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Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 4-2-2 Audio: Audio Video: Video

March 6

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1929 Iowa Football Squad

Ground was broken for the new stadium that would rise on the west side of the river.

May 25


Though athletic directors met in Chicago to schedule conference games for the next several years, the topic was deferred for a general discussion of recruiting problems. Before the meeting was over, a series of subcommittee meetings led to the conclusion that three conference schools had violated conference rules and regulations, but that conclusive evidence existed against only one: Iowa.

A committee report, scrawled on hotel stationery, concluded with this: "We therefore recommend that the Conference sever athletic relations with Iowa University, this act to become effective January 1, 1930."

The major charge was that Iowa was losing faculty control of its athletic department and that alumni were too influential in running the show. Iowa was also charged with having a businessmen's slush fund to subsidize athletes, giving athletes commission on the sale of yearbooks, refunding tuition to aid athletes, and failing to certify athletes as academically eligible.

Months of investigations followed and appeals for reinstatement were ignored until the Board in Control of Athletics capitulated to conference demands on December 11, 1929, by declaring 14 athletes ineligible because of loans they'd received. On February 1, 1930, the suspension action was rescinded.

But great damage had been done. It took Iowa a long time to regain favor with both the public and the media, in spite of a report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that was released in October 1929, indicating that Iowa's violations were common among Big Ten schools, as well as other universities.


The University of Iowa News Bulletin reported that a railroad spur line was being constructed so that 60 cars of football fans could be delivered almost to the gates of the new stadium.

October 5

The Hawkeyes played their first game in the new stadium, beating Monmouth by a score of 46-0. "The honor of making the first touchdown on the new gridiron went to Captain Glassgow after a sparkling 30 yard run."

October 19

In the midst of the trauma surrounding Iowa's suspension from the Big Ten, the $500,000 stadium west of the river was dedicated. The football program commemorating the event proclaimed that "this is no ordinary stadium, built on a rubber stamp plan.... Most stadiums tower ponderously on the ground's surface like some ungainly monster, dwarfing all surrounding objects...."

Iowa's stadium was built 30 feet below ground level so that the top of the stands stood "just 50 feet higher than the earth's normal surface." Everyone who bought a ticket for a game in the new stadium was allocated 17 inches of seat and the media were housed comfortably in the press boxes located on each side of the structure: "Glass enclosed, the boxes are equipped with electric heat and light, and with individual writing desks."

The program speculated that someday the ends of the stadium, which were seeded with grass in the early years, could be closed in with stands to provide seating for nearly 70,000 spectators. The seating capacity of the stadium when it first opened was 42,184.

November 17

Writing for the Chicago Tribune, Irving Vaughn offered Hawkeye fans some solace during a difficult time: "If Iowa needs any consolation for its failure to create more havoc in the Big Ten circle from which it is to be banished, it can find it quite easily. The Hawkeyes have Captain Bill Glassgow. No halfback ever revealed himself in a brighter light. He ran off tackles, he ripped into the line and he passed. He literally carried almost the entire Purdue team with him at times. When tougher and more willing backs are built, they will have to make the model from the stocky lad from Shenandoah, Iowa." This tribute followed Iowa's loss to the Boilermakers. Final score: 7-0.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 6-2-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

January 14

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University Archives
1928 Iowa Football Squad

Alumni, dissatisfied with Iowa athletics, targeted Illinois graduates Belting and Ingwersen as the causes of their discontent. A group meeting at the Hotel Fort Des Moines in the state capital formed the Federation of University of Iowa Alumni Associations, demanded the resignation of Coach Ingwersen, and asked for three seats on the Board in Control of Athletics.

While President Jessup remained silent regarding the controversy, a campus poll was organized, but no results were ever reported. The vote was declared invalid when someone ran away with one of the ballot boxes. In October 1928, President Jessup did appoint three alumni members as representatives to the Board in Control of Athletics. Seven months later Belting resigned as athletic director.

November 3

Canine capers enlivened Iowa's game with South Dakota. According to the Hawkeye, "The main feature of the day was the antics of a Boston bull-pup who delighted in snapping at the heels of the football players while they were trying to concentrate on their game. Even the enticements of Coach Ingwersen had no effect on the fun-seeking puppy. After having his fun at the expense of the players, the bull-pup returned to the side-lines, a hero of all dogdom."

Iowa won the game handily, making a fifth straight victory for the 1928 eleven. The Hawkeyes went on defeat Ohio State the following week, but then fell to both Wisconsin and Michigan, ending the season with a 6-2 record.

But the "B" team, an innovation at Iowa in 1928, won all of its games, including matches with Indiana, Notre Dame, and Illinois.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 4-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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1927 Iowa Football Squad

Iowa's inability to schedule its share of home games with other conference teams became an issue as high up as the university president's office.

