Services for Jeff Staggs will be held at the Immaculate on the University of San Diego campus on Friday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m.
A celebration of life follows at the San Diego State Hall of Fame center on campus.
A legion of friends remember and mourn Staggs, who passed away at age 70 at his home on Mt. Helix Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.
He was one of the all-time players to come out of Point Loma High and went on to be a third-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers and to play eight seasons in the NFL, mostly for the Chargers, from 1967-74.
Staggs became a starting tackle and defensive lineman as a junior at Point Loma and made all-Western League at fullback as a senior in 1961.
Early in that season Pointers coach Bennie Edens had an idea.
He re-positioned Staggs but didn’t want Pointers opponents to know, especially when they were scouting the Pointers and watching their game film.
So Edens instructed that Staggs be given a different jersey and number each week during the season.
What Edens may not have considered was that it was impossible to hide a 235-pounder who could run with the fastest players in the Western League.
Staggs was an all-Pacific Southwest Conference tight end and Junior College All-America on San Diego City College’s 9-1 championship team of 1964.
The Knights, coached by Harry West, overcame a three-touchdown deficit in the second half to defeat Orange Coast College, 28-24, in the Elks Bowl in San Bernardino.
Staggs caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Dan Berry that gave San Diego City a 21-18 lead.
Staggs moved on to Don Coryell’s team at San Diego State and, after his junior season in 1965, was selected as a “future” in the third round of the American Football League draft by the Chargers.
He was one of five Aztec players from the 11-0, 1966 national College Division championship squad that were drafted into the NFL.
Staggs became a starting linebacker as a rookie with the Chargers in 1967.
He was runner-up to Houston’s George Webster in voting for the AFL defensive rookie of the year.
Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis once personally complimented Staggs for his play against the Buffalo Bills’ O.J. Simpson, who at the time was the leading AFL receiver coming out of the back field.
The rangy Staggs covered Simpson on at least eight plays and the Bills’ star caught one pass for eight yards.
Jeff also played for the Los Angeles Rams and St. Louis Cardinals before concluding his career with the Chargers in 1974.
Those who saw Staggs play on four levels of football for more than a decade in San Diego remember him as athletic, tough and pugnacious.
He was not afraid to mix it up.