Welcome to the Gridiron

It's been said that football began during the days of Julius Caesar, when victorious soldiers would entertain themselves by kicking around the severed heads of their foes after a hard day of battle.

At the University of Iowa, it all began with an English professor. Organized football got its start on the Iowa campus in 1889, the year a young man named Martin Wright Sampson came to town to teach English. But Sampson did more than that. Coming upon several students playing football on a September morning, he asked to join the game. It didn't take long before he was teaching the boys a new style of play: Eastern or rugby-style football, which allowed the ball to be carried as well as kicked.

Sampson himself had reportedly never before touched a football, but his powers of observation (having seen two games as a student in Cincinnati) must have convinced his pupils that he knew what he was about. The University of Iowa has not been the same since.

PHOTO CREDIT: Justin Torner/The University of Iowa

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 0-0-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 1

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University of Iowa Athletics
Rose Bowl Team Photo

Tens of thousands of Iowa fans traveled halfway across the country this past winter to support the Hawkeyes in their first Rose Bowl appearance in 25 years. Unfortunately, the Iowa defense proved no match for Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey, who scored a 75-yard touchdown reception on the game's first play from scrimmage. Iowa remained scoreless until the third quarter, and the Hawkeyes left Pasadena with a disappointing 45-16 loss. Nevertheless, Iowa fans could celebrate Kirk Ferentz's Big Ten Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year awards, as well as cornerback Desmond King's Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, unanimous first-team all-American, and Jim Thorpe Award honors.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 12-2-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

September 12

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University of Iowa Athletics
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Following the death of former Iowa all-Big Ten safety Tyler Sash earlier in the week, the Hawkeyes paid an emotional tribute by wearing his No. 9 in place of the Tigerhawk on one side of their helmets. They also earned a 31-17 victory against Iowa State in his honor.

September 19

Iowa's Marshall Koehn kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired to give the Hawkeyes a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh. The kick was the second-longest in Iowa history and earned Koehn Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

October 3

In this defensive battle at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium, cornerback Desmond King made two interceptions to lead the Hawkeyes to a 10-6 victory against the No. 19 Badgers.

November 27

With a 28-20 win at Nebraska, the Hawkeyes filled their awards case with the last of the four rivalry trophies. They finished the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1922, and their 12-win season was the most in school history. Iowa football also made its fourth appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

December 5

The Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis featured a showdown between No. 4 Iowa and No. 5 Michigan State. Trailing in the fourth quarter, Hawkeye quarterback C.J. Beathard threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Tevaun Smith to give Iowa a 13-9 lead with 14:49 remaining. Michigan State responded by inching 82 yards in 22 plays, scoring the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds left on the clock. The heartbreaking, hard-fought game ended with a 16-13 Iowa loss.


Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 7-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 1

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University of Iowa Athletics
2014 Iowa Football Squad

In Tampa's Outback Bowl, Iowa played Louisiana State University for the second time in history. The Hawkeyes won the first meeting between the teams in the 2005 Capital One Bowl, which ended with receiver Warren Holloway catching a 56-yard touchdown pass in the game's memorable final play. The Outback Bowl matchup proved not to be as remarkable, as the Hawkeyes suffered a 14-21 loss.

January 13

Hawkeye football players wore a "NORM" sticker on their helmets throughout the season in memory of Norm Parker, Iowa's defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2011, who passed away on January 13. "Coach Parker was more than just a coach; he was a father figure," former Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge (2001-05) told the Iowa City Press-Citizen. "He taught us a lot more than football. He instilled toughness, and he taught us about life and being a man and what it takes to be successful."

November 1

The Hawkeyes crushed the Northwestern Wildcats 48-7 during America Needs Farmers Game Day at Kinnick. That victory, the team's sixth of the season, launched Iowa into bowl eligibility.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 8-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University of Iowa Athletics
2013 Iowa Football Squad

A new Kinnick Stadium Wall of Honor commemorates nine of the greatest football players ever to wear the black and gold: Aubrey Devine (1919-21), Randy Duncan (1955-58), Calvin Jones (1953-55), Alex Karras (1956-57), Nile Kinnick (1937-39), Gordon Locke (1920-22), Chuck Long (1981-85), Duke Slater (1918-21), and Larry Station (1982-85). The Hawkeyes' names and jersey numbers are listed along the outside of the Paul W. Brechler Press Box for their achievements as members of national football halls of fame and/or as consensus all-Americans.

September 28

The Floyd of Rosedale trophy stays in Iowa City following the Hawkeyes' 23-7 victory over Minnesota.

November 29

Iowa beat Nebraska, 38-17, in the Hy-Vee Heroes Game to take home the Heroes Trophy for the first time since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2010. The Hawkeyes hadn't won against the Huskers since 1981, and it was their first victory in Lincoln since 1943.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 4-8-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University of Iowa Athletics
2012 Iowa Football Squad

The Hawkeye football program experienced many changes heading into the 2012 season. A $20 million new indoor practice facility replaced the Bubble, and UI Athletics also announced plans to begin work on a connected football operations center. Greg Davis, formerly of the University of Texas, joined the Hawkeyes as offensive coordinator, and Phil Parker was promoted to defensive coordinator. Brian Ferentz (2002-05), son of UI Coach Kirk Ferentz, also rejoined the Hawkeyes as the offensive line coach, while LeVar Woods (1998-2000) returned to Iowa as the linebackers coach.