November 5

Hawkeye fans who returned to Iowa City for the university's 16th annual Homecoming could celebrate the improvement of the roads in the area, if not the outcome of the game. Illinois bested Iowa 14-0, but, as the University of Iowa News Bulletin expressed it, "the best news for Homecoming travelers is the official announcement that paving is now fully completed on the Johnson county section of federal highway No. 32, and on all of that section of No. 161 which lies between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids." Furthermore, only 12 miles of dirt road remained between Iowa City and Des Moines; gravel and pavement had been put down on the rest of the highway.

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Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 3-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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1926 Iowa Football Squad

Iowa's football fortunes faltered in 1926, when the Hawkeyes ended the season with three wins and five loses. To make matters worse, Iowa lost all games played with Big Ten opponents.

The rumblings of fan discord became so loud in some parts of the state that the media tried to impose some perspective for readers. In Mason City, the Iowa Globe-Gazette decried "the fickleness of an athletic constituency," noting that "at least six teams out of the Big Ten have larger student bodies than the University of Iowa. This means a larger body of men from which to draw for football teams. For Iowans to hope every year to head the conference, or, putting it another way, for Iowans to expect never to be near the foot of the standings is obviously foolish. It's contrary to the established principles of mathematics. Coaches may modify Iowa's arithmetical handicap to some extent, but they can't eliminate it."

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Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 5-3-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

October 17

The Twelfth Man

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1925 Iowa Football Squad

The Hawkeyes met Illinois in Iowa City with vengeance in mind. "Red" Grange and his Illinois teammates had shut out Iowa in 1924, giving the Hawkeyes their only loss of the season. As the 1925 squad prepared to take the field before a Homecoming crowd of eager fans, they received a telegram from Ledrue Galloway, a black tackle from the 1924 team. "There will be twelve Iowa men on the field to beat Illinois," he promised. "I am with you." Actually, Galloway was in a sickbed, dying from tuberculosis, but his message surely played a role in Iowa's 12-10 victory that day.

The Chicago Tribune reporter who covered the action credited halfback Nick "Cowboy" Kutsch with being the hero of the day. After Grange received the kickoff and dashed 89 yards for a touchdown seconds into the game, the Cowboy apparently became inspired. "When he wasn't galloping, he was kicking field goals.... It sure was great stuff for those 30,000 corn fed rooters to look at. Most of them were so hoarse they couldn't speak when the game was over...."

November 7

The aerial game had to be forgotten when the worst blizzard of the year blew a gale through Iowa Field. The Hawkeye billed the game: "Iowa vs. Wisconsin vs. the Elements." The snowy wind was so strong that punters actually lost ground on two occasions. In the end, Iowa lost by a score of 6-0. It was the first Hawkeye defeat of the season.

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Coach: Burt IngwernsenRecord: 6-1-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

February 29

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1924 Iowa Football Squad

Howard Jones resigned because of unresolvable conflict with the Board in Control of Athletics. The board wanted to combine intercollegiate athletics and physical education in an effort to create a unit with greater academic standing. Jones was opposed.

March 13

Dr. Paul Belting assumed his duties as athletic director. He was charged with consolidating men's and women's physical education into one department and he needed to hire a football coach.

March 25

At the end of the month in which Iowa almost succeeded in luring Knute Rockne away from Notre Dame, the news leaked out and Rockne fired off this telegram to Iowa President Walter Jessup:


K.K. Rockne"

In April, Burt Ingwersen, an Iowa native who graduated from the University of Illinois, signed a three-year contract to coach Iowa football. Though alumni weren't happy with the appointment, Ingwersen went on to complete eight seasons at Iowa, recording only two losing seasons.

June 11

Major John Griffith, commissioner of the Big Ten, wrote to Dr. Belting, saying that "alumni in some schools had been unduly active in aiding athletes.... I am convinced that quite a number of the Iowa alumni were asked to subscribe to a fund which was used in helping athletes to make their way through a state university." The commissioner said he was also convinced that Iowa's athletic authorities had had nothing to do with such practices, but advised that "most of the directors have sent letters to their alumni requesting that they play the game according to the rules."

The issue of recruiting, coupled with alumni dissatisfaction with Coach Ingwersen, would eventually lead to Iowa's suspension from the Big Ten.


"Fewer men reported for football at Iowa than at any other school in the Conference," the Hawkeye noted in its summation of the 1924 season. "The majority of the men had classes until four o'clock and were unable to be on the field until four thirty. Darkness came at about five. Thus, most of the practice was carried on with the 'ghost ball' in light supplied by giant arc lamps."

