PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 5-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 1

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1959 Iowa Football Squad

Evashevski, who had been bedridden with the flu, was so drained that he could offer few words of encouragement to his team, though the unstoppable Hawkeyes hardly needed them. Asked later why Iowa won the game, Evy said, "I just put 13 pounds of air in the football and said 'sic 'em.'"

Fullback John Nocera recalled that it was more than hot air that led to the win. "We played a beautiful game, but I was bushed," Nocera said. "I lost 17 pounds during the game. I remember I got into bed after the game and didn't get out until the next morning."

Scoring five of six touchdowns with a running attack, Iowa beat the Bears, 38-12. Jeter was chosen the game's most outstanding player, accumulating 194 yards on nine carries, including an 81-yard race for a touchdown.

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Dick Hyland said "It was a beautiful day, a colorful, exciting game in the Rose Bowl. Few, however could call it a contest.

"Picture if you will a Fred Astaire dancing on a stage with a rival wearing fishing boots."

The football Writers Association of America gave Iowa the Grantland Rice Award, symbolically awarded to the top team in the country, and Randy Duncan became the sixth Hawkeye to be honored as the most valuable player in the Big Ten with the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award.

1959

Some players credited a feud between Coach Evashevski and Athletic Director Paul Brechler as the distraction that kept the Hawkeyes from being as good as they might have been. Iowa had a 5-4 record at season's end.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 8-1-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

Click to enlarge photo

University of Iowa Athletics
1958 Iowa Football Squad

The Rules Committee of the American Football Coaches Association made two changes, stipulating that a man taken out of play could reenter the game only once during any quarter and providing for the two-point conversion after the touchdown.

September 27

Iowa unveiled its new press box, completed prior to the season opener against TCU [Texas Christian University] at a cost of over $490,000—about the same pricetag that the stadium itself had carried in 1929.

On the field, Iowa flogged the Horned Frogs, 17-0.

October 4

The underrated Air Force Falcons stunned the Hawks with a 13-13 tie, knocking the wind from Iowa's sails. "If we had beaten the Air Force," Evashevski commented later, "we never in the world would have won the Big Ten championship."

October 28

United Press ranked Iowa No. 1 in the country, marking the first time Iowa topped a national football poll.

November 1

The Hawkeyes shattered a 34-year jinx to beat Michigan, giving Evashevski his first win over the Wolverines in six tries. Final score: 37-14.

November 8

Clinching the Big Ten title by beating Minnesota, 28-6, the Hawkeyes knew they would be heading for the Rose Bowl. Halfback Bob Jeter couldn't help lamenting, "I'll miss the squirrel season for the first time."

December

ROSE BOWL VIGNETTES

Miss Iowa, an Iowa State College coed, rejected the gown she was supposed to wear in the Tournament of Roses parade, saying it had too much of the "red light district" about it.

The bright gold sequined gown was slit up to the thigh. "I'd never dare go home," Joanne MacDonald said. "They would think the big city had really done its work. If I wore this, they would never have to explain what the term 'the new Iowa' means."

Instead, Miss Iowa selected a floor-length champagne satin gown that had been worn in the coronation scene of the movie Desiree. According to newspaper reports, the dress had "no slits and...only a little décolleté."

The Hawkeye team was less concerned about image. "We were the playboys of the Midwest," halfback Bob Jeter admitted. "We'd finish practice around 4 p.m. and meals were not mandatory. There was a 1 a.m. curfew for the team, but no bed check. As it turned out, a lot of us were coming in late and ducking the coaches."

Then there was Randy Duncan's Christmas wish—a date with Jayne Mansfield. Though he didn't get the date, he did enjoy "a soulful kiss" from the actress at the Big Ten banquet.

Iowa guard Hugh Drake wore a handkerchief over his face during team workouts to fight the Los Angeles smog. Evashevski, who had closed practice to all spectators, told the press, "I try to discover some cause of resentment against any opponent, even if I have to fabricate it."