September 29

After dominating Minnesota with a 24-0 lead at halftime, Iowa retained the Floyd of Rosedale trophy in a 31-13 Homecoming victory.

October 13

Mike Meyer received national recognition for his performance in Iowa's 19-16 double-overtime win at Michigan State. The kicker scored field goals in both overtimes, including a 42-yarder in the second that gave Iowa its first lead of the game.

October 19

Former Iowa offensive lineman Casey Wiegmann (1991-95) became the first Hawkeye to be recognized by the Iowa Farm Bureau and UI Athletics on the America Needs Farmers (ANF) Wall of Honor inside Kinnick Stadium. As an ANF representative, Wiegmann raised awareness of the farmer's role in feeding the world, continuing the work started by Coach Hayden Fry, who added the ANF logo to the Iowa helmets in 1985 to show solidarity with farmers during the farm crisis. Ferentz reinstated the ANF emblem in the 2011-12 season.


For the first time in 12 seasons, the Hawkeyes failed to qualify for a bowl game. But, cornerback Micah Hyde earned first-team all-Big Ten honors and was named the Big Ten's Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 7-6-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

September 3

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University of Iowa Athletics
2011 Iowa Football Squad

James Vandenberg got his feet wet as the Hawkeyes' new starting quarterback in the rainy season opener against Tennessee Tech. Iowa played through heavy showers at kickoff, but hail and the threat of lightning prompted a rare weather-related game delay during the third quarter. The Kinnick grandstands were evacuated for nearly an hour-and-a-half before the Hawkeyes returned to the field to trounce the Golden Eagles, 34-7.

October 22

Wide receiver Marvin McNutt surpassed Danan Hughes (1989-92) and Tim Dwight (1994-97) with 24 passes to become the Hawkeyes' all-time receiving touchdown leader. During Iowa's game against Indiana, McNutt caught an 80-yarder in the first quarter and two more touchdown passes before halftime for a 45-24 Hawkeye victory. McNutt later earned first-team all-Big Ten honors and received the conference's Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year Award.

November 25

On the day after Thanksgiving, Iowa faced Big Ten newcomer Nebraska in the inaugural Heroes Game. The series established a trophy rivalry that honors real-life heroes from each state and helps raise money for area non-profit organizations.

December 30

For the 11th-straight season, the Hawkeyes were bowl-eligible. And for the second season in a row, they headed to Tempe, Arizona, for the Insight Bowl. This time, they played Oklahoma, coached by former Iowa football defensive back Bob Stoops (1979-82).

The bowl marked only the second meeting between the two teams—the first being in 1979 when Sooners coaches Stoops and Bruce Kittle (1979-82) were on the Hawkeyes' side. "My wife yells 'Go, Hawks' at my children all Saturday morning throughout the fall," Stoops said at a pre-bowl press conference. "She just can't say it tomorrow."

Luck was certainly not on Iowa's side in the 14-31 bowl loss. In a bizarre turn of events, an ESPN overhead camera crashed onto the field during the fourth quarter, nearly knocking out McNutt and briefly suspending the game.

Following the Insight Bowl, UI defensive coordinator Norm Parker was named the American Football Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year. The beloved coordinator also announced his retirement after 13 years at Iowa.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Iowa Athletics

Coach: Kirk FerentzRecord: 8-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 5

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University of Iowa Athletics
2010 Iowa Football Squad

The Iowa defense stifled Georgia Tech's celebrated rushing offense for a 24-14 finish in Miami's Orange Bowl. With their first major bowl game triumph since the 1959 Rose Bowl, the Hawkeyes matched the school record for most wins in a season (11), received their highest final ranking in a half-century (No. 7), and earned national respect for their team and conference. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn, responsible for two sacks and nine tackles, was named the game's most valuable player and excited Hawkeye fans with his promise to return to the team next season.

September 18

During the first 16 minutes of the game against Mike Stoops' Arizona Wildcats, Iowa had a punt blocked, a pass deflected and returned for a pick-six, and allowed a 100-yard kickoff return. The Hawkeyes managed a 20-point comeback for a tie before ultimately falling to the Wildcats in a 27-34 loss in Tempe.

October 2

A sellout crowd of 70,585 packed into Kinnick Stadium for Homecoming. Alternating sections of black and gold-clad fans dazzled a national television audience. The Hawkeyes also put on a memorable show, claiming a 24-3 victory against Penn State and holding the Nittany Lions without a touchdown for a seventh-straight quarter.

October 16

Iowa outperformed celebrated quarterbacks Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier in a 38-28 win against Michigan in the Big House. The Hawkeyes scored the most points they'd ever accumulated against a Wolverines team.

October 23

Iowa fell for a fake punt by Wisconsin. Special teams errors and penalties cost the Hawkeyes in a 30-31 loss at home.

October 30

The Hawkeyes pummeled No. 5 Michigan State from the outset, winning 37-6 on Blackout Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.

December 28

The Hawkeyes returned to Tempe to play the Missouri Tigers in the 2010 Insight Bowl. Though it was the last game for 25 Iowa seniors, the underclassmen shone. True freshman running back Marcus Coker earned 219 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore cornerback Micah Hyde scored a crucial touchdown on a 72-yard interception return with 5:32 remaining. Both were named game MVPs, and Coker set an Iowa bowl record with his rushing attempts and yardage. The win marked Iowa's third-straight bowl victory—a school first. Final score: 27-24.