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Coach: Howard JonesRecord: 5-3-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

October 20

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1923 Iowa Football Squad

All-American halfback "Red" Grange and the Illini defeated Iowa before a crowd of 30,000 Homecomers on Iowa Field. It was the first game Iowa lost in three years.

November 3

Iowa's loss to Michigan came as a result of a "tainted touchdown." After a Michigan punt slipped through the fingers of an Iowa player, John Schommer, one of the game officials that day, called "Free Ball! Onside!"

But the Iowa players apparently didn't hear the call and let the ball roll into the end zone, where a Michigan man pounced on it for the winning touchdown! Final score: 9-3.

"I won't forget leaving that field," Schommer recalled years later. "Before I could get to the dressing room I was surrounded by a thousand men, most of them, I think, being townsfolk rather than students. Each of them was ready to swing the second punch, but none the first blow and with the protection of the Iowa squad, I got to safety.

"I began wondering if there would not be some way to slip out of town without going to the depot for the usual train, but when I got back to town after the game I found that Coach Howard Jones had sent members of his team to the hotel lobby, cigar stores, drug stores and places of meeting in every part of the city—to inform the crowds that I had made the proper decision and that he stood back of me. That's the kind of a square shooter and solid sportsman Howard Jones is."

According to 75 Years with the Fighting Hawkeyes, this freak play led to a change in the football rules.

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Coach: Howard JonesRecord: 7-0-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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1922 Iowa Football Squad

Meeting in Iowa City, faculty representatives to the Big Ten Conference adopted "drastic regulations regarding athletics." A resolution was passed to provide that a commissioner of athletics be appointed "to investigate and report on all charges of ineligibility, violations of the rules and other misdemeanors within the conference."

The faculty also looked at the academic work athletes would be allowed to take credit for and decided that "no student in an athletic, coaching of [or?] physical education school, be permitted to present for eligibility qualification any credit earned in the pursuit of athletic studies." In addition, to be eligible for intercollegiate competition, students were required to first complete 14 hours of academic work "as distinguished from athletic training."

October 14


So ran the banner headline in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, the day after Iowa played Yale University in the famed Yale Bowl. Reporter Hugh Fullerton started his story this way: "Howard is champion of the Jones family.

"In one of the most desperately contested battles ever fought in Yale's historic bowl the west today triumphed over the east and smashed all the history of football."

Not only was this the first time the Bulldogs lost to a western team in New Haven, it was only the second time in history that two brothers, Howard of Iowa and Tad of Yale, faced off as coaches of opposing teams. Only 26 men played during the game, 14 for Yale and 12 for Iowa, so no man got much of a breather.

Writing about the battle a decade later, George Trevor, football editor of the New York Sun, credited quarterback Gordon Locke's "bovine rushes" and Leland Parkin's "shin-tackle darts" as the winning combination that led to Iowa's sole touchdown. Final score: 6-0.

Trevor reminisced poetically about the Hawkeye teams of 1921 and 1922: "Boys sprout high, wide and handy out where the tall corn grows. Iowa's black earth belt is prolific of ideal football material. True, it reaches the university raw and unpolished, but when there's a Howard Jones to do the buffing, Iowa's Old Gold and Black is very much in evidence."

The east was beaten. It was "corn over culture." And Iowa showed Yale an innovation in the game that has since become standard. "One of the features of the season which has provoked probably more discussion than almost any other, is that of the use of the 'huddle system' in giving signals," Walter Camp noted later. "Those Easterners who saw Iowa defeat Yale...were first given an illustration of this system which is becoming quite popular in the Middle West."

November 18

For the first time in two years, an Iowa opponent was the first to score during a football contest. But the Ohio State Buckeyes took the lead for only a short time, the Hawkeyes fighting back to claim a 12-9 victory.


Iowa ended the season with a 7-0 record, sharing the conference championship with Michigan. Team captain Gordon Locke, who usually played the fullback position, was the most decorated Hawkeye at the end of the season, becoming the second consecutive Iowan named to Walter Camp's all-America team as quarterback. John Heisman said that "powerful is an inadequate adjective to use in describing his strength and ramming talents. He had the legs that gave the drive the momentum of a battle tank...."

Locke went on to law school at Iowa, graduating among the top three in his class. Some 40 years after he began his career at Iowa, he was elected to the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

November 11


Some 26,000 spectators watched Iowa defeat Minnesota 28-14 during the Homecoming celebration in Iowa City. Though the wet field couldn't stop the Iowa attack, muddy roads did stop the fans on their way out of town. Local historian Irving Webber, 22BA, recalled the mess that resulted:

"Ten thousand people reportedly had driven to Iowa City for that game, under threatening clouds, praying it would not rain. Their prayers were not answered, and heavy rains came during the game.