On this particular occasion, resentment was hard to generate. Evy expected to match coaching wits with Pete Elliott, chief of the California Golden Bears and the brother of Bump Elliott, whom Evy called "my best friend."

At the All-Iowa dinner, Meredith Willson, father of the "Iowa Fight Song," was given a magnificent Iowa hawk. A waiter with a heavy New Jersey accent convulsed the head table when he asked innocently, "What's with the owl?"

Bob Ray, Iowa's faculty representative to the Board of Control of Athletics, noted that "Iowa is the one school in the nation that can play its Homecoming game in the Rose Bowl!" Even Bob Hope agreed. "Take the Iowans out of Long Beach, and all that's left is the roar of the sea!" he said at the Big Ten dinner.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 7-1-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 1

GAME TIME!

Click to enlarge photo

University of Iowa Athletics
1957 Iowa Football Squad

"Hundreds of fans were still making their way to their seats in the huge arena in the Arroyo Seco canyon when the Hawkeyes made the scoreboard lights flash," wrote Brian and Mike Chapman in Evy and the Hawkeyes. Kenny Ploen scooted in for the first of two touchdowns the Hawkeyes would make in the first qauarter.

The foe was Oregon State, the team that Iowa had nipped, 14-13, to start the season. It was the first time the Rose Bowl would offer fans a rematch on New Year's Day.

But the tenor of this game was different. Before the quarter was half over, the Hawkeyes had scored as many points as they managed in the full 60 minutes of their first game with the Beavers.

When the second half began, fans sighed in relief to see Ploen return for the kickoff. The quarterback, who led the team in rushing, passing, and scoring, had been carried to the sideline earlier after over-extending his left knee.

"After halftime," the Hawkeye noted, "Iowa exploded in the form of [Mike] Hagler, who raced 66 yards on a reverse for another Iowa touchdown. In the last period Jim Gibbons scored on a 16-yard pass from Ploen. Bob Prescott kicked all five extra points to make the final score 35-19."

Summing up the action in The Los Angeles Times, Ned Cronin wrote; "What happened was that Oregon State's pigskinners made the mistake of getting caught in the University of Iowa's meat grinder and came out of it looking like a minced beaver."

The game ball was sent to Mrs. Talitha Jones, mother of Iowa's greatly mourned Calvin Jones, to whom the Hawkeyes dedicated their victory.

September 28

With Ploen gone, Randy Duncan moved into the quarterback slot to begin a career that would make him the idol of thousands. But it was Geno Sessi, playing in his first game as a Hawkeye, who became the hero of the hour.

Sessi touched the ball just three times in Iowa's opening game against Utah State, but scored a touchdown each time! Writing for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Gus Schrader called Sessi "two quarts of nitroglycerin in a half-pint bottle."

Final score: 70-14.

1957

Iowa ended the season 7-1-1, falling behind both Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten. The final Associated press poll ranked the Hawkeyes sixth in the country.

After Iowa's victory over Notre Dame on November 23, Iowa guard Frank Bloomquist admitted, "I'm kind of glad it's over. That's a tough way to spend your Saturday afternoons."

Teammate Mike Hagler, a talented halfback, agreed. He had lost a shoe on two occasions during the game with the Fighting Irish because of a short shoestring. "I took off on a run after a pass interception and found out I didn't have a helmet and only one shoe. It's not safe out there like that."

Alex Karras was named the premier lineman in the country following the season. He won the coveted Outland award and was runner-up behind Texas A&M back John Crow for the Heisman.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 9-1-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

April 5

Click to enlarge photo

University of Iowa Athletics
1956 Iowa Football Squad

Evy introduced the Hawkeyes to the wing-T, a balanced-line attack developed by Dave Nelson at Delaware.

Explaining why he decided to hybridize the Iowa offense, the coach later noted that "We had an explosive type backfield and we had the guy who could make the big play in Kenny Ploen."

