DECEMBER 14, 1970
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."