PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 4-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

May 20

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University Archives
1949 Iowa Football Squad

Michigan State College joined the conference, making it once again the Big Ten.

October 22

The Northwestern Wildcats, cocky after their 1949 Rose Bowl victory over California, came into Iowa City to play football, but they were not impressed. Gene Shumate, former sports director at Des Moines radio station KSO, remembered that, "They taped, talked and dressed and came down the tunnel and onto the field to loosen up. As they trotted around the goal posts and in front of the permanent stands, one of the players turned to another and asked, 'I wonder where they keep their cows on Saturday?"

The Wildcats weren't so disparaging after they lost the game, 28-21.

October 29


After nearly three quarters of lackluster play from the Hawkeyes, the score was 24-6, in favor of the Oregon Ducks. Suddenly, a Dad's Day crowd of about 38,000 came alive watching co-captain Bob Langley race 94 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the third period. It was the first of four touchdowns Iowa was to rack up within the next ten minutes.

Bill Reichardt accounted for 16 points on two touchdowns and four conversions. At the time, Iowa's two kick returns were a school record. Within 9 minutes and 47 seconds, the Hawkeyes scored four touchdowns to win one of the biggest comeback games in Iowa history. Final score: 34-31.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 4-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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University Archives
1948 Iowa Football Squad

The National Collegiate Athletic Association adopted the "Sanity Code," a series of principles aimed at keeping intercollegiate competition on an amateur level. As NCAA President Karl E. Leib explained in the alumni magazine over a year later, "'Professionalism' made startling inroads into amateur collegiate athletics during the war years. Not all schools, but far too many, were putting cash on the line to 'buy' sports stars. When this happens, the valuable distinction between amateurism and professionalism is endangered—the spirit of competition and the love of winning cease to be the major incentives in college athletics."

March 11

The Hawkeyes may have been an on-again, off-again team in 1947, but they did generate over $300,000 in revenue, some of which went to pay off the bonds on the stadium. Ticket prices were raised to $3.50 prior to the 1948 season, perhaps to ensure that Iowa's healthy financial picture would continue.



If it hadn't been for a clever man with a pen, 1948 would have to go down in Iowa history much like the other years in the 1940s, when the Hawkeyes sputtered and struggled without ever achieving any football dominance.

But, in June 1948, the athletic department made a plea for a mascot to represent the black and gold spirit of the Hawkeyes. Dick Spencer III, a UI journalism teacher and manager of the University Information Service, responded by hatching a cartoon hawk that looked like a cross between Woody Woodpecker and an American eagle. In a statewide contest the following month, John Franklin of Belle Plaine suggested the bird be named after Hercules, the mythical Greek hero renowned for his strength.

Dick Spencer III—a boyish looking guy who grew up in a renovated Texas chicken house and who claimed he "got a hair-cut, shoes with laces in 'em, and what literacy I was able to acquire in Iowa"—became well known as the father of Herky.

While a student at Iowa, the incorrigible bronco rider had done what he could to work his way through school, including stealing cemetery flowers to make a few bucks selling corsages for social occasions on campus. He painted backdrops for touring bands, performed in nearby rodeos, was a reporter and staff artist for The Daily Iowan, and an editor of Frivol, the campus humor magazine.

For fun, Spencer wrestled in intramurals, starred as a high diver in the Dolphin shows, and displayed his school spirit as a cheerleader—where he always seemed to end up at the top of the pyramid.

After graduation, Spencer took to the air as a member of the 517th Parachute Combat Team in Europe. He designed his company's insignia—a parachuting buzzard—and kept the men in foxholes chuckling with his cartoons in Stars and Stripes. In 1944, he sent three dispatches from France to The Daily Iowan through regular mail channels, surprising veteran newsmen who were having trouble getting their copy to the states.

When the war was over, Spencer returned to Iowa to teach in the School of Journalism. He started the first course in editorial cartooning in the country, writing his own textbook to go with it. In addition to selling his cartoons to western magazines, Spencer worked with Iowa Alumni Review editor Loren Hickerson, adding his own style of humor to the alumni magazine.

Spencer left Iowa for good in 1950, lured west to Colorado, where he eventually became editor and then publisher of Western Horseman magazine. He kept his ties to Iowa, though, and continued to produce Herky in all sorts of get-ups over the years. When he drew Herky as a Highlander for the 1954 Homecoming badge, he wrote Professor Wendle Kerr, chairman of the badge committee, saying, "I was curious to see how the old boy would look in skirts...."

It's no secret that Spencer disapproved of some of the transformations Herky has had to endure over the years. Even before the most recent manifestation of the B.H.O.C. (Big Hawk on Campus), Spencer lamented that Herky had lost his wings and that his worn leather helmet had been replaced by a sissy plastic model.

