Widenhofer, who passed away Sunday at age 77 in Colorado Springs, Colo., after a series of recent strokes, played linebacker at Missouri from 1961-64. His overall record as a head coach was 27-71-1.
After spending short stints as an assistant at Michigan State, Eastern Michigan and Minnesota, Widenhofer found a home and coaching success with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Widenhofer won four Super Bowls as a defensive assistant with the Steelers.
Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement following the passing of Widenhofer, who spent almost 40 years in coaching that included 11 seasons on Pittsburgh's coaching staff. "Woody played an important role coaching our famed Steel Curtain defense when he helped us win four Super Bowls in the 1970s". He served as the Pittsburgh Steelers' linebackers coach from 1973-78, then was promoted to defensive coordinator from 1979-83.
"A local native of Butler, Woody will be missed by those who knew him and played under him".
Widenhofer, who played high school football in Riverview, Mich., spent the 1984 season as the head coach of the USFL's Oklahoma Outlaws before coming to Missouri.
Widenhofer retired from coaching in 2007 after three years as the defensive coordinator at New Mexico State. The Outlaws were 6-12 that season. With their younger defenders complementing the ability of Lambert, Ham, defensive linemen Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Dwight White, and defensive backs Mel Blount, Donnie Shell, Ron Johnson, J.T. Thomas, and Mike Wagner, Widenhofer's defense boasted the league's fifth-best scoring defense that season while helping the Steelers capture their second straight AFC crown.
He was the Commodores' defensive coordinator from 1995-96 before taking over as head coach and compiling a 15-40 record from 1997-2001.