Colorado kicker James Stefanou, the oldest player in college football, retires after Buffs' win over UCLA

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Colorado kicker James Stefanou has decided to retire after the first game of the Pac-12 season.

Stefanou, the oldest player at the top level of college football at the age of 33, missed two field goals in the second half of Colorado’s 48-42 win over UCLA. He was replaced by Evan Price after those two misses.

Monday, the school said Stefanou had retired.

“James feels that he can no longer physically perform as well as he would like and has decided to end his career,” Colorado coach Karl Dorrell said in a statement. “He has been a valuable member of the team for three years, and we understand why he has made this choice. We certainly wish him nothing but the best.”

Stefanou took over the status of college football’s oldest FBS player in 2020. He was the second oldest player at the FBS level in 2019 behind Colorado State running back Joshua Griffin. The former military member was 32 during the 2019 season.

Stefanou is also three years younger than former Colorado and current Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby. Crosby is in his 14th NFL season.

Stefanou played in 17 games over the 2018 and 2019 seasons as he dealt with a hip injury. He had surgery for that hip injury ahead of the 2020 season and Dorrell said after the game that he had put Price into the lineup in Stefanou’s place because of “some issues” with Stefanou’s health.

A native of Australia, Stefanou was a professional soccer player before he came to the United States to play college football. He ends his Colorado career 96-of-97 on extra points in parts of four seasons and with a mark of 34-of-49 on field goals.

Colorado place kicker James Stefanou (48) performs in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Colorado kicker James Stefanou missed just one PAT during his career. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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