelled as a catcher on the baseball team and a fullback on the football team. He accumulated 5,422 yards during his high school career, including 38 100-yard games, which is second in Texas prep history behind Robert Strait’s 41. He led the Bridge City Cardinals to a 13–1 season and the Class 3-A state football championship in 1966, running for 2,210 yards and being named a High-School All-American. After his graduation, Bridge City High School retired his jersey number. He was later inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame.

Worster was heavily recruited to play college football for several schools. He chose to accept a scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin to play for the Longhorns under coach Darrell Royal. He was the motivation behind Royal’s famed wishbone offense, which was introduced in 1968. Fans nicknamed Worster “Big Woo”. During his years at Texas, Worster rushed for 2,353 yards and scored 36 touchdowns. His teams won three Southwest Conference titles and two national championships. Worster was featured on the cover of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine in 1970. He finished fourth in balloting for the Heisman Trophy, behind Jim Plunkett, Joe Theismann, and Archie Manning. Worster was a two-time All-American (1969 and 1970) and three-time All-Southwest Conference selection, and was voted 1970 Texas Amateur Athlete of the Year by Texas Sports Writers Association. Worster has also been inducted into the Texas Longhorn Hall of Fame and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

The Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL) selected Worster as the 12th pick in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL draft. He could not come to terms on a contract with the Rams, and did not play in the NFL, spending one year (1971) in the CFL, playing in three games for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The Cause of His Death

According to ESPN, Worster died on Saturday following continuous health problems. The exact cause of his death has not been disclosed by his family or his former teams. However, some media outlets reported that he had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for several years. According to KSAT, Worster had been living in an assisted living facility in Orange County before his death.

Worster’s death was mourned by many former teammates, coaches, fans, and friends who remembered him as a fierce competitor, a loyal friend, and a humble person. His former coach Darrell Royal once said that Worster was “the toughest player I ever coached”. His former teammate Bill Bradley said that Worster was “a great teammate and a great leader”. His former opponent Archie Manning said that Worster was “a great player and a great person”.

Worster is survived by his wife Judy, his son Steven Jr., his daughter Stephanie, and his grandchildren. A memorial service for Worster will be held at a later date.

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