Iowa Hawkeyes
AmericanFootball current event.svg.png Current season
First season 1889
Athletic director Gary Barta
Head coach Kirk Ferentz
Home stadium Kinnick Stadium
Stadium capacity 70,585
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Iowa City, Iowa
League NCAA Division I
Conference Big Ten
Division Legends
Past conferences Independent (1889–1891; 1897–1899)
Western Interstate University Football Association (1892–1896)
Missouri Valley (1907–1908)
All-time record 581–512–39
Postseason bowl record 14–10–1
Claimed national titles 1
Conference titles 11
Heisman winners 1
Consensus All-Americans 20
Current uniform
Colors Black and Gold            
Fight song Iowa Fight Song
Mascot Herky the Hawk
Marching band Hawkeye Marching Band
Rivals Iowa State Cyclones
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Wisconsin Badgers
Website Iowa Hawkeyes football

The Iowa Hawkeyes football team is the interscholastic football team at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. The Hawkeyes have competed in the Big Ten Conference since 1900, and are currently a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Beginning in 2011, Iowa will compete in the Big Ten's Legends Division.

History Edit

Football was first played as a club sport at Iowa in 1872, with intramural games against other colleges played as early as 1882, but it was not until 1889 that the University of Iowa first officially recognized a varsity football team. In 1899, Iowa completed its first undefeated football season, which led to an invitation to join the Western Conference, now known as the Big Ten Conference, the following year. In 1900, the Hawkeyes secured another undefeated season and won a share of the Western Conference title in their first year in the league.

Iowa claimed consecutive Big Ten titles in 1921 and 1922. The Hawkeyes won 20 straight games in the early 1920s under the guidance of Hall of Fame coach Howard Jones. Jones soon left Iowa and established a powerhouse at Southern California, and the Hawkeyes were abysmal for most of the 1930s. As a result, little was expected of Iowa’s 1939 team, led by new coach Eddie Anderson. Nicknamed the “Ironmen”, the 1939 Hawkeyes scored several upset victories and vaulted into the national rankings. Though Iowa fell a game short of the Big Ten title, team MVP Nile Kinnick won almost every major national award, including the 1939 Heisman Trophy.

Forest Evashevski was hired as Iowa’s head coach in 1952. He lured Calvin Jones to Iowa, where Jones became the first Hawkeye – and the first African-American – to win the Outland Trophy in 1955. From 1956 to 1960, Evashevski led Iowa to four finishes in the top five of the national rankings, three Big Ten Conference titles, two Rose Bowl victories, and the 1958 FWAA national championship. After the 1960 season, Evashevski left coaching to become Iowa’s athletic director. The result was nineteen consecutive non-winning seasons for the Hawkeyes from 1962 to 1980.

Four head coaches after Evashevski were hired and left without success. Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry was hired after the 1978 season to try to reverse Iowa’s fortunes. After decades of losing, Fry revived the Iowa program. In 20 years at Iowa, he led the Hawks to 14 bowl games, three Big Ten titles, and three Rose Bowl appearances. Fry retired in 1998, turning the program over to former assistant Kirk Ferentz. Ferentz led Iowa to three consecutive top ten finishes from 2002 to 2004 and two Big Ten titles. The Hawkeyes have played in eight bowl games in the past nine seasons and in 22 bowl games over the last 29 seasons. Iowa has cracked the top 25 at the end of the season five times during the Kirk Ferentz era - No. 8 in 2002–04, No. 20 in 2008, and No. 7 in 2009. Iowa will begin its 122nd season of football, and its 111th season in the Big Ten, in 2010.

Notable seasons Edit

Season records Edit

The Hawkeyes began playing football as a club sport in 1872, and began playing intramural games against other colleges in 1882, but it was not until 1889 when Iowa challenged Grinnell College to an interscholastic varsity football game. Since then, the Hawkeyes have played over 1,000 games, including 24 bowl games.

Current team Edit

The 2010 season began with Iowa in the top ten in the national rankings. Despite a non-conference road loss to Arizona and a 31-30 defeat by Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes were in Big Ten title contention until November. Iowa began the season with a 7-2 record, highlighted by a 37-6 victory over previously unbeaten and #5 ranked Michigan State. But the Hawkeyes faded down the stretch, losing their last three games and dropping out of the national rankings. Iowa completed the 2010 regular season with a 7-5 record and are bowl eligible for the tenth straight season. The Hawkeyes defeated the Missouri Tigers 27-24 in the 2010 Insight Bowl on December 28 in Tempe, AZ.

National championships Edit

Iowa finished the 1958 regular season ranked #2 in the AP poll, behind 11–0 LSU, although that vote was taken before the bowl games. Iowa convincingly won the 1959 Rose Bowl, 38–12, setting or tying six Rose Bowl records. The Football Writers Association of America, arguably the most prestigious organization at the time to vote on a national champion after the bowls were played, gave their national championship trophy, the Grantland Rice Award, to Iowa.