Dick Spencer died of cancer on July 15, 1989, but he still has a son on campus—in the guise of a very happy hawk named Herky. Read about the celebration as Herky turned 50.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 3-5-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
1947 Iowa Football Squad

Returning to pre-war rules, freshmen were barred from intercollegiate competition.

September 27

Iowa met UCLA under the lights in Los Angeles before 90,910 fans, while millions more across the country listened to their radios for the play-by-play broadcast. Though the Hawkeyes led 7-0 at the half, they lost power after the break to lose the game, 22-7.

October 11

Homecomers saw Iowa quarterback Al DiMarco put on quite an air show in Iowa Stadium. DiMarco completed six passes to halfback Emlen Tunnell, dubbed the Gremlin, for three touchdowns and a set-up. When the Hawkeyes conquered Indiana, 27-14, it was Iowa's first Homecoming win in five years.

November 15

The contest against the Minnesota Gophers became more than a game when Coach Eddie Anderson submitted his resignation on the eve of play. Though no announcement was made, the news leaked out to electrify both the fans and the team. Over 53,000 people endured a cold, wet, and slushy day to see the Hawkeyes avenge their reputation by overpowering the Gophers in the second half for a 13-7 win to end the season.

Mid-week, Dr. Eddie Anderson blamed "a little bit of everything" for Iowa's fall from grace on the field after the glories of 1939. "A football team has come to be everybody's property," he said. "Everybody wants to call signals and play quarterback."

A few days later, the Board in Control of Athletics refused to accept Anderson's resignation "in the best interest of the State University of Iowa."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 5-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video


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University Archives
1946 Iowa Football Squad

The University of Chicago formally resigned from the conference, reducing the Big Ten to the Big Nine.


At Iowa, with Dr. Eddie Anderson back at the helm and the war settled, the Hawkeyes enjoyed large crowds. Prices for individual game tickets were raised from $2.75 to $3.

September 19

The Student Council founded a new pep club, asking each person who wanted to join to suggest a name for the organization. The moniker chosen? Tailfeathers.

With membership restricted to 100, Tailfeathers would go on to plan pep rallies, perform skits before football games, and sell Homecoming badges. They also showed films of away games in Macbride Auditorium on the Fridays after the games were played.


The Big Nine voted to enter into a five-year contract to play versus the Pacific Conference champion in the Rose Bowl. (Though two California schools were publicly opposed to the liaison, the University of Illinois represented the conference well on January 1, 1947, beating UCLA, 45-14).

November 3


A story in The Daily Iowan divulged a tactic the marching band could call on to keep toes tapping during the halftime shows. "'Anti-freeze' music is one of the tricks SUI Band Director C.B. Righter keeps up his sleeve to combat cold weather that jeopardizes the half-time performance at late season football games," the article read.

"Anti-freeze music is a pre-game recording of the show played over the public address system while band members carry their instruments on the field.

"According to Prof. Righter, wind sometimes blows into the horns with such force the player can't blow out, and low temperatures cause moisture in the horns to freeze."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Clem CroweRecord: 2-7-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

The national rules committee made two important changes in the game of football. It legitimized the forward pass, allowing it to be thrown from any spot behind the line of scrimmage, and it increased to ten the yardage to be gained for a first down. Both rule changes were instituted to offset some of the violence of football's mass attack.

With the surrender of the German army on May 7 and the Japanese surrender of September 2, the Hawkeyes on tour around the globe with Uncle Sam began to come home. The 1945 squad ranged in age from 17 (Bruce Hitchcock) to 26 (Jerry Niles). Many team members had worn a Hawkeye uniform before. "Tom Hand is one of the peppiest players, always keeps up a line of chatter," the football program for November 3 told fans. "The war did not change Tommy.... He was like that in 1940 and 1941 as an Iowa squad member."

October 27


The Hawkeye chronicled the day the tradition was broken: "A cherished Iowa record came to a tragic end when the Hawks went to South meet mighty Notre Dame, then rated Number Two team of the nation. With Iowa victories in 1921, 1939 and 1940—the three times the two teams had met previously—it had become a fine old Hawkeye tradition to beat the Irish.

"This time tradition alone couldn't stop Notre Dame's powerhouse, and the Irish rolled to a 56-0 victory, worst defeat of the season for the Iowa team. A throng of 52,500 fans saw the then unbeaten Irish roll off to an early lead and use everyone but the water boy as Coach Hugh Devore substituted down to his fifth team in the triumph."

A Daily Iowan story noted that "the [Iowa] players were hustled into their street clothes as rapidly as possible and packed off to spend the night in Chicago again."

November 17


It was Dad's Day and the Hawkeyes had played 18 straight conference games without a victory. The opponent was the arch-rival Gopher from the North, Minnesota, and the spoils were cast in the shape of an iron pig.

