Rev. Michael Hunt – Newman Hall
"It's amazing to me," said Rev. Michael Hunt, a close friend of Roth's, "that he has broken the hearts of students on one of the most cynical, 'far-out' campuses in the country. Whether they were churchgoers or not, they knew inside that this guy really had it – that he represented the best of what the human spirit could be. He stood for goodness and decency – not in a stupid or sentimental way but in a profound way."
John Matlock – Friend and Roommate
"I cherish the fact that I got to know him. I have thought of him everyday since he died. He was the kind of on the shy side, and I think that's why we clicked. He wanted to get away from football at the end of the day, and he wanted to talk about subjects other than football. He drank Coors, and I taught him about wine. He made a mean meet load, and he sang off-key in the shower."

"He was always thinking of others. He wanted to make people as comfortable as possible."

"My stepfather passed away from leukemia on December 5, 1975. Joe blew off his dinner (sportswriter dinner in honor of Joe) and came to the funeral. He thought it was more important to support me."
Holly Zamzow – Friend and Cal Tennis Player (1974-1976)
"We got along well because we were sort of similar. Joe was quiet, sensitive, and shy. He used to laugh over the fact he was a football star because he really never cared for all the publicity. He was a guy who really appreciated his privacy. He didn’t like to be singled out when he played football and he felt the same way when he was really sick. Joe had tremendous self-discipline because you never heard him complain or make excuses. Because of his strong faith, I think he had death well into perspective. Joe just had everything so well figured out, no hang-ups. A lot of guys heading for the big money might have quit school, he just kept studying. He went to the hospital Wednesday and he was hitting the books hard Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. He just wouldn’t give up."