Year Coach Selector Record Bowl Game
1958 Forest Evashevski Football Writers Association of America 8–1–1 Rose Bowl

Conference championships Edit

Iowa has won 12 major conference championships in school history. Iowa was a member of the Western Interstate University Football Association prior to joining the Western Conference, now known as the Big Ten, in 1900. Iowa currently claims 11 Big Ten Conference championships:

Year Coach Conference Record Overall Record Outright/Shared Bowl Game
1896 Alfred E. Bull 3–0–1 7–1–1 Outright
1900 Alden Knipe 2–0–1 7–0–1 Shared
1921 Howard Jones 5–0–0 7–0–0 Outright
1922 Howard Jones 5–0–0 7–0–0 Shared
1956 Forest Evashevski 5–1–0 9–1–0 Outright Won Rose Bowl
1958 Forest Evashevski 5–1–0 8–1–1 Outright Won Rose Bowl
1960 Forest Evashevski 5–1–0 8–1–0 Shared
1981 Hayden Fry 6–2–0 8–4–0 Shared Lost Rose Bowl
1985 Hayden Fry 7–1–0 10–2–0 Outright Lost Rose Bowl
1990 Hayden Fry 6–2–0 8–4–0 Shared Lost Rose Bowl
2002 Kirk Ferentz 8–0–0 11–2–0 Shared Lost Orange Bowl
2004 Kirk Ferentz 7–1–0 10–2–0 Shared Won Capital One Bowl
11-time Big Ten Champions

Appearances in the final Associated Press Poll Edit

Iowa has made 284 appearances in the Associated Press poll over 36 seasons, including 112 weeks in the top 10.[1] Iowa has finished the year ranked in the final Associated Press poll of the season 21 times:

Year Ranking Record
1939 96–1–1
1953 95–3–1
1956 38–1
1957 67–1–1
1958 27–1–1
1960 38–1
1981 188–4
Year Ranking Record
1983 149–3
1984 168–4–1
1985 1010–2
1986 169–3
1987 1610–3
1990 188–4
1991 10 10–1–1
Year Ranking Record
1995 25 8–4
1996 18 9–3
2002 8 11–2
2003 8 10–3
2004 8 10–2
2008 20 9–4
2009 7 11–2

Bowl games Edit

Iowa has appeared in 25 bowl games, including 23 bowl games the past 30 seasons. In bowl games, Iowa has a 14-10-1 record:

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
January 1, 1957 Rose Bowl W Oregon State 35 19
January 1, 1959 Rose Bowl W California 38 12
January 1, 1982 Rose Bowl L Washington 0 28
December 31, 1982 Peach Bowl W Tennessee 28 22
December 30, 1983 Gator Bowl L Florida 6 14
December 16, 1984 Freedom Bowl W Texas 55 17
January 1, 1986 Rose Bowl L UCLA 28 45
December 30, 1986 Holiday Bowl W San Diego State 39 38
December 30, 1987 Holiday Bowl W Wyoming 20 19
December 31, 1988 Peach Bowl L North Carolina State 23 28
January 1, 1991 Rose Bowl L Washington 34 46
December 30, 1991 Holiday Bowl T BYU 13 13
December 31, 1993 Alamo Bowl L California 3 37
December 29, 1995 Sun Bowl W Washington 38 18
December 29, 1996 Alamo Bowl W Texas Tech 27 0
December 31, 1997 Sun Bowl L Arizona State 7 17
December 29, 2001 Alamo Bowl W Texas Tech 19 16
January 2, 2003 Orange Bowl L Southern California 17 38
January 1, 2004 Outback Bowl W Florida 37 17
January 1, 2005 Capital One Bowl W LSU 30 25
January 2, 2006 Outback Bowl L Florida 24 31
December 29, 2006 Alamo Bowl L Texas 24 26
January 1, 2009 Outback Bowl W South Carolina 31 10
January 5, 2010 Orange Bowl W Georgia Tech 24 14
December 28, 2010 Insight Bowl W Missouri 27 24
Total 25 Bowl Games 14-10-1 627 574

Individual honors Edit

Over the course of the team's history, individual Hawkeye players of exceptional ability have received many accolades. Iowa has had several players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and Iowa Sports Hall of Fame. Individual Hawkeyes have won many prestigious national awards, including the Outland Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Award, Doak Walker Award, and the Heisman Trophy. 92 Hawkeyes have been named a first-team or second-team All-American, and 22 have been named consensus first-team All-Americans.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had ten players win the Big Ten Most Valuable Player Award, and 219 Hawks have earned All-Big Ten recognition. Iowa has had 229 NFL draft picks, and several former Hawkeye players have gone on to become NFL head coaches or Division I college head coaches.

Only two numbers have ever been retired by the Hawkeye football program, Nile Kinnick's #24 and Cal Jones' #62. Kinnick won the University of Iowa's only Heisman Trophy in 1939, while Jones was the first African-American to win the Outland Trophy in 1955.