Daily Iowan sports editor Gus Schrader told the story: "Victory, although it was in the air of Iowa staduim after a heartening Hawkeye drive in the second quarter, did not come until just four minutes before the final gun. Trailing, 13-19, the Hawks pulled a screen pass that sent Nelson Smith snaking 51 yards for the third score. Jerry Niles booted the extra point, but the 13,800 Dad's Day fans still weren't convinced.

"They saw Minnesota's once Golden Gophers rebound savagely with a reckless passing and running vengeance that ended when Bob Kispert's attempted field goal went wide just 20 seconds before the end. Then the crowd surged out on the field, realizing at last that the long string of defeats had been broken."

According to reports, there was near pandemonium in the locker room when the Hawkeyes lugged the famous feudal pig back into the fold. It was the first time Floyd of Rosedale had entered the Iowa locker room since the Ironmen captured him in 1939.

In a season when the Hawkeyes won only two games, the victory was sweet.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Slip MadiganRecord: 1-7-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
1944 Iowa Football Squad

Iowa couldn't drag itself out of the conference cellar in 1944, either. The only remarkable thing about the year was that Forest Evashevski was on campus at the time, quarterbacking for the Navy's Pre-Flight School football team and training pilots in hand-to-hand combat.

Coach Madigan resigned at the end of the year and Iowa's second interim coach, Clem Crowe, an assistant at Notre Dame, was hired.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Slip MadiganRecord: 1-6-1 Audio: Audio Video: Video

June 1


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University Archives
1943 Iowa Football Squad

Nile Clarke Kinnick, who was called to active duty in the Naval Air Corps Reserve three days before the bombing of Pearl harbor, wrote in his diary for the last time. "How I wish I could sing and play the piano," he confided.

The next day, Ensign Kinnick was lost at sea during a routine practice flight between Trinidad and Venezuela. Neither he nor his plane was ever found.

Within a few months after Kinnick's death, President Virgil Hancher proposed several options as a suitable memorial for the young man who gained fame as the "Cornbelt Comet." Though the student opinion was that the stadium should be named in his honor, Kinnick's parents requested that "if the Stadium is rededicated that it be in the names of all men and women of the University who made the last sacrifice in the war."

In 1945, a scholarship memorial in honor of all Iowa men who died during World War II was established to aid in the education of Iowa's scholar-athletes. By the spring of 1946, over $100,000 had been contributed to what was called the Kinnick fund. To date, 103 young people have been awarded the Kinnick Scholarship, in memory not only of the famous Iron Man, but also Sgt. Burdell Gilleard, who died in the Philippines in 1944; Lt. Bush Lamb, who was killed in North Africa in 1942; and Lt. Robert Yelton, who lost his life in France in 1945.



Edward P. "Slip" Madigan, coach of the famed Galloping Gaels of St. Mary's College of California, took Anderson's place as head coach. During his two years with the Hawkeyes, the team won only two games, the first coming on November 20,1943 against Nebraska—and on Madigan's birthday.

Remembering the trails of fielding a team during the war, Tait Cummins, longtime dean of Iowa sportscasters, noted that "never in history has a major university fielded teams with more changes in personnel than Iowa in 1943.... Week by week, in fall practice, players left as their calls came through. The nucleus of the team was built around men who were permitted to stay on campus because of medical or dental training. Otherwise, the rest were vulnerable to service calls.

"The night after the Purdue game [played October 23, 1943], the station platform was the scene of a lot of good-byes as several of the starting players left for war service.... Not more than half a dozen players who had been regulars at the start were still in the lineup at the finish of the season."

According to the Hawkeye, Iowa was the only team in the Big Ten that fielded an entirely civilian team in 1943. "Too many times," the yearbook noted, "the Hawkeyes were outclassed by lend-lease service stars."

Though Iowa's football fortunes were low, Iowans had reason to be proud of the other squad that took to the field on football Saturdays. "Doubting eyebrows were raised when Col. Zech decided to change the personnel of the University's traditional Scottish Highlanders from men to women because of the shortage of male students," the Hawkeye reported, "but the response from the women was overwhelming.

"Shades of Rob Roy, the women really went to town! They blew the pipes and beat the drums for one month's concentrated practice, at the end of which they performed at the year's first football game. Their increase in membership of one-third over last year gave their 62 members undisputed title as the world's largest bagpipe band.

"Men established the Highlanders as the University's 'Black Watch,' because they wore the uniform of that famous Scottish regiment. The women carried on the Highlander tradition, but a more appropriate title for the Highlanders became 'The Ladies from Hell.'"

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 6-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

March 7

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University Archives
1942 Iowa Football Squad

With America's entrance into the war after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Big Ten opted to waive certain conference rules. Officials sanctioned a ten-game season in 1942 by allowing games with teams that "do not observe conference rules." As an emergency measure, freshmen were made eligible to compete. Though the Big Ten did not suspend its athletic program, some 350 colleges across the country postponed play altogether.

