Originating in 1912, Iowa State Homecoming has been a longstanding tradition on campus to celebrate student life and invite back alumni to Iowa State. At the Special Collections and University Archives, we preserve decades of memorabilia from Iowa State Homecoming celebrations and invite everyone to come take a peek at our collection during Homecoming week!
Popular Homecoming traditions on campus have centered around the Homecoming football game that ends the week. In preparation, students will hold large pep rallies to hype up the student body.
This newspaper clipping from 1916 elaborates on one of the first Iowa State Homecoming pep rallies that was attended by the ‘original Cyclone team’ and 4000 students and alumni! Ultimately these pep rallies solidify the sense of community that Homecoming week brings to Ames and Iowa Staters.
Another lighthearted tradition at Iowa State has been the lawn displays in preparation for the football game that will poke fun at the opposing team.
Take for example this lawn display on Delta Tau Delta’s lawn in 1950. The text reads “The Egg” and “Crack the Jayhawks” in reference to the Kansas Jayhawks and their bird mascot. Shown is an Iowa State football player cracking ‘the egg’ symbolizing an Iowa State win that weekend.
The Homecoming game itself is often widely attended- especially by alumni.
This news paper article in the Iowa State Student from 1917 exudes Iowa State pride on the win against Kansas State. The article has a section titled “Hail to the team” and proclaims “warriors of the cardinal gold we hail you!”
Aside from football, Homecoming week of course offers numerous other activities on campus for students and alumni to celebrate their Iowa State pride.
Some of the classic Homecoming events are shown in this schedule from 2000 on campus. Events include a 5k Run/Walk, Photo Scavenger Hunt, and Yell Like Hell. Also shown is a Homecoming Concert invitation from 2007 for Iowa Staters to celebrate Homecoming through music!
No matter how you plan to celebrate this week, SCUA wishes everyone a happy Iowa State Homecoming!
As we all prepare for the big football game this Saturday, I wanted to present a little known fact about Nile Kinnick, the namesake for the University of Iowa football stadium. For good reason, when you think of the name Kinnick, you think of University of Iowa. However, it’s interesting to learn that his father (also named Nile Kinnick) was a player on Iowa State’s Football team in the 19-teens. In case you’re wondering, the Ames team beat the University of Iowa team in Iowa City during Kinnick Sr.’s graduating year.
Despite the fierce rivalry between the two schools, it’s important to remember that historically and today, there is more that unites the schools than divides them. Have fun at the game this weekend and be safe!
Today’s blog post was authored by our guest blogger, Jared Larson. Jared is an Ames native and student here at Iowa State. He’s been attending ISU athletic events ever since he was 5 (2002). When not hitting the books, he can be found doing writing for Wide Right & Natty Lite and also working as equipment manager for Cyclone Hockey. Jared is also a member of two dance clubs on campus (Orchesis II and Celtic Dance Society). For those wondering what his dog is named, he goes by Kenji, and he is as good a companion as he is a brother to Jared.
Cyclones that have made NFL World Championship Appearances
Iowa State has been fielding a football team ever since 1892, and out of the thousands of players that have played in Ames, less than 200 have made it to professional ranks. Of those, about twenty have made it to an NFL Championship game. For those interested in an all-time professional list, I have assembled lists (1920s-1930s, 1940s-1950s) that go up until the 1950s .
Our first Cyclone on our list is no other than Dick Barker, who was a letter winner in 1916, 1917, and 1919. The Oklahoma City native was an offensive guard and a very good one at that. In 1919, his All-American season, he was a stalwart on the offensive line. Knute Rockne, the famed Notre Dame coach, picked Barker for his All-American squad. Dick was also a very good wrestler here, going 10-1-1 and having five pins. His only defeat came in his first ever appearance, one in which he had a broken hand.
In 1921, Barker spent his only professional year playing for both the Rock Island Independents (for two games) and also the Chicago Staleys where he wore #18. In 2002, Iowa State inducted Dick into their Athletics Hall of Fame.
Clyde Shugart, an Ames High grad, made waves in high school, making first-team all-state in 1934 as an offensive guard. He was a tailback in 1936, but he would switch back for both the 1937 and 1938 seasons. In the magical season that was 1938, he, along with Ed Bock, would pave the way for quarterback Everett “Rabbit” Kischer. He would garner All-Big Six honors that season.
In the 1939 NFL Draft, Clyde Shugart was selected 158th overall by the Washington Redskins. (You can see his contract here) He stayed with Washington (#51) from 1939-1944, and he never missed a game. He played in the NFL Championship against the Bears in 1940, 1942, and 1943, only to win it all in 1942. In both 1941 and 1942, Shugart was honored as a Pro Bowl member, and in 1943 he was named an All-Pro. In 2000, the Iowa High School Football Hall of Fame inducted him, and in 2004, Iowa State inducted him to their Hall of Fame. Also in 2004, Coffin Cornercaught up with Shugart.
Jim Doran was honored as All-Big Seven in 1949, and in 1950, he was All-American. In a 1949 game against Oklahoma, he caught eight passes for 203 yards. He finished his Cyclone career with 1,410 yards on 79 receptions.
