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A. Donald "Speed" Edmiston

Football ∙ Midland

 

 

 

 

A Donald (Speed) Edmiston got his nickname because he was a football star tackle in the 1930s at Midland High School and the University of Tennessee, even though he stood 6'-2" and weighed only 200 pounds. He made up with quickness and determination what he lacked in bulk. At Midland High, Don was a star tackle and extra point kicker from 1934 to 1937; he also was on the Midland basketball team that reached the WPIAL playoffs in 1937 and was a catcher and outfielder on the Leopard baseball squad. He then played on the University of Tennessee football teams coached by Bob Neyland that were undefeated in regular season play from 1938 to 1940. During his sophomore year (1939), the Volunteers were undefeated, untied, and un-scored on through their regular season schedule. The closest they came to being scored on was when Vanderbilt reached the 5-yard line but was stopped four times. It was Don who led the defensive charge, making the initial tackle on the final two downs. Don was an All Southeastern Conference choice in his senior year and played in the 1940 Rose Bowl and 1941 Sugar Bowl. Don was a Marine Corps drill instructor at Paris Island, South Carolina, during World War II and played football at the Naval Pre-Flight School at the University of Georgia. After the war, Don worked as a salesman and feed mill manager in Florida. Don died on January 22, 1989, due to injuries suffered in a fall near his home in Tampa, Florida.