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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dick Smith
Date of birth c. 1915
Place of birth Rockford, Illinois
Position(s) Tackle
College Minnesota
Honors 1935 All-America first team

Richard "Dick" Smith an All-American football player for the University of Minnesota in the mid-1930s. During Smith's three years as a starter at tackle, the Golden Gophers did not lose a game.


A native of Rockford, Illinois, Smith played for Bernie Bierman's great Golden Gophers teams of 1933, 1934, and 1935. The Golden Gopers were undefeated during Smith's three seasons starting at the tackle position. Their year-by-year record was as follows:

  • 1933: 4-0-4
  • 1934: 8-0
  • 1935: 8-0

As a sophomore, Smith was one of the "surprise" players of the 1933 season. A Minnesota newspaper in 1934 described Smith's progression as follows:

"Dick Smith was a big 200 pound youth who appeared somewhat slow and green as a freshman. He was not particularly impressive in his early sophomore games last year either but suddenly he seemed to hit a stride and the name 'Smith, left tackle,' appeared in the Gopher lineup from that time on. The Michigan game was his best, of the season and he'll be back September 15, ready to try for his position again."[1]

Smith was one of the anchors of the 1934 and 1935 teams that compiled perfect, undefeated records and were recognized as national champions. Both of Minnesota's tackles in 1935 were All-Americans. In addition to Smith, Ed Widseth played tackle for the 1935 tream and was a consensus All-American. The 1935 Golden Gophers, with Smith and Widseth in the line, finished the season undefeated and defeated 40-0 and Wisconsin, 33-7. The United Press in 1935 wrote that Smith and Widseth formed the backbone of one of America's greatest teams."[2]

As a senior in 1935, Smith was selected as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, United Press, Collier's Weekly, the Newspaper Editors Association ("NEA"), the International News Service, and the New York Sun. Smith was also chosen to play in both of college football's post-season All-Star games. In December 1935, he was picked as one of the Eastern All-Stars to play in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco.[3] And in July 1936, he was voted by fans as a starting tackle for the College All-Stars in the annual game between the college stars and the NFL championship team -- the 1935 Detroit Lions.[4][5] In selecting Smith as an All-American, the NEA noted that Smith charged fast, had good speed down the field, and was a help to Minnesota's ends due to his speed.[6] Associated Press sports editor Alan Gould also cited Smith's combination of size and speed in picking him as an AP All-American: "Dick Smith, a 218-pounder with rare speed in Minnesota's forward ranks get the call."[7]

See also


  1. ^ "BIERMAN WONDERS WHO UNKNOWN PLAYER TO STAR WILL BE THIS YEAR". Brainerd Daily Dispatch. 1934-09-13.  
  2. ^ "Six Mid-West Gridders Placed on UP All-America Eleven". Kokomo Tribune. 1935-11-29.  
  3. ^ "EAST STARR TO COAST". Emporia Gazette (AP wire story). 1935-12-18.  
  4. ^ "All-Star Team To Meet Lions Named by Fans". Hamilton Daily News Journal. 1936-07-20.  
  5. ^ "College All-Stars To Battle Detroit At Chicago Tonight". San Antonio Express. 1936-09-01.  
  6. ^ Bernard Bierman (1935-11-20). Mid-West Places Three Upon NEA's All-America for 1935.  
  7. ^ Alan Gould (1935-12-07). "Midwest and South Provide Most All-American Talent". Kokomo Tribune.  

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