Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Herb "Owatonna Thunderbolt" Joesting

Herb "Owatonna Thunderbolt" Joesting


  • Position: Fullback
  • School: Minnesota
  • High School: Owatonna, MN (Owatonna HS)
  • Years: 1925-1927
  • Inducted: 1954
  • Place of Birth: Little Falls, MN
  • Date of Birth: Apr 17, 1905
  • Place of Death: St. Paul, MN
  • Date of Death: Oct 01, 1963
  • Jersey Number: 33
  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 192

Member Biography

Knute Rockne had had enough. The famed Notre Dame coach had seen too much of Minnesota fullback Herb Joesting shredding his Irish defenses for two straight years. In 1927, Joesting's senior season, Rockne looked ahead and proclaimed: "I'll buy a new suit for the guy who can throw Joesting for a loss." Rockne never had to pay off. The Gophers and Irish played to a 7-7 deadlock, and Minnesota went on to finish 6-0-2, and Joesting became the third player from his school to win All-America recognition in consecutive years, matching the feat of fellow Hall of Famer Bert Baston. Joesting was a thundering fullback and Gopher coach Clarence "Doc" Spears built his offense around the powerful runner. The dividends were obvious. Joesting gained 1,850 yards in 24 games for a career average of 4.2 yards a carry. He knew only one way to play the game. "I play each game for all it's worth," he said. "No more can be asked of an athlete than that he goes all out in every situation." Those words struck deepest in the heart of a young Gopher sophomore named Bronko Nagurski, who would be inspired to great performances during the next two seasons. Joesting later became a member of the Motor Vehicle Division of the state of Minnesota.