As an institution with a distinguished athletics program, USC boasts many talented athletes, especially of Latinx descent. As we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, here are five top athletes of Latinx descent from the University.
Football/Baseball: Anthony Muñoz (‘80)
Known as one of the greatest offensive linemen in the history of football, Anthony Muñoz made his start with the Trojans. He earned multiple honors in his time on the football squad, being named a two-time All-American and helping lead the team to the 1978 national championship game.
During his time at USC, Muñoz was known for his game against Ohio State in the 1980 Rose Bowl, where he made a return despite being out since the season opener because of an injury. His presence on the line helped Heisman winning running back Charles White run for 247 yards and lead the team to a 17-16 victory.
Additionally, Muñoz played with USC’s baseball team during its 1978 national championship run. After college, Muñoz continued to dominate in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, as the 11-time Pro Bowler was an All-Pro 11 times and won three Offensive Lineman of the Year awards.
Soccer: Amy Rodriguez (‘08)
As one of the best players to suit up for the women’s soccer team, forward Amy Rodriguez brought the squad to new levels with her arrival in 2005.
She started off strong, being named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and then went on to score 31 goals with 17 assists in her USC career. In 2007, Rodriguez was able to bring the team a NCAA championship, the first in school history.
Rodriguez also had to split her time during her college career to play at the national level, winning gold in the 2008 Olympics. After leaving USC, Rodriguez represented the United States many times, including appearances in the 2012 Olympics and in the 2015 World Cup when the U.S. won it all.
Tennis: Robert Farah (‘10)
Coming from Colombia, tennis player Robert Farah arrived at USC in 2006 and had a monumental impact on the court. He led the Trojans to back-to-back NCAA Team Championships in 2009 and 2010 and was the 2008 NCAA Doubles Champion.
By the time he ended his career with the Trojans in 2010, Farah was ranked as the No. 1 singles player and was part of the No. 2 doubles team in the nation. He also attained multiple honors such as the ITA All-American, All-Star and Player of the Year.
After his time at USC, he became known as one of the best doubles players in the world, winning both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open back in 2019, and currenly boasts the No. 4 ranking. Additionally, Farah represented Colombia in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic games.
Track & Field (Hurdles): Félix Sánchez (‘01)
The hurdles superstar has been a regular Olympian during his career. Although he was born and raised in the U.S., Sánchez represented the Dominican Republic in the Games.
In his time with USC, Sánchez won the Pac-10 championship for the 400-meter hurdles. He also participated in the 1600-meter relay and was an All-American in that event as well.
While at USC, Sánchez participated in the 2000 Olympics, but could not make the final heat for the 400-meter hurdles. After graduating from USC, he used this loss as motivation to become one of the best hurdlers in the world, winning gold in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics.
Volleyball: Bibiana Candelas (‘05)
Bibiana Candelas was known for beach volleyball later in her career, but the Mexico native originally started off playing indoor volleyball. She was recruited to play for the Trojans in 2002 and became one of their best players, leading the team to back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2002 and 2003.
Candelas was recognized as one of the best middle blockers in college and helped the Trojans go undefeated (35-0) during that 2003 season as an All-American. After USC, Candelas transitioned into playing beach volleyball.
Correction: The Daily Trojan previously misspelled the author’s name. We regret this error.