“Big Ed” Widseth

Minnesota Golden Gophers tackle (1934-1936)
(January 5, 1910-December 3, 1998)


  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954

Ed Widseth CardEdwin Clarence Widseth was one of the mainstays of the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ dynasty of the mid-1930’s.

Widseth played for Minnesota from 1934-1936 earning All-America honors each season. He was unquestionably the foundation of a defensive line that helped lead the Golden Gophers to a 23-1 record and three straight national championships during his reign as the team’s defensive leader. Widseth was the team’s captain his senior year earning team MVP honors while finishing seventh in the Heisman voting. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Widseth was known for a slashing, driving style that usually found him in the opposing team’s backfield disrupting the play.

Post-career and death

Widseth was selected with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 1937 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was an All-NFL selection in his first three years as a professional, but an injury in 1940 ended his career.

After his football career ended, Widseth spent time in the military as a recreational specialist before returning to the college football scene – this time as the head coach at St. Thomas in St. Paul. During his two seasons leading the program in 1945 and 1946, he directed the Tommies to back-to-back championships in the Minnesota College Conference.

After leaving football for good, Widseth spent time in the wholesale food business in Minneapolis while earning induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He passed away in St. Paul in 1998, and is buried at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery in Minneapolis. The football field at the University of Minnesota, Crookston where he grew up on a dairy farm is named Ed Widseth Field in his honor.


Web Links


College Football Hall of Fame Biography
Wikipedia.org: Ed Widseth


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