Kinnick Stadium Edit

Kinnick Stadium, formerly known as Iowa Stadium, is the home stadium of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa. It opened as Iowa Stadium in 1929; prior to that time, Iowa played its home games at Iowa Field. Iowa Stadium was renamed Kinnick Stadium in 1972 in honor of Nile Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner and the only Heisman winner in university history, who died in service during World War II. It currently holds up to 70,585 people, making it the 27th largest college football stadium in America and the 86th largest sports stadium in the world.

Traditions Edit

Trophy games Edit

The Hawkeyes play three annual rivalry trophy games. By far, Iowa's oldest rivalry trophy is Floyd of Rosedale, which has been awarded to the winner of the Iowa-Minnesota game every season since 1935.

Iowa plays Iowa State for the Cy-Hawk Trophy, which was created when the Iowa-Iowa State series resumed in 1977. Iowa has played Wisconsin for the Heartland Trophy since 2004. Starting in 2011, the Hawkeyes and Badgers will no longer compete every year since they are in opposite divisions. Iowa's new top rival is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. While the matchup has no trophy named yet, these two teams will compete in the final regular-season game each season on the Friday after Thanksgiving.[2]

Songs Edit

Iowa's official fight song is the Iowa Fight Song which is sung by the marching band and the fans. Iowa's school song is On Iowa. Iowa also plays a third fight song, entitled Roll Along Iowa. After victories the band plays "In Heaven There Is No Beer".

Mascot Edit

Iowa's mascot is Herky the Hawk, a black and gold caricature of a Hawk. Herky was created as a cartoon in 1948, and first appeared at a sporting event in 1959.

Hawkeye Marching Band Edit

Originally founded in 1881, the Hawkeye Marching Band now performs at all Iowa Hawkeye home football games. The band also travels with the team to usually one away game per year and any post-season bowl games.

Logos and uniforms Edit

In 1979, Hayden Fry helped to create the Tigerhawk, the logo seen on Iowa's football helmets. Since both teams shared the colors of black and gold, Fry gained permission from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the dominant NFL program of the 1970s, to overhaul Iowa’s uniforms in the Steelers’ image. Fry's idea was that if the team were going to act like winners, they first needed to dress like winners. Fry had originally asked Steelers Defensive Tackle "Mean" Joe Greene for a replica helmet and home jersey; Greene was able to send Fry to one of the team owners, and three days later, the owners sent Fry reproduction copies of the home and away uniform of Steeler Quarterback Terry Bradshaw, making Iowa one of only a few schools to use the uniform scheme of an NFL team. Although the uniforms appear the same, there are subtle differences, mainly in the scheme of the white away jerseys, the Steeler jerseys have the players names in yellow, while the Hawkeyes use black.

The Hawkeyes have twice removed the Tigerhawks, and the single gold stripe from their game helmets as a symbolic gesture of mourning. The first instance was on November 2, 1991, in recognition of the six victims of a fatal campus shooting. The second occasion was for a December 29, 1996, appearance in the Alamo Bowl. It served to commemorate the family of linebacker Mark Mitchell, who were involved in a fatal vehicle accident while en route to the game. The accident resulted in the death of Mitchell's mother and severe injuries to his father and two brothers.[3] Both games resulted in Iowa victories.

Gameday traditions Edit

  • The Swarm

Hayden Fry introduced "the swarm" upon his arrival at Iowa in 1979. When entering Kinnick Stadium, players jog slowly onto the field, hands locked and with the captains in front. It is designed to show the team's unity as they take the field as a group.

  • I-O-W-A

The Hawkeye team is led onto the field by four giant black and gold flags, spelling I-O-W-A. Each flag then moves to the four corners of the field. After every Hawkeye touchdown, fans in the four corners of the field, initially aided by the flags, spell out I-O-W-A.

  • Hawkeye Victory Polka

After every Hawkeye victory, the Hawkeye Marching Band plays the Hawkeye Victory Polka, the band's adaptation of the polka song, "In Heaven There Is No Beer". Many Hawkeye fans sing along as well. After losses, only the Iowa Fight Song is played.

  • Back In Black

Before the Hawkeyes enter the field, the stadium plays "Back in Black" by AC/DC and the video board shows the Hawkeye football players walking from the locker room to the field entrance.

  • Enter Sandman

The Hawkeyes enter the field to the song Enter Sandman by Metallica. The big screen shows Iowa's equipment semi running into the opposing team's logo as the Hawks swarm onto the field.

  • Imperial March

The Hawkeye Marching Band will perform the Imperial March after the defense forces a 4th down, while the fans clap in an up and down motion, imitating the beak of a Hawk chomping.

  • Hell's Bells

When the defense on the field during 3rd down, The beginning of AC/DC's Hell's Bells is played to incite a reaction from the fans.


  • 75 Years With The Fighting Hawkeyes, by Bert McCrane & Dick Lamb (ASIN: B0007E01F8)
  • 25 Years With The Fighting Hawkeyes, 1964–1988, by Al Grady (ASIN: B0006ES3GS)
  • Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)
  • University of Iowa Football, by Chuck Bright (ISBN 0-87397-233-3)

External linksEdit

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