Longtime coach wins John Gagliardi award

George Wemeier
George Wemeier

Waconia native George Wemeier has had a long and decorated football career.

A member of the first Waconia High School Hall of Fame, the 1948 graduate has left his mark on football programs across the state ever since.

In a few days, Wemeier will be awarded the 2014 John Gagliardi Football Legacy Award at the Minnesota Football Honors Awards Event on May 4 in Minneapolis. The award comes from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The awards event, in its seventh year, will be presented by the Minnesota Vikings.

Wemeier has a long and decorated football history, both as a player and later as a coach.

After graduating from Waconia High School in 1948, Wemeier went on to a four-year collegiate football career at Macalaster College in St. Paul, earning All-Conference honors twice for his defensive skills. He was later inducted into the Macalaster Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

After college, Wemeier spent two years in the military, before accepting a teaching and coaching position at Braham High School in the mid 1950s.

He went on to serve as an assistant coach at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis for nine seasons, before becoming head coach at Minneapolis Washburn in 1966.

He resurrected the Washburn program in his 13 years there, leading the Millers to four Mythical State Championships, six Twin City Championships, eight Minneapolis City Conference championships, the inaugural Class AA football title at the first Minnesota State Football Championships in 1972, and a second Class AA title in 1977.

Four of Wemeier’s Washburn players went on to play Division I football, eight more played Division II, and more than 20 entered into D3 collegiate football programs.

In his 13 seasons, Wemeier led his Millers to a 131-33-2 overall record, including a streak of 60 games without a loss, including a 46 consecutive game win-streak, which set a state record.  His tenure at Washburn would get him inducted into that school’s Hall of Fame in 2007 as well as the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

From Washburn, Wemeier moved up to the University of Minnesota in 1984, working under Lou Holtz and John Gutekunst. He went on to Augsburg College in 1992, and the University of St. Thomas in 2005, taking assistant coaching positions at both schools. In 2007, Weiemer returned to his Millers, serving as an offensive coordinator.

Wemeier will be just the third recipient of the John Gagliardi Football Legacy Award, after it began in 2012. Gagliardi and Wemeier were longtime friends who for years, would hold a summer football camp at St. John’s University, where Gagliardi coached.

Wemeier and his wife, Sue, currently reside in Waconia.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]