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Gordo: Widenhofer struggled at Mizzou, like many peers before and since

Woody Widenhofer leads the Missouri Tigers onto the field before a game in 1985.

Post-Dispatch Archives

The passing of former Missouri football coach Woody Widenhofer stirred bad memories of agonizing near-misses for the program and gruesome routs.

Mizzou has been playing catch-up in the sport for decades. This has long been a difficult job with huge inherent challenges.

When they’ve enjoyed exceptional coaching and some good fortune, the Tigers proved they can compete with the sport’s elite. But for much of the past 50 years, their head coaches have been neither brilliant nor lucky.

Woody was a good man, a former Mizzou player who really, really wanted to lead the program back to prominence.