1958

Randy DuncanThe 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. Listen to the audio highlights of Jim Zabel from this unforgettable game.

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.

Copyright 2009

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Gridiron Glory - 100 + Years of Iowa Hawkeye Football