Don Widmer graduated from Manteca High School in l966. Don was an outstanding student-athlete in both football and wrestling. He was an All-League football player his senior season and was also named the “Most Valuable Player” of the league. He was named First Team to the All Northern California team and he went on to play in the North-South Shrine game. He won back-to-back Northern California Wrestling titles, and during his senior season, was undefeated and named “Most Outstanding Wrestler” in the Section. He had a 67-match winning streak and, during his junior and senior years, allowed only four points to be scored against him. Don was recruited by numerous schools during his senior year, including Stanford, where he was recruited by then coach, Bill Walsh, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah State, Colorado State, and the Air Force Academy. He accepted a full-ride scholarship to UCLA.
In college, Don started as linebacker for the Bruins, beginning in his sophomore year. Don received numerous awards at UCLA in both football and wrestling, including “Most Improved Player” in football and “Most Valuable Wrestler.” Don graduated from UCLA in l970.
After college, Don returned to his hometown and was instrumental in the development of the Manteca Cowboys Youth Football organization, which he coached from l975-l979. He has also been active in the South County Police Bowl, the Bacon Bash, Ripon High School Football, Lathrop Steelers, Swiss Wrestling through the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club and the Sierra High School Athletic Boosters in 2010.
Don is married and, with his wife, Kim, has raised three boys, who have followed in his footsteps as football players and wrestlers —Raymond, Grant and Lucas. It is an honor to induct Don Widmer into the Manteca Hall of Fame in the field of Athletics.