Steve Lehmer, a three-year starter on the offensive line at USC from 1967-69 and member of the 1967 national championship team, died on July 14. He was 74.
Lehmer was the only sophomore to start on the 1967 team and was also a member of the 1967 and 1968 NCAA championship track teams as a discus thrower.
Lehmer was involved in perhaps the most memorable play in USC history when O.J. Simpson went 64 yards for a TD vs. No. 1-ranked UCLA on Nov. 18, 1967.
Simpson exploded through a hole on the left side of the line courtesy of blocks by tackle Mike Taylor and Lehmer. The touchdown gave the Trojans a 21-20 victory and led to them winning the national championship.
“I was left offensive guard and we had a pass play called in the huddle and there was an audible on the line,” Lehmer said. “(Quarterback) Toby Page called Red 23 (a running play) and I didn’t hear it. So I stood up to pass block and a linebacker stayed in his zone and (I) possibly facilitated O.J.’s run.”
He graduated from the USC School of Medicine in 1975 and became a surgeon. Lehmer also attended Loara High School in Anaheim and Fullerton Junior College.
A celebration of Lehmer’s life will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Crossroads Church, 10050 Wolf Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949.