Steve Gatena

Steve Gatena (born December 15, 1985) is an American Football Offensive Tackle and Center. He currently attends the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Gatena plays Left Tackle and Center for the 2008 USC Trojans football team where he is a transfer and walk-on player. On December 18th, 2008 Gatena, a USC Trojans Scholar Athlete, was named USC's Service Team Offensive Player of the Year.
High School
Gatena prepped at Westlake High School in Westlake Village, where he teamed with Rudy Carpenter record holding Arizona State University Sun Devils Quarterback and fellow USC Trojans Tight End Jimmy Miller to go 14-0 winning the 2003 California Interscholastic Federation Division II State Football Title. That year, nine Westlake football players signed letters of intent to play college football. While at Westlake Gatena was a four time consecutive Scholar Athlete. Additionally, Gatena participated as a student in the Westlake Information and Technology Academy. The W.I.T. Academy is California Partnership Academy intended to teach students various technical skills such as computer programming and web design. Although highly recruited, Gatena was considered "the runt" of his offensive line because he was 40lbs lighter (Gatena was 245lbs) than the next smallest lineman on the front five.
United States Air Force Academy
After graduating high school in 2004, Gatena accepted a congressional nomination to attend the United States Air Force Academy. Gatena and fellow high school teammate Ryan Ruel entered the Academy with the graduating class of 2008. While at the Academy, Steve majored in Operations Research. Additionally, Gatena played Division 1 college football for the Air Force Falcons Football Team. Gatena played Defensive End for the Falcons in 2004. However, Gatena's 2004 collegiate season was cut short due to illness and injury. In 2005, after suffering from pneumonia, two dislocated shoulders, a collapsed lung, and a broken right hand, Gatena received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and accepted a football scholarship, enrolling at UC Davis.
University of California at Davis
At UC Davis, Gatena pursued a bachelors degree in Law & Society while playing football for the Aggies. Gatena started as a Left Tackle for the UC Davis Aggies, who won the Great West Football Conference Championship in 2005. During his career at UC Davis, Gatena suffered from a torn right MCL and two labral tears in both his right and left shoulders. While a University of California student, Gatena created a short documentary that was featured on CNN's Headline News. The documentary depicted the annual "Epic Quad Battle" event held in the quad each June. Prior to earning his bachelors degree in 2008, Gatena interned for John Garamendi, the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California, at his main office in Sacramento.
University of Southern California
In the fall of 2008, Gatena began working on his Master's degree in Strategic Public Relations at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. As a graduate student, Gatena continued his football career, playing for the 2008 USC Trojans football team as a Left Tackle and Center. After the 2008 season Gatena was awarded USC's Service Team Offensive Player of the Year as well as earning the title of Scholar Athlete. On January 1, 2009 Gatena along with the rest of the 2008 USC Trojans football team won the 2009 Rose Bowl Game. After the Rose Bowl game, Gatena thanked one of the pilot's that flew the B-2 Stealth Bomber for his service to our country by giving him his "Rose Bowl Champions" T-Shirt. During his tenure at USC, Coach Pete Carroll noted Gatena as "the Trojans' biggest political pundit."
Gatena has enrolled in and transferred to three different Division 1 football schools without being forced to serve a penalty of ineligibility by the NCAA, which can be verified through his immediate eligibility when transferring to the University of California at Davis and his play time as the 2nd string left offensive tackle for the 2008 USC Trojans football team in their season opener against the University of Virginia. Additionally, Gatena has been granted an NCAA clock extension allowing him to play a sixth year of college football. Teammate Jeff Byers is the only other current graduate student on the 2008 USC Trojans football team. If both players chose to continue playing for the Trojans in 2009 they will be the oldest and most academically advanced players on the team.
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