Unique History Leads to Generous Gift

There has never been a legacy documented before at Fresno State similar to that of Rod Stubblefield. Along with his father and his son, the family marks three generations of Fresno State football student-athletes that span across nearly 60 years and have been a part of 50 wins in the programs history.

Stubblefield, a Fresno, Calif. native, attended Fresno State in the 1950′s and played football under head coaches Duke Jacobs and Clark van Gelder as an end. He chose to play three seasons as a Bulldog after following in his biological father’s footsteps, R. Leo Weiland.

Weiland, a star multi-sport student-athlete at Fresno State from 1928-31, was an end on the undefeated (8-0) 1930 Far Western Conference Championship team under Stanley E. Borleske.

Leaving school to serve two years in the United States Navy just after the Korean War, Stubblefield returned to Fresno State to graduate in 1956. Because of his history with the institution, he became a member of the Bulldog Foundation (BDF), the fundraising arm of Fresno State Athletics, in 1960.

Rod’s son Curtis continued the Bulldog tradition and became the first in the family to play inside Bulldog Stadium when he donned the red helmet from 1986-88 under Jim Sweeney as a defensive back and a member of special teams.

Like his grandfather, Curtis was a member of a championship Bulldog team. The 1988 squad took home the Big West title before going on to win the California Raisins Bowl.

Rod Stubblefield has remained focused on supporting Fresno State student-athletes. Most recently, Stubblefield committed $100,000 to the new Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center to name a room in honor of his families’ unique legacy at Fresno State. He was also a major contributor to the new Bulldog Stadium FieldTurf.

Stubblefield’s gift helps the university grow closer to the $200 million fund raising goal set for the Campaign for Fresno State.

Director of Major Gifts Tyler Mariucci has built a relationship with the Stubblefield family over the years and recognized the opportunity to acknowledge their story.

“Connecting Rod’s passion for Fresno State Athletics and his desire to help current student-athletes with his unique history was important to him,” said Mariucci. “Rod wanted to stamp his legacy on our program for people to see for years to come.”

The Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center will include state-of-the-art amenities and equipment for all Bulldog student-athletes. The first class, 10,000 square foot facility will allow for on-site physician examination and diagnosis and world class rehabilitation for student-athletes, as well as office and meeting space for the Fresno State sports medicine staff. Construction on the project is expected to begin in the coming months.

“A degree from Fresno State has given me so much over the years,” said Stubblefield. “The least I can do is give back, if I have the ability to do so, and help others achieve their own goals.”

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Lanny Larson

written by

Editor, University Communications