Ed Molinski came just after the time of eligibility to make this list. He was teammates with Tennessee football legends Bowden Wyatt, George Cafego, Abe Shires, Bob Foxx and the only three-time All-American in school history, Bob Suffridge.
Of all these guys, though, only Cafego and Suffridge were as decorated as Molinski. And both of those guys went on to play in the NFL. So that puts Molinski, a two-time All-American, as the legend of legends on this list from that time period.
Anchoring both the defensive and offensive lines, Molinski was the key for Tennessee winning constantly in the trenches, which Gen. Robert Neyland prided himself on. And in the process of doing that, he was the most important pice to the greatest run in the history of the program.
We’re talking, of course, of the three-year period from 1938 to 1940 in which the Vols went 31-2 and never lost a regular season game. They went undefeated, untied and unscored on in the regular season of 1939 and could easily be considered for three straight national championships during that time. Technically, they claim two.
Molinski’s play is a huge reason for that, and it makes him one of the greatest Vols of all time. One of the most competitive and athletic players in school history, he never did go pro. He enjoyed a professional career in Memphis and practiced medicine for the rest of his life. But he was still a legend and part of a legendary time in Knoxville.