PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Ray NagelRecord: 5-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video



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University Archives
1969 Hawkeye Football Squad

The volatile issue of civil rights made headlines for the football team. On April 2, Nagel announced that two black players would not participate in spring practice because of "personal problems." Though Nagel did not identify what those problems were, it is known that one player was having trouble meeting academic expectations, while the other had written bad checks.

Two weeks later, following reminders by the coach that unexcused absences from scheduled practices would result in dismissal from the squad, 16 black players failed to show up for the first drill. Nagel immediately declared the men "off the team."

Within days, a newly formed Black Athletes Union presented an open letter to the public:

"It has been stated that the university has an integrated football team and an integrated community. We maintain that this is not completely true...

"Brought into focus here is the slave-master relationship. The black athlete, for example, is the gladiator who performs in the arena for the pleasure of the white masses....

"When Jesse Owens resisted the white pig-master following the 1936 Olympics, he was stripped of his athletic standing and allowed only to race horses. Psychologically emasculated, he represents no challenge. Today, the black athlete will not accept the same treatment."

The painful rhetoric of the 1960s cut like a knife through Iowa's football program. Ultimately, the university and the Big Ten responded positively to nearly all the black athletes' requests concerning academic counseling and scholarship support.

In August, after the issue simmered unresolved all summer, Nagel insisted that each of the boycotted players make an independent appeal to the team for reinstatement. Seven of the 12 men who requested to return to the squad were voted back.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Ray NagelRecord: 5-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

November 2

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University Archives
Coleman Lane gets mobbed by happy teammates after he intercepts an Oregon State pass and virtually assures a Hawkeye victory.

After four consecutive seasons sitting in last place in the conference, the Hawkeyes were hungry for victory. They devoured the Gophers, 35-28, bringing Floyd home for the first time in five years. The victory was Iowa's first win on the road in 16 attempts.

November 23

Following Iowa's 37-13 victory over Illinois, jubilant players carried Nagel and his assistants off the field. The 5-5 season was the best the Hawkeyes had seen in five years.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Ray NagelRecord: 1-8-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
The 1967 Hawkeyes take the field

With his winged-T offense established, Coach Nagel hoped this would be a comeback year for Iowa. But, after beating Texas Christian University (24-9) in the season opener at home, the downhill slide began. As Al Grady put it in 25 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes, Iowa's "...defense was awful, giving up almost four touchdowns and 400 yards every Saturday."

Instead of "moving up" from its 2-8 record in 1966, the team actually slipped a little, ending 1967 with a 1-8-1 record.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Ray NagelRecord: 2-8-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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University Archives
The 1966 Hawkeye Football Squad

The new coaching staff installed a new offense, something they called "the winged-T with a split end." Speaking about it, Coach Nagel said, "I am a firm believer in the threat of run or pass." Rather than having the quarterback drop back to pass, the coach wanted him to roll out with the option of either throwing or running.

Beating out upperclassmen for the job, sophomore Ed Podolak, a kid from Atlantic, Iowa, seemed to be Nagel's choice to quarterback the team.

September 17

At Iowa's opening game with Arizona, sophomore quarterback Ed Podolak made an impressive debut, running for two touchdowns and passing for another. The Iowa win would count as one of two victories in Ray Nagel's first season at the helm of Hawkeye football.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Jerry BurnsRecord: 1-9-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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University Archives
The 1965 Hawkeye Football Squad

Things looked great for the Hawkeyes. Snook was returning, as was Karl Noonan, one of the country's top receivers, and John Niland, a pre-season all-American at offensive guard. Playboy magazine predicted Iowa would end the season at the top nationally and named Burns as its coach of the year.

September 18

For the first time in a dozen years, Iowa lost its season opener. In a game full of errors, the Washington State Cougars held on for the 7-0 victory.

October 16

Quarterback Snook, who had a party boy reputation that grew by rumor and exaggeration throughout his years at Iowa, was booed unmercifully during the Minnesota game. As Al Grady noted in his book, 25 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes, "It may have been the first time in football history that a quarterback (Snook) had to wave to try to quiet the boos of his own fans so his team could hear the signals."

The Hawkeyes lost the game 14-3.

November 16

With one game remaining the Board in Control of Athletics asked Burns to resign. When he refused, he and his assistants were fired.

People around the state felt the entire situation was handled badly, making Burns a lame duck almost on the eve of the final game of the season. When that was over, the Hawkeyes sported a 1-9 record.

Coach Burns accepted the public humiliation like a gentleman. He thanked the university administration, the students, and the alumni for their support, and he told one writer:

"I've learned a lot in the last five years. I like to think I've adopted a pretty good philosophy on life. I've learned there are a lot of things more important than the winning or losing of a football game."

December 11

Ray Nagel was named head coach at Iowa.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Jerry BurnsRecord: 3-6-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
The 1964 Hawkeye Football Squad

After many years of fiddling with the rule, the national football association once again allowed virtually unlimited substitution.

