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Dec. 10, 2004

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former USC soccer great Brian Winstead was killed when a private plane he was traveling in crashed on Thursday morning in rural Anderson County in South Carolina. Winstead was 46 years old.

“Everyone in the USC soccer family mourns the death of Brian Winstead. After transferring from Prince Georges Community College in Maryland, he burst on the scene in our first varsity season in 1978,” USC head coach Mark Berson said. “He was part of the group of players that earned an NCAA Tournament bid in just our second varsity season in 1979. Brian and his teammates showed great faith in joining our program when we were just beginning. He will always be remembered as one of our all-time great players. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Winstead was the first player to sign a scholarship agreement with USC in the men’s soccer program’s inaugural season in 1978. He went on to lead the Gamecocks in scoring in both of his seasons in Columbia, and in 1978, he became the first South Carolina player ever to earn All-South Region honors. He also served as a team captain in 1979.

Winstead’s name remains etched in the South Carolina record books to this day. In just two seasons, he scored 80 points, which ranks eighth for points in a career. (Most other players in this category played four seasons.) Winstead is also tied for seventh with 33 career goals. In his junior season in 1978, he finished with 48 points, the third-most ever in a single season at South Carolina and his 18 goals during that campaign are tied for the fourth-most in a single season. In 1979, Winstead scored 15 goals, which is tied for seventh in a single season.

Following his career at USC, he remained a fixture in the soccer community as a player in the South Carolina Amateur League.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Please check back at for more information as it becomes available.