Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 — Houston, TX 81°

McGuffie headed to Olympics


By Michael Byrnes     1/17/18 9:51am

Former Rice football player Sam McGuffie (Class of 2013) was named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic men’s bobsled team on Monday. He will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, both in the four-man race as a member of the push crew and in the two-man as the brakeman for driver Codie Bascue. With his selection to the national team, he will become the first former Rice athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.

McGuffie was a prep standout at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, where he was a four-star recruit whose highlight reels racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. He then played for the University of Michigan for one year before transferring to Rice following the 2008 season. At Rice, he competed both as a running back and a wide receiver from 2010 to 2012, becoming the first Owls player to total over 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving and accumulating almost 2,300 all-purpose yards in his three years as an Owl: his 102 career receptions rank him 11th in program history. He was also a prolific track and field athlete at Rice, competing in six different events and medaling in the long jump and heptathlon at the Conference USA championships in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

After landing a spot at training camp with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, McGuffie bounced around the league on the practice squads of the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots without appearing in a game. He then spent a year in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before finding himself out of a job in early 2015 after being cut from the roster. It was then, following the advice of his former Rice track and field coach Casey Thom, that he first ventured into the world of competitive bobsledding. After impressing at a preliminary combine and quickly progressing through a series of trial events, he was selected as a member of the 2015-16 USA Bobsled National Team. Since then, he has competed in three World Cups and two World Championship races, medaling five times, including a gold medal received at the 2017-2018 Two-Man World Cup in Lake Placid. In a statement released by Rice Athletics, McGuffie said he is proud to be the school’s first winter Olympian.

“I’m happy I get to represent Rice University and the city of Houston wherever I go, but especially at the Winter Games,” McGuffie said. “Rice is family. Rice has been behind me when I started out on this crazy adventure in 2015. Hopefully I can represent the university and fellow alumni well. I’m just [really] excited for this opportunity.”

McGuffie will compete in the two-man race on Feb. 18-19 and in the four-man on Feb. 24-25, both at the Olympic Sliding Centre in Pyeongchang.

More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 5/28/19 10:14am
Provost Miranda to step down, return to faculty role

 Provost Marie Lynn Miranda announced that she will be stepping down from her role as provost, a position she has held for the last four years, at the end of June, in an email sent last Sunday. Miranda will go on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 academic year, after which she plans on reassuming her faculty position in the department of statistics, according to Miranda’s email. Her decision follows the diagnosis of her youngest child with cancer last year.

NEWS 5/11/19 4:26pm
Graduation 2019: Rain distracts but fails to disrupt

Class of 2019 graduates came to Saturday morning’s commencement with their caps, gowns, stoles and umbrellas. Despite forecasted downpours and the proposed alternative venue of Tudor Fieldhouse, both Friday and Saturday ceremonies were held outside. Like their matriculation ceremony four years ago, the graduates saw rain fall as they were granted their degrees. 

NEWS 5/10/19 11:07am
Martel College senior Muna Uzodike to speak at graduation

“I truly believe we find our unique purpose in that space, because no one can be copied to the T,” Uzodike said. “We have a lot to bring to the table and I just want to remind people that no matter what space they find themselves in, they should never abandon the traits, gifts or skills that make them unique.”


Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.