At Iowa, it was a year of bad luck. Though the team broke 28 UI or Big Ten records and had the best passer in the conference in hometown boy Gary Snook, Iowa ended the season with an overall 3-6 record and only one win in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes were in the basement again.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Jerry BurnsRecord: 3-3-2 Audio: Audio Video: Video

October 12

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The 1963 Hawkeye Football Squad

Iowa's Homecoming fans enjoyed an aerial dogfight when Hawkeye quarterback Fred Riddle tossed five touchdown passes against the Indiana Hoosiers. The 37-26 victory was one of three wins for the year.

November 22

While the world watched in horror the unfolding events in Dallas, the Fighting Irish had come to Iowa City to play football. The game never happened. Shocked by the news that President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been assassinated, officials decided to cancel the game the next morning, just hours before the kickoff. About 50,000 ticket holders were offered refunds.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Jerry BurnsRecord: 4-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
The 1962 Hawkeye Football Squad

Although Iowa ended the season with a 4-5 record, head coach Jerry Burns introduced a "Floating-T" offense that managed to do some damage. In a year when the Hawks fell to eventual 1962 national champion Southern Cal, the team managed to best two notorious Big Ten foes, both Ohio State and Michigan.

According to the Hawkeye yearbook, "The battle with the favored Buckeyes of Ohio State furnished Hawk fans with their biggest thrill of the season. Playing near-perfect football, Iowa launched a 91-yard touchdown drive the second time it got the ball, and gained 243 yards rushing, more than double the average of previous Buckeye opponents. Vic Davis, soph fullback, emerged as the star and was awarded the game ball after the 28-14 Hawk victory."

Captain Larry Ferguson, Iowa's leading rusher and top scorer for the season, went on to sign a contract with the Detroit Lions.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Jerry BurnsRecord: 5-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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University Archives
The 1961 Hawkeye Football Squad

Beginning his first season as head coach, Burns had a top-ranked team and some words of caution: "I am concerned about what being ranked so high will do to our fans. I hope they won't take it for granted that we will win all our games, and then be disillusioned if we don't get as many good bounces as we did last year and lose several games."

The words turned out to be an omen for the nearly 20 years of ho-hum football that would follow at the University of Iowa.

Burns coached from 1961-65, tallying 16 wins, 27 losses, and two ties, plus one cancellation. Ray Nagel came next, coaching the Hawkeyes over a five-year period to a 16-32-2 record. Three-year coach Fancis X. Lauterbur followed Nagel, compiling a dismal 4-28-1 record from 1971-73. Then there was Bob Commings, a guard on Iowa's 1957 Rose Bowl Team. He earned an 18-37 record in his five-year term at Iowa.

These were the dark ages of Iowa football. New academic standards made things tough for some coaches and Athletic Director Evashevski made life impossible for others. Described as a man who couldn't tolerate losing, Evy reportedly even withheld ice from the team one year.

Feuding within the athletic department led to disgruntlements of all sorts, many of them public, while on the field, the ball almost always took its bounce against Iowa.

October 28

Purdue's 9-0 shutout of the Hawkeyes marked the first time in nearly 80 contests that Iowa had failed to score.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Forest EvashevskiRecord: 8-1-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

February 24

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University Archives
The 1960 Hawkeye Football Squad

Brechler resigned has 14-year reign as Iowa's athletic director to become commissioner of the Skyline Conference.

June 9

Evashevski, the man who said he wouldn't grow old coaching, took over duties as athletic director. It was understood that Evy would coach the team through the 1960 season and then relinquish that job to the man he would choose as his successor.

October 15

The football program revealed some Hawkeye hobbies: Don Ferrell, pigeon raising; George Harrell, chess; Sammie Harris, watching "Huckleberry Hound" on TV; Al Hinton, drawing and painting; Wilburn Hollis, water skiing; Earl McQuiston, reading and music; Chester Williams, poetry and jazz; and Mike McDonald, "girls and more girls."

October 22

Homecoming crowds not only enjoyed Iowa's 21-14 victory over Purdue, but another milestone. For the first time in UI history, Iowa was ranked No. 1 in the nation by both wire service polls.

October 29

Iowa defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 21-7. It was the 71st straight game in which Iowa got on the scoreboard, the longest active streak in the country. Among Big Ten teams, Michigan State had the second longest record, having gone 17 games without being shut out.

November 5

Iowa went to Minnesota to face the arch-rival Gophers. Though the Hawkeyes entered the game rated No. 1 in the nation for the third consecutive week, the Gophers were No. 2 and, on that day, they tried harder. Minnesota beat Iowa, 27-10.

November 12

Evy coached his last home game, defeating Ohio State on Dad's Day, 35-12.

November 19

Playing in South Bend, the Hawkeyes skunked Notre Dame, 28-0, beating the Irish for the fourth time in five seasons. It was Evy's last game as a coach.

During his nine years of coaching at Iowa, Forest Evashevski won Coach of the Year honors at the end of four seasons, compiled a 52-27-4 record, and won two outright conference titles and two Rose Bowls. In 1960, Iowa share the Big Ten championship with Minnesota.

December 1

Jerry Burns, an assistant on Evy's staff since 1953, took over his duties as head football coach, having been recommended for the position by Evashevski himself.