September 26

One of Iowa's earliest snowfalls blanketed Iowa Stadium in September, prior to the Hawkeyes' contest with Nebraska. In order for the game to go on, athletic department officials recruited hundreds of students to clear the field. They cleared some of the stadium benches, too, so that fans could watch Iowa outscore the Cornhuskers, 27-0.

November 7


The Hawkeyes erased Wisconsin's top national ranking and pulled off the upset of the year at Homecoming in Iowa City. Five Hawkeyes—Tom Farmer, Jim Youel, John Staak, Bob Penaluna, and Bob Yelton—played every minute of the game, but it was Farmer who connected with Bill Burkett for the winning touchdown. Iowa's defense was awesome. Despite four tries inside the six-yard line, the Badgers could not reach the end zone.

Iowans would have to savor the victory for a long time, though, as this was to be the last conference game the Hawkeyes would win in more than three years.

But other things were more important in 1942. During a year when football shared headlines with Hitler, students willingly sacrificed some of the hoopla of Homecoming. After the game, fans were asked to turn in the traditional badges for recycling, a gesture that provided more than 320 pounds of scrap metal for the war effort.

The fate of the engineers' corn monument was also dictated by the war. "To destroy it would contradict all war efforts of conservation," an article in The Daily Iowan proclaimed. "In keeping with the spirit of the times, the corn will be taken from the structure and will go to feed hogs, helping to maintain the nation's food front, while the electric wiring, so scarce in wartime, will be saved for future uses...." Then the monument was burned.

November 18

The effects of the war really hit home when Dr. Eddie Anderson, head football coach, requested a leave of absence to serve as a major in the Army Medical Corps. Backfield coach Frank Carideo also enlisted, as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 3-5-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

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University Archives
1941 Iowa Football Squad

The first major change in the football rules since 1906 allowed for free substitution, ushering in the age of the specialist in intercollegiate football.

September 27

The mood was not good after Iowa beat Drake in the season opener, 25-8. "A photograph of a London blackout would be a picture of sweetness and light compared to the Iowa locker room as the team filed in after its...victory over Drake university," reported Johnny Nichols in The Daily Iowan. "The squad as a group was about as verbose as a dyspeptic clam. There was no noise except the rip of tape and the slamming of locker doors.... Every man on the squad gave the impression that it was his own personal fault the score wasn't 50 to 0."

PHOTO CREDIT: University Archives

Coach: Eddie AndersonRecord: 4-4-0 Audio: Audio Video: Video

No sooner had Nile Kinnick told the audience at New York's Downtown Athletic Club that "I thank God I was born to the gridirons of the middle west and not to the battlefields of Europe," than all eyes focused on that continent. In quick succession in 1940, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands fell before the German swastika. The world was changing with as much speed as the blitzkrieg offense Hitler's panzer divisions made famous. In the wake of global conflict, football changed, too.


A blow was delivered to Big Ten football when University of Chicago Chancellor Robert N. Hutchins announced that his school would drop football as an intercollegiate sport. The once-mighty Maroons, coached for many years by the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, had not scored a point in 1939, while opponents tallied 192 against them.

September 7

The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa's student newspaper, announced that Heisman winner Nile Kinnick, who was to enroll in law school at the UI, had been appointed "assistant in athletics" to work with the freshman football squad.

November 15


Despite the loss of several Ironmen—including Kinnick, Erwin Prasse, and Dick "Whitey" Evans—the Hawkeyes opened the season with gusto, skunking South Dakota and beating Wisconsin. Then followed three consecutive losses, before another miracle game versus Notre Dame.

Late in the fourth quarter, Ken Pettit recovered an Irish fumble in Iowa territory. Fullback Bill Green took over from there, scoring the game's only touchdown on a short run to win the game, 7-0. The Hawkeye victory snapped Notre Dame's six-game winning streak, making Iowa the only school in the nation able to boast of a perfect record (3-0) against the Fighting Irish.

While Green was the man who rushed for all of Iowa's net yardage that day, others celebrated, too. According to The Daily Iowan's account, "Nile Kinnick, cool, calm and collected while he's on a football team, pranced up and down the dressing room almost jabbering in his excitement."

Fans in Iowa City picked up on the merrymaking the instant they heard the radio report confirming the outcome of the game. Unrehearsed cheerleaders perched on the traffic signal at the intersection of Washington and Clinton streets, leading a number of yells and singing "On Iowa." The student newspaper noted that after a snake dance proceeded north on Clinton, "an accordion player and a bugler joined the cheerleaders on the steps of Old Capitol and added discordant though enthusiastic accompaniment to the general clamor."

It was the highlight of the football year. At the end of the season, the Hawkeyes stood dead even, with four wins and four losses.