Doran was selected 55th overall by the Lions in the 1951 NFL Draft. He played a critical role in four (’52, ’53, ’54, and ‘57) NFL Championship games, and he had a 3-1 record in said games. In the 1952 season, he played in 11 games, catching a football 10 times for 147 yards. He was named MVP of the ’52 Lions and also got a sack in the NFL Championship. In the ’53 Championship, he caught the game-tying touchdown that led to the Lions winning 17-16. In 1954, he played in seven games, but accrued no playoff stats. In 1957, Doran finally got a starting nod where he had 1 receiving touchdown that he traveled 78 yards to obtain. Also, on the whole of 1957 he had 33 catches for 624 yards, 5 td.
Stan Campbell was the very first good Campbell in Iowa State history, winning letters from 1949-1951. In 1951, he was named captain of the I.S.C. squad and following his strong offensive and defensive efforts, Stan would be named the only player named to First Team All-Big Seven Offense and Defense. He would also be selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
He was drafted 213th overall by the Lions, where he would meet up with former Cyclone Jim Doran. Fun fact: Campbell’s first contract was for $5,000, and he had to supply his own shoulder pads and cleats. In the 1957 NFL Championship season, Campbell would appear in 12 games as a lineman.
Otto Stowe was very truly the Allen Lazard of his time (1968-1970) here at Iowa State. How so? In 1970, his senior year, he had 59 catches, six receiving touchdowns, and 822 receiving yards which garnered him All-Big Eight honors. He finished his Cyclone career with 132 catches, 1,751 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
The Dolphins selected him 47th overall in 1971, and in his rookie season he caught five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. He did not appear in Super Bowl VI as he was battling Hepatitis. In 1972, the famed perfect season for Miami, he had 13 catches for 276 yards, and two of those catches were touchdowns.
Matt Blair played as a monster-back while at Iowa State, and while here he had a very successful career, attaining the following honors: All-Big 8, All-American, and Defensive MVP at the 1971 Sun Bowl. He finished his career with 202 tackles, 5 interceptions, 3 fumbles forced and 3 recovered.
Professionally, he spent 1974-1985 with the Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in both Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI. In Super Bowl IX against the Steelers, he blocked a Pittsburgh punt that led to Minnesota’s only score. In Super Bowl XI against the Raiders, he started and finished two tackles and assisted on three tackles.
From 1974-1977, Tom Randall was a force on the defensive line accumulating 286 total tackles. He was a first team All-Big 8 selection in 1977. In the 1978 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected him 194th overall. He appeared in 12 games during the season and appeared in Super Bowl XIII as a substitute.
Keith Krepfle was a very reliable tight end for the Cyclones from 1971-1973. He finished his career with 94 catches for 1,378 yards and he accumulated fifteen touchdowns while here. In a 1972 game against #3 Nebraska, the Potosi native would haul in two touchdowns in a game that ended in a 23-23 tie. In the 1974 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected Krepfle 115th overall, but instead he spent his first season with the Jacksonville Sharks who were a part of the World Football League. Keith would play in Super Bowl XV, and he would catch two passes, one of which was a touchdown that made Krepfle the first player from a college in Iowa to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl.
Dan Johnson was a tight end at Iowa State in 1980 and 1981. He had 25 receptions which led him to 406 total receiving yards. His longest reception as a Cyclone came in 1980, with length totaling 76 yards.
The “King of Pain” as he would be known professionally, was drafted 170th overall by the Dolphins in 1982. The Minnesota native started all sixteen regular season games, and by the time Super Bowl XIX rolled around, he got the starting nod yet again. He would have three receptions on the day, the first good for 5 yards, second good for 21 yards, and third good for two yards and a Miami touchdown. Unfortunately, the rest of the Dolphins couldn’t shore up success, and they lost 38-16.
Karl Nelson is one of the best offensive lineman to ever step foot on campus when he played here from 1979-1982. As a redshirt freshman in 1979, the DeKalb, Illinois, native started at right tackle and stayed there his entire career. In 1979, he earned Freshman All-America honors by both Football News and Bluechip Magazine. He was Second Team All-Big Eight in 1980, and in both 1981 and 1982, he earned First Team All-Big Eight honors.
The New York Giants would pick him up 70th overall in the 1983 Draft, and in the 1986 season, he led the Giants to Super Bowl XXI where the New York squad beat the Broncos 39-20. In 2005, he was inducted into Iowa State’s Hall of Fame.
The Humboldt native was recruited to Iowa State to play as a defensive tackle, but after some injuries, Reimers moved to the offensive line. Reimers, along with aforementioned Nelson, helped Dwayne Crutchfield have back to back 1,000 yard seasons. In 1983, after many knee surgeries, Bruce got honored as First-Team All-Big Eight and also got invited to the Senior Bowl.
The Bengals would draft Reimers 204th overall in the 1984 Draft, and he would stay there until 1991. In Super Bowl XXIII, he would get the start next to stud left tackle, Anthony Muñoz. Unfortunately, the Bengals would lose 20-16 to the 49ers in a memorable classic. Iowa State would induct him into their Hall of Fame in 2009.
Dennis Gibson played at Iowa State from 1983-1986 as one of our best ever linebackers from Ankeny. He finished his career with 304 tackles, as well as six sacks and interceptions. Gibson also caused eight fumbles and recovered three of them.
In the 1987 NFL Draft, the Lions selected him 203rd overall, but instead he brought the Chargers to the Super Bowl. In the 1994 AFC Championship against the Steelers, Gibson deflected a pass on a 4