"The dirt roads in all directions from Iowa City became quagmires, and the one to Cedar Rapids was the worst, with all its hills and the Iowa River. Five hundred cars were stuck between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, and 1,500 fans were forced to sleep in their cars or seek shelter on the floors of the homes of friendly farmers.

"Some who were stuck close to the Interurban tracks left their stranded cars in the center of the road, sloshed through mud and water and caught the next Interurban, whether to Iowa City or Cedar Rapids. It didn't matter which by then.

"On Sunday and Monday, farmers with teams pulled cars out of the mud. Many were taken to North Liberty where they were loaded on flat cars and shipped to Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. About 1,800 pounds of tire chains were shipped to North Liberty, which enabled some people to get out on their own. No wonder Iowa fans are so rugged today."

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Coach: Howard JonesRecord: 7-0-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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1921 Iowa Football Squad

After a season in which Iowa—led by Aubrey Devine, Fred "Duke" Slater, and Gordon Locke—prevented Knox College from making a first down, served Notre Dame its first defeat in two years, beat the Illinois "Indians," subdued Purdue in a sloppy game played on a field covered with several inches of water, mastered "the puzzling Minnesota shift" on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Gophers, and ended the season by skunking both Indiana and Northwestern, Iowa reigned supreme. The Hawkeyes were undisputed champions of the Western Conference.

It was a year when fan fervor reached a peak, though only four games were played at home. For the homecoming game against Illinois on October 15, alumni returned from near and far, including one man from Panama City and another from Trinidad, British West Indies. Iowa Citians were used to opening their homes to house the old grads, but in 1921 "a dearth of space brought an appeal to the mayor to open the jail!"

More than 15,000 watched Iowa defeat Illinois, 14-2, and fans then encountered a problem that persists today. "If there was a sea of faces in the bleachers, there was a forest of automobiles around town.... Autoists parked their cars anywhere they could find space.... Very few of these were city cars, as Iowa City people had agreed to leave their cars at home and walk to the game, to give room to out-of-town cars. Such crowds and conveyances contrast sharply with days of the past."

When the season was over, a "monster celebration" shook the town and university students enjoyed a half-day reprieve from classes. The report in the Hawkeye noted that "a fact that caused a great deal of comment during the football season was that at nearly every game in which the Hawkeyes participated, Iowa's opponents would call time out, and lie down for a rest, or lie down between quarters, but the Iowa men would be standing up, or running around to keep warm, and it did not seem to effect their good playing."

Such was the stamina of the Iowa team that coaches everywhere were surprised that only two Iowa backfield men carried the ball on offense—Aubrey Devine at quarterback and Gordon Locke at fullback.

Iowa earned nationwide acclaim for the glorious season of 1921 and every man on the team was given a place on some honorary team or another. Quarterback and team captain Aubrey Devine became the first Iowan ever given first team recognition on Walter Camp's honor team.

Long after he left Iowa, Coach Howard Jones said Devine was "the greatest all-around backfield man I have ever coached or seen in the modern game. Others may have been great in open field running, there may have been better punters or drop kickers, but I have never known any backfield man whose accomplishments in running, punting, dropkicking, and forward passing combined equal those of Aubrey Devine. In addition, he was a leader and field general of the highest type."

Duke Slater was unanimous choice for all-conference and all-Western tackle, being selected for three all-American teams, but his greatest honors came years later. Described as a gentlemen both on the field and off, Slater—probably the greatest offensive tackle ever to play for Iowa—was named to the sports writers' all-time all-American eleven in 1946. In 1951, he was selected to the National Football Hall of Fame.

November 30

The Hawkeyes were forced to turn down an invitation to play the University of California in the Rose Bowl. The Board in Control opposed postseason competition and a Big Ten ruling prevented it.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Howard JonesRecord: 5-2-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
1920 Iowa Football Squad

Iowa's "Yell Leaders," three young men selected after tryouts before the Athletic Board, were given special uniforms and their orders: make the crowd respect the visiting team and make them yell.

In the spring of 1920, the yell leaders organized the "Howling 300," to help lead the cheers. By the time football season began in the fall, they were conducting "mass meetings" and "guiding" the 'Iowa Fight' spirit in the proper channels."

On October 9, 1920, the Howling 300 made its first appearance on Iowa Field. Wearing old gold and black skull-caps and carrying canes, the men sat on the 50-yard line, "courtesy of the Athletic Board," and "demonstrated what organized rooting could do."

November 6

On a rainy afternoon in Iowa City and on a muddy field, Iowa beat Northwestern by a score of 20-0 to begin a 20-game winning steak.

November 12

John Philip Sousa and his band performed a concert in the University Armory, "making a special stop-over date for the Iowa Homecoming." The program was just one of many planned for the "Homecomers."