Ed  Molinski

Ed Molinski

Lineman (Offense & Defense)


During the days of the two-way player, Ed Molinski set the standard for linemen. A look at the scoreboards from his era shows why "Big Mo" and the men in the trenches formed one of the best lines ever.

Molinski anchored the line under Gen. Robert R. Neyland's 1938 squad that went 11-0. The Vols outscored their opponents 283-16, allowing TDs only to Clemson and LSU.

The 1939 team is the one that perhaps is remembered best. The Molinski-led defensive line set records galore for holding teams at bay, including the fewest yards allowed (1,023), lowest average per play allowed (2.2 yards) and lowest average per game allowed (103.3 yards). That team also did not allow a touchdown through the air or by ground because the 1939 Volunteers swept through the regular season without allowing a single point, a modern NCAA record. They are the last team to not allow a point through the regular season.

Molinski was named All-SEC and consensus All-America in 1939, and he earned first-team All-America in 1940 from The Sporting News. Tennessee teams were a combined 31-2 with Molinski in the trenches and the Vols finished first or tied for first in the SEC each year. They also finished no lower than No. 4 in Associate Press rankings.

Along with his gridiron skills, Molinski was captain of the Tennessee boxing team from 1938-40 and was crowned Golden Glove champion. After graduating, Molinski became a physician in Memphis and served as the team doctor for the Mississippi State and Memphis State football teams.



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