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Bill Edwards


William Miller Edwards

Inducted 1986

Date of Birth



Massillon OH


Wittenberg University (1955-1968)

Vanderbilt University (1949-1952)

Western Reserve University (1935-1940)


Bill Edwards was a high school dropout, but he came back to reach the top in his profession. Economics forced him out of school; he quit at 14 to work in the mines. He returned at 17 and became a star football player for Massillon Ohio, High School. He enrolled at Ohio State, captained the freshman football team and roomed with Paul Brown, another future legend. Meanwhile six Massillon High players had gone to Wittenberg College to play for Ernie Godfrey, and Edwards transferred. In 1929, Grantland Rice wrote, "Edwards is the best center in the nation, but I can't name him All-America because of his team's schedule." Walter Eckersall had no such reservations; he named him All-America. His coaching record covered stints at Western Reserve, 1936-40, with a 40-6-1 record; Vanderbilt, 1949-52, with a 21-19-2 record; and Wittenberg, 1955-68, with a 98-20-4 record. His totals for 23 seasons were 168-45-8. He had six unbeaten seasons. His Wittenberg teams won six Ohio Conference titles and two national titles, and he was twice Coach of the Year in his division. Sports Illustrated called him "a combination of Santa Claus and Genghis Khan." He was 81 when he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Edwards also coached the Detroit Lions, 1941-42.


Wins 168

Losses 45

Ties 8

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