William Martin (Willie) Heston
College Football Hall of Fame
U of M Athletic Hall of Honor
William Martin “Willie” Heston
University of Michigan Football Player (1901 – 1904)
Willie Heston was born in Galesburg, Illinois and after several family moves he began to attend Grants Pass High School and his athletic talent began to blossom. Heston enrolled in San Jose State Normal School, now known as San Jose State University where his running ability led the team to great seasons. In 1901 at the request of newly hired head coach, Fielding Yost, Heston attended the University of Michigan as a law student. As a two-way player on Yost’s “Point-a-Minute” teams, Heston was a dominating force (scoring somewhere between 72 – 100 touchdowns) in the Wolverines four- year record of 43 – 0 – 1, outscoring opponents 2,326 to 40 while earning All-American honors for multiple seasons. Heston broke a bone in his leg in a professional game ending his career. He would go on to coach for two seasons at the college level, before embarking on his legal career. He served as an assistant prosecuting attorney before becoming a judge in Detroit Recorder’s court. Willie Heston was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1979 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. He passed away on September 9, 1963 at 85 years of age.