Rob Houghtlin
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-01-04) January 4, 1965 (age 56)
Place of birth: Winnetka, Illinois
High School: New Trier (IL)
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
College: Iowa
Undrafted in 1988
Debuted in 1989 for the Chicago Bruisers
Last played in 1989 for the Chicago Bruisers
Career history
* Atlanta Falcons ( 1988)*
*Offseason and/or practice roster member only
Roster status: Retired
Career highlights and awards
FG Made     0
FG Att     12
PAT Made     15
PAT Att     23
Stats at

Rob Houghtlin (January 4, 1965 in Winnetka, Illinois) was a kicker for the University of Iowa’s football team from 1985 to 1987. He made four game-winning field goals in his career, the most memorable of which led Iowa to a victory over Michigan in 1985.

Early life

Rob Houghtlin attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He played for one season at Miami University before transferring to the University of Iowa.[1] He walked on to the football team as a sophomore before the 1985 season.

Houghtlin success with dramatic, game winning kicks began at an early age. With less than a minute to play, his Winnetka Chief 8th grade football team marched 92 yard to tie the Antioch in the Northern Illinois championship. Forgoing the traditional one point run, Winnetka chose to kick for two points. In large part due to a near snap, Houghtlin was perfect on the game winning two point kick as time expired.

In 1982, his senior high school seson. Houghtlin was considered one of the best kickers in the state of Illinoiis. Facing fiece rival Evanston High School in the state quarterfinals, Houghtlin kicked a 50-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to end Evanston's playoff run. In addition to kicking, he also played defensive back throughout his high school career.

College career

On October 19, 1985, the Iowa Hawkeyes were ranked #1 in the nation, while the Michigan Wolverines were ranked #2. Michigan came to Iowa City for a rare matchup of the top two teams in the nation. Iowa trailed, 10-9, with two seconds to play in the game. Rob Houghtlin kicked a 29-yard field goal from the right hash mark as time expired to give Iowa a 12-10 win.[2] Later that season, he made a 25-yard field goal as time ran out to beat Purdue, 27-24.[3] Houghtlin was an all-Big Ten selection after his sophomore season.

As a junior in 1986, he missed a 52-yard field goal at the end of a 27-27 tie game against Minnesota. However, a Minnesota penalty gave Houghtlin another opportunity, and he made a 37-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Gophers, 30-27.[4] Iowa’s final game that year was the 1986 Holiday Bowl against San Diego State. Iowa trailed, 38-36, with four seconds remaining. Chuck Hartlieb caught a high snap, and Rob Houghtlin kicked a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give Iowa a 39-38 victory.[5]

Houghtlin was again an all-Big Ten selection as a senior in 1987. He left Iowa as the school’s all-time leader in field goals and points.[6]

Professional career

Houghtlin played one season in the Arena Football League with the Chicago Bruisers in 1989 before retiring. That same year, Iowa fans selected an all-time University of Iowa football team during the 100th anniversary celebration of Iowa football, and Houghtlin was selected as the team’s kicker.[7]


  1. Silver anniversary of “The Kick”
  2. Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow, Page 174 (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)
  3. L.A. Times article
  4. Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow, Page 179 (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)
  5. L.A. Times article
  6. Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow, Page 179 (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)
  7. Iowa All-Time team
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