Fall

Big Ten Skywriters predicted that Iowa, the only team in the conference not to stage an annual spring football game, would end the season near the bottom of the Big Ten, in seventh place.

October 5

About 1,500 loyal Hawkeye supporters met Iowa's first live mascot at a pep rally before the Oregon State game. Governor Leo Hoegh, a fanatic Iowa alumnus, predicted that, with a steely-eyed hawk on the sidelines, the Hawkeyes were sure to go to the Rose Bowl.

October 20

After the Hawks beat the Hawaii Rainbows for their fourth straight victory of the season, Evy was not happy. "We're still not a good ball club," the coach said. "We don't hold onto the ball and slug it out. We're jumping around all over hell's half acre trying to go for a score." A few days later, the coach hadn't seen anything to change his mind. "This is the poorest offensive team I've ever had at Iowa and we'll have to improve greatly to keep winning," he said.

October 27

The Hawks won one more, beating the Boilermakers, 21-20. Purdue quarterback Lenny Dawson later recalled that "the week prior to that 1956 contest, Evy held secret sessions at Iowa. He was an advisor with the Wilson Sporting Goods Company and had his name on a football.

"Everybody else in the Big Ten used the Spalding J5B, but when we went to Iowa we had to use the Wilson ball. When they came to Purdue to play, we figured they'd have to use the Spalding J5B, giving us the advantage. But Evy was crafty.

"He brought his own Wilson ball with him so when they got possession of the ball they'd exchange it for one of their own. Our coaches were infuriated!"

November 3

When the Hawkeyes ran onto the Iowa field to meet Michigan, they had won five consecutive games and were the only team in the conference to stand unbeaten and untied. Evy's alma mater changed that, though, felling the Hawks for a bitterly disappointing loss, 17-14. In addition, seven of Iowa's first 22 men were injured in the game.

November 7

After he'd visited one of Evashevski's mid-week workouts with the squad, University of Iowa President Virgil Hancher commented that "some of the best teaching in the university is done on this field."

November 10

The Iowa coach used a little psychology to rev up the Hawkeyes prior to the game with Minnesota. Challenged by the gatekeeper, who wouldn't let the team into Memorial Stadium without tickets, Evy pushed the passes he held deeper into his pocket and enjoyed a verbal battle with the man.

By the time a multitude of Minnesota officials had been called and clearance awarded the Hawkeyes, the Iowa men were ready for bear. It was a hard-fought game. Tackle Alex Karras was so exhausted by the grueling play he had to be carried from the field, but the Hawks downed the Gophers, 7-0.

November 17

THE GLORY GAME

Though Evy let his wounded team off easy in practice sessions for the Ohio State game, everyone knew that the Buckeyes were looking to beat Iowa for their 18th straight Big Ten win and an unprecedented third consecutive conference crown. Nonetheless, a sign on the dressing room wall communicated Evy's challenge to the Iowa team: "You have 60 minutes to play the game Saturday—and the rest of your life to remember it."

After a nerve-racking first-half standoff, Iowa came back with a relentless ground attack to move well into OSU territory. From the 17-yard line Kenny Ploen let loose with what a Cedar Rapids Gazette writer would call a "17-yard pass to immortality." Jim Gibbons pulled down the high, lazy lob in the end zone.

According to a yearbook account, fans had to be cleared from the field twice before the final gun sounded on the 6-0 Iowa victory. Then the crowd once more streamed onto the field, wrenching both of Iowa's steel goal posts from their moorings in eight feet of concrete. Echoes of "I-O-Wa-Wa!" were heard throughout the town, as the power plant's steam whistle blasted again and again "its delirious approval."

That night University Provost Harvey Davis told students they could take two extra days off at Christmas. Iowa was Rose Bowl bound!

