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Former Carroll College lineman Bryan Wiedmeier passes away at 57 - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Former Carroll College lineman Bryan Wiedmeier passes away at 57

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Former Carroll College offensive lineman and executive vice president of the Cleveland Browns Bryan Wiedmeier passed away Tuesday. He was 57.

Wiedmeier was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in October of 2012 and was given only 15 months to live. He would go on to live nearly four years after the initial diagnosis.

A 35-year veteran of the NFL, Wiedmeier served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Miami Dolphins, after operating as Executive Vice President and CEO. He spent 29 years with the Dolphins.

During his six years with the Browns he helped lead the way for the team’s $125 million worth of renovations at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam released a statement on Weidmeier’s passing:

“It’s with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Bryan Wiedmeier. We were very fortunate to have gotten to know him during our time with the Browns. Bryan truly is a special person, exactly the type of person you want in your organization and on a personal level as a friend. He would always put others before himself and we always valued his opinion because of his vast experience in the league. We had the opportunity to spend some time with Bryan and his family last week and were really moved by his spirit at this most difficult time. He loved his family and will be sorely missed. Our sympathy goes out to Mary and his family.”

Wiedmeier was a center on the 1978 Carroll College football team, which was inducted into the Fighting Saints hall of fame in 2005. Current Carroll coach Mike Van Diest had never met Wiedmeier in person, but the two had conversations on the phone multiple times.

“He was very humble,” said Van Diest. “He was a very humble person to talk to and I think he epitomizes the type of player that Bob Petrino coached in his 28 years here. He was a hard-nosed player, very team oriented, he played wherever they needed him and they had a great team in 1978 – undefeated and went to the playoffs. I think the first team from Carroll College that went to the playoffs.

“I think Bryan was very well respected, not only by his teammates but he ended up in the NFL so he had to make a great impression on somebody.”

Wiedmeier is one of many athletes who have helped shape the Carroll football program into the powerhouse it is today. Van Diest says the history of the Fighting Saints is something he wishes could be passed on to this generation of players.

“I wish there was more of a bridge between this generation and Petrino’s teams,” he said. “They know of them but they don’t know enough of them. We had the 100thyear reunion a couple years ago and the celebration there – it was nice to see the players that came back. … They got to meet a number of them but I wish there was some way we could have an all-century reunion again sometime.

“There’s a lot of history here and I think it’s important that the current players know what it took during the 28 years Coach Petrino was here, certainly when Coach Jones came from Notre Dame, Coach (John) Gagliardi was here in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Football certainly wasn’t invented in the last 15 or 16 years and there’s some great history here.”

Wiedmeier’s athletic accomplishments were well-documented on the 1978 team – which is believed to be the first Carroll College team to qualify for the postseason – but it was his work off the field that many will remember.

He is also one of many Fighting Saints to continue their post-Carroll careers in athletics.

“Carroll College has a great reputation, not just amongst the colleges at this level but at Division I everyone knows who Carroll College is because of football and the success of our other athletic teams and our academic programs,” Van Diest said. “I don’t care where you go, Carroll College has a great reputation, a great name and the student-athletes that leave here are certainly deserving of those honors.”

Wiedmeier held a decorated career behind the scenes of the NFL. He was a member of numerous NFL committees and was an original member of the NFL management council’s working club executive committee.

During his time with the Dolphins, the team appeared in the Super Bowl twice.

Wiedmeier is survived by his wife, Mary, and their five children.

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