Dick Vidmer
Born:(1944-12-24)December 24, 1944
Died:(2022-04-03)April 3, 2022
Career information

Richard F. Vidmer (December 24, 1944 — April 3, 2022) was a former American football player. He attended University of Michigan, where he played college football as a quarterback for the Wolverines football teams from 1965 to 1967.

Early years

Vidmer's father played college football as a guard at Villanova University in the 1930s. The younger Vidmer was a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in western Pennsylvania, which Vidmer described as "a peculiar place, where you have a lot of small towns within 10-15 miles of each other, and football is simply the sport throughout the area."[1] He attended Hempfield Area High School, where he was one of the finest prep quarterbacks ever produced in the State of Pennsylvania.[2] He was also president of the student council and had grades that won him admission to Harvard.[1] In a 1966 interview, he described his college selection process as follows:

"Yea. I was accepted at Harvard. My dad was really fired up for Ivy League -- you know, prestige and ivy covered walls . . . I visited Harvard and Princeton and got an idea about that, and then I visited Purdue and MSU too and I kinda got the idea that I wanted a school that played good football, but also offered a good academic program. Ivy League football leaves a lot to be desired . . . and MSU is a little short on academics. So I came here and haven't been sorry a minute."[1]

University of Michigan

Vidmer from 1968 Michiganensian

As a freshman in 1964, Vidmer suffered a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments during a football practice session.[2] Vidmer never recovered fully from the injury, recalling later, "I was never able to move around like I could before. It made a difference in my effectiveness. I was not as formidable a player as I once was."[2] He started only three games in the 1965 season, completing 32 of 68 passes with seven interceptions.[3][4]

In 1966, Vidmer was Michigan's starting quarterback in nine of its ten games.[5] In the opening game of the 1966 season, he threw for 258 passing yards,[6] a Michigan single-game record.[7] Five weeks later, he completed 15 of 19 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in a 49–0 victory over Minnesota and was selected as the UPI Midwest Back of the Week.[4] His total of 117 pass completions in 1966 set a new Michigan single-season record.[7] Vidmer was also selected as an Academic All-American in 1966.[2]

Vidmer also started four games at quarterback for the 1967 Wolverines.[8] In his three years at Michigan, he completed 187 of 382 passes for 2,455 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.[9]

Vidmer received three degrees from Michigan, a bachelor's degree in economics, a master's degree in Soviet government and politics (1972), and a Ph.D. in Soviet management theory (1978).[10][7]

Career passing statistics

Season Att Comp Int Comp % Yds Yds/Comp TD
1965 66 31 6 47.0 454 14.6 1
1966 225 117 7 52.0 1609 13.8 10
1967 76 33 4 43.4 337 10.2 0
Career total 367 181 17 49.3 2400 13.3 11

Later years

Vidmer later taught at the University of Virginia and served as an advisor to U.S. Congressman Donald A. Bailey, a former Michigan football teammate.[2] He also served as a county commissioner in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He was court-appointed to the county commissioner position in 1985 and elected to the position in November 1987. He became the chairman of the county commissioners.[10] Vidmer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1983 and was forced to retire in 1999.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Rick Stern (November 11, 1966). "'Detonator Dick' a Bomb Thrower Off the Field". The Michigan Daily. p. 9 – via Bentley Historical Library.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jim Cnockaert (2004). Michigan: Where Have You Gone?, pp. 200-204. ISBN 1-58261-771-6.
  3. ^ "1965 Football Team". University of Michigan.
  4. ^ a b "Dick Vidmer Selected As Midwest Back of Week". The Holland Evening Sentinel. October 26, 1966. p. II-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "1966 Football Team". University of Michigan.
  6. ^ Hal Bateman (September 18, 1966). "Vidmer's Passing Paces Michigan to 41-0 Romp". Lansing State Journal. pp. H1, H6 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b c "Richard Vidmer, quarterback". The Michigan Daily. October 30, 1977. pp. 6, 8 – via Bentley Historical Library.
  8. ^ "1967 Football Team". University of Michigan.
  9. ^ "Dick Vidmer". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Who Is Dick Vidmer?". The Valley Independent. October 31, 1991.