Meanwhile, President Hancher, who had been feeling ill and very tired throughout the game, was admitted to University Hospital, where it was discovered he'd suffered a mild heart attack. The president would spend over two weeks in the hospital and return to work late in January.

December 7

Iowans were saddened to hear that Hawkeye alumnus Cal Jones, who was en route to Pasadena from Vancouver, where he'd played in the Canadian Football League All-Star game, was dead. His plane went down in the mountains of western Canada during a howling windstorm.

December 15

Kenny Ploen was announced the winner of the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player award, just one of the many honors he would win that year.

December

CARAVAN TO CALIFORNIA

"That rare bird, the puff-chested, lusty-throated Iowan, is about to migrate," chirped the alumni magazine. As Loren Hickerson put it, "The valiant Hawkeyes of 1956, these Rugged Ploensmen, these champions of ours have done it," and fans were ready to go along for the ride.

Over 10,000 Iowans would make the trip to Pasadena. Six trains carried students, alumni, the band, and the Scottish Highlanders across the continent, while several thousand more fans drove themselves. According to the Hawkeye, "six thrifty students made the trip on $50 apiece by eliminating sleeping and eating."

The team flew. "When the Hawks landed in Burbank, Calif., Dec. 16," the yearbook noted, "11,000 people were there to greet them. The Iowa delegation made their welcome good by presenting the Tournament of Roses welcoming committee 10 hams and 96 cans of popcorn straight from the Land of Tall Corn."

Feted and fed in California the Hawks had to take some good-natured ribbing, too. "Until you came out here," Bob Hope told the Iowa coach at the Big Ten Dinner of Champions, "I'd always thought Forest Evashevski was a park in Russia!"

And they handed it back. "Pasadena was the most boring town I've ever been in," said the outspoken Alex Karras. "Menopause Manor. I remember one guy on the team got a date. It was me, and she was 67 years old. I guess you could call that a highlight."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 3-5-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

June

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1957 Iowa Football Squad

An article in the Iowa Alumni Review announced the athletic department's new ticket policy favoring "the person who supports the Hawkeyes all the way" by buying season tickets.

Letters decrying the new policy were flowing into the alumni office. A writer who wanted his name withheld offered this deal: "I will pay my membership for the next five years if you can get me four tickets for the Wisconsin game."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 5-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

September 13

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1954 Iowa Football Squad

Sports Illustrated selected the University of Iowa among "the eleven best elevens" in the country. The following week, the magazine noted that "Forest Evashevski's offense is very tough to outguess, but even more important is the renaissance of Iowa spirit."

September 27

THE ANCHOR OF THE HAWKEYE LINE

Calvin Jack "CJ" Jones, elsewhere described as "a bruiser of awesome talent," looked Sports Illustrated readers right in the eye. The Iowa guard had earned the cover treatment by being one of the greatest linemen in the history of football.

Iowa's 1954 "Gridiron Grapevine" press guide touted Jones as "easily the most colorful lineman to enter Big Ten play in the last half century," crediting his "tremendous speed and football 'savvy'" for his effectiveness both on offense and defense.

Writing nearly 20 years later, longtime UI sports information director Eric Wilson noted that "modern platoon football would have spoiled the game for Cal. He had to be in on all the action."

Though Jones broke his wrist before Iowa's opening game with Michigan State in 1954, he insisted on playing all season anyway. In 1955, the year the Hawkeyes faltered to a 3-5-1 record, Jones won the John B. Outland Trophy for being outstanding lineman of the year. According to Wilson, "He made his reputation on his own, without the advantage of playing on a championship team." It was the third year in a row Cal Jones received all-America recognition.

Coach Evashevski paid Jones the ultimate tribute at the end of the 1955 season when he announced that No. 62 would be retired from future use at Iowa. In all of Iowa's football history, only two players have been so honored. The other was No. 24, Nile Kinnick.

November 5

THAT SASSY YOUNG COACH FROM IOWA

The year was a Cadillac one for Evy. Fired-up fans presented him the gold-plated keys to an expensive convertible during Homecoming ceremonies.

The next day The Saturday Evening Post carried a feature-length article called "That Sassy Young Coach from Iowa."

"Forest Evashevski...refuses to be inhibited by the traditional hazards of his trade," wrote Tom Siler. " He either ignores the taboos or meets them head on. Whereas most college coaches nowadays weigh their public utterances as cautiously as do striped-pants diplomats, Evashevski just comes out and says what he thinks...."

The article reported that "Evy stands ready to eliminate spring football entirely, if and when his rivals agree. He sees no necessity for providing tutors for players—'If they can't pass, they have no business in college'—and he frowns on the common practice of segregating the gridders. 'The student and the athlete should be synonymous on the campus,' he says."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 5-3-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

October 24

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1953 Iowa Football Squad

In its premier televised football appearance, Iowa defeated the Indiana Hoosiers, 19-13, before a Homecoming crowd in Iowa City. Fans couldn't tune in to all the action, however, as NBC had devised a program format called "Panorama." Switching back and forth among four different regional games, the network could only telecast the highlights of each contest.

November 14

A GAME OF DROPSY

Because of the scouting prowess of one of Iowa's defensive coaches, Henry "Whitey" Piro, a pack of butterfinger Hawkeyes were able to stop Minnesota's Paul Giel on their home turf. The rub was simple. Piro had noticed that whenever Giel was going to run, he'd fake a pass, and vice versa.

Armed with that knowledge, the Hawks scrambled for the 27-0 victory, playing a game of dropsy that became comic. Going for his first of three touchdowns, Dusty Rice jumped in the air to try to pass, but had to come down with the ball when he saw all the receivers covered.

As Rice landed, he rammed him knee into the football, squirting it out of his hands and ahead of him onto the turf. The Gophers veered off to the right expecting a pass, so Rice picked up the misdirected ball and sprinted into the end zone.

Hawkeye fans howled their good-humored approval, and Evy later played along as Rice's straight man. "It's one of the hardest plays I've ever coached a back to do," he told the press after the game.

November 21

TRICKED BY A FAINTHEARTED NOTRE DAME

After their glorious victory over Minnesota, the Iowa team just barely emerged in the top 20 as ranked by the national wire service polls. They would garner more national attention after meeting Notre Dame, the No. 1 team in the nation.

With the Hawkeyes ahead by a touchdown as the last seconds of the first half ticked away, Notre Dame quarterback Ralph Guglielmi tried to pass for a score. He was unable to find an open receiver and it looked like the clock would run out, when suddenly one of the Fighting Irish screamed and fell to the ground, apparently in pain. The officials stopped the clock with two seconds showing and the Irish came back to score.

Pretty much the same thing happened at the end of the fourth period, only that time two of the Irish hit the dust simultaneously to stop the clock. In the end, Notre Dame tied Iowa 14-14, but lost respect across the country. The win-at-all-costs tactics apparent in the "Fainting Game" angered many.

Speaking to the New York Football Writers Association, sportswriter Grantland Rice was unequivocal: "I considered it a complete violation of the spirit and ethics of the game and was sorry to see Notre Dame, of all teams, using this method. Why...was it allowed? If this violates neither the rules nor the coaching code, let's throw them both out the window. Some people are calling it smart playing. I think it was disgraceful playing."

Back in Iowa, Evashevski was telling fans to celebrate a victory, not a tie. He even parodied a popular poem, saying "When the Great Scorer comes to write against our name, He won't write whether we won or lost, But how come we got gypped by Notre Dame."

Iowa officials couldn't tolerate that kind of sportsmanship and apparently asked Evy to apologize. The coach did at least use the word "sorry" in a statement released by the sports information office:

"I surely don't want to take any credit from this team [Notre Dame], for all afternoon they were able to move the ball well against us. They showed a powerful and balanced attack and the men played with terrific determination.

"I have no complaint. Of course, I am sorry that we did not win after we came so close to doing so."

As Brian and Mike Chapman put it, "The bullish Iowa coach didn't bend to the whip easily."

The Fainting Game ended the season for the Hawkeyes, whom sportswriters voted into ninth place in the national rankings. Only the 1939 Ironmen had earned a top ten spot before. Evashevski was named Coach of the Year by the Detroit Times, got a new ten-year contract at Iowa, and enjoyed the post-season acclaim his players were garnering.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 2-7-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 6

AGAINST THE ODDS

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1952 Iowa Football Squad

Evashevski, having just completed a very successful season as head coach at Washington State College, ended up in the running for two Big Ten jobs. He chose Iowa over Indiana and, at age 33, was offered a $15,000 salary and the chance to make football history for the Hawkeyes.

But the challenge was formidable. A United Press story in mid-January claimed "the odds are dead set against five new football coaches," putting Evy's name at the top of the list. "At least two colleges—Iowa and Pittsburgh—are gaining reputations as coaching graveyards," the wire story declared.

The new coach was undeterred. He spent the next few months recruiting a top-notch coaching staff and building support among fans on the rubber chicken circuit across Iowa. Evashevski admitted the rebuilding would be tough. "I don't know who we'll use this fall," he said, "probably anybody who feels warm."

August

Iowa's freshmen recruiting class represented more out-of-state talent than ever before and included three men from Ohio, affectionately called the Steubenville Trio: Eddie Vincent, Frank Gilliam, and Calvin Jones.

Jones had been bound for Ohio State when he piled into the car with his buddies who were headed for Iowa, prompting a Big Ten investigation that ultimately showed no impropriety on the part of the UI.

Why the switch? Jones reportedly told the commissioner, "I'll tell you why I came out here. They treated my like a white man, and I like it here. I'm going to stay."

October 22

XS AND OS

After opening the season with four consecutive losses, Evashevski was up nights trying to devise a strategy that would lead to a victory. According to Brian and Mike Chapman, authors of Evy and the Hawkeyes: The Glory Years, "It was Evashevski's philosophy that if you couldn't roughly match an opponent's strength, you changed tactics without warning."

Evy told the story in 75 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes: "We had scrimmaged Tuesday before the Ohio game and didn't look good at all. I went to bed tired that night and was drawing circles and x's diagramming play possibilities. I knew we lacked the speed to run outside and I was trying to figure out how we could get an inside attack going.

"I decided that the only thing we could do was to try to spread Ohio State out as far as possible. With the wingback left, by shifting our backfield we could put the core of the offensive strength about three yards over to the right. This would be hard to cope with, from a defensive standpoint."

The 34-year-old coach, already dubbed the "Old Man" by his players, threw out the single wing offense and introduced an unbalanced split-T to the squad on Wednesday.

October 25

DAVID MEETS GOLIATH

"Ohio State's bouncing Bucks" were ranked tenth in the nation and expected their contest with the Hawkeyes to be little more than a scrimmage. "Trusting their over-confidence won't show," wrote Ohio State Journal sports editor Earl Flora, "Coach Woody Hayes' Buckeyes gridders will travel...to Iowa City...intent on making 50,000 Hawkeye Homecoming fans wish they had waited another 25 years before inviting Ohio State back to Iowa stadium.

"Strangers to this territory since 1927, the talented Scarlet and Gray still is expected to explore the foreign yard stripes four to five times more thoroughly than the downtrodden Hawks."

Despite such prognostication, the Hawkeyes held the highly rated Buckeyes to 42 yards on the ground. In the middle of the second quarter, a passel of Hawkeyes jumped on an Ohio State player who had fumbled an Iowa punt across his own goal line for the safety.

Then, poised on Ohio State's three-yard line in the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes used three plays to inch within a foot of the goal. They relied on the new split-T formation exclusively, surprising the Buckeyes when George "Binky" Broeder fought his way over the top for another six points.

The jubilant Hawkeyes hoisted their coach high for his first ride to the Iowa showers. What a day! The 8-0 victory was the first win for any Evashevski team against a Big Ten foe and it was Iowa's first victory after a ten-game string of ties and defeats.

"Put your license plate back on the family auto, citizen," the Sunday Des Moines Register advertised, "for Iowa won a football game Saturday."

Not only that, but Iowa's victory denied the Buckeyes the conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl and marked the end of Woody Hayes' reliance on a passing offense. From then on out, Hayes would depend on his famous "three yards and a cloud of dust"-style play.

November 1

The following weekend, the Hawkeyes traveled to Minnesota for a grueling contest against the Gophers and running back Paul Giel. Though the game-end stats showed the Hawks to be the dominating contender, Iowa lost the game, 17-7, after a few critical mistakes in the second half.

When the Gophers came calling for Floyd, Evashevski grinned, telling team manager Bill Steele, "Give it to them, Bill, but make sure you hand it to them back end first!"

1952

Iowa ended the season with a 2-7 record, but gained the respect of fans and sportswriters, who had come to refer to the team as the "Fighting Hawks."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Leonard RaffenspergerRecord: 2-5-2 Audio: Audio Video: Video

Spring

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1951 Iowa Football Squad

With the country embroiled in the Korean War, Big Ten officials agreed to make freshmen immediately eligible for intercollegiate competition. They also renewed the conference's agreement with the Rose Bowl, stipulating that no Big Ten school would be allowed to appear in the Pasadena game more than once in any two-year period.

1951

After two years on the job, Raffensperger's slate showed a tally of five wins, ten losses, and three ties. Described as big and powerful, determined and sincere, "Raff," said one of his better players, "was one of...the finest gentlemen I've ever known. This was probably his biggest weakness; he was not hard enough on us."

Despite any softness from his coach, fullback Bill Reichardt emerged from the Hawkeyes' 1951 season with the Chicago Tribune Sliver Football. Though Iowa did not win a conference game in 1951, the burly Reichardt was judged to be the most valuable player in the Big Ten. During his three-year career, Reichardt totalled 1,691 yards rushing and kicked a record 51 of 63 extra points.

December 8

Paul Brechler, Iowa's athletic director, met with Michigan's Fritz Crisler in Chicago to discuss the future of Hawkeye football. Though no decision had been made to change coaches, the athletic board was determined to help Iowa climb out of the Big Ten's football cellar.

Crisler was sure that one of his former players, quarterback Forest Evashevski, could do the job, but he qualified his endorsement by adding, "He's a tough stubborn Pollack and you might have to put reins on him."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Leonard RaffenspergerRecord: 3-5-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 28

Click to enlarge photo

University Archives
1950 Iowa Football Squad

After the Board in Control hesitated to respond to his request for tenure, Coach Eddie Anderson resigned his post at Iowa to return to Holy Cross. The coach who had led the Ironmen to such glorious heights in 1939 won exactly half of the 70 games he coached at Iowa.

Shortly afterwards, the Board in Control of Athletics named former Hawkeye lineman Leonard Raffensperger, an assistant coach at Iowa, to the head job.

November 4

Iowa marred a Gopher Homecoming by beating Minnesota at home for the first time since 1921. Final score: 13-0.

December 31

Challenged by Cedar Rapids Gazette writer Les Zacheis to come up with "a spirited, swinging state song," Mason City native Meredith Willson—famous author and composer of The Music Man—wrote the "Iowa Fight Song." It was introduced on the Tallulah Bankhead radio show on New Year's Eve and made its debut before a college audience at the Iowa-Indiana basketball game on February 12, 1951.

An adopted son of the University of Iowa, Willson was named the first honorary life member of the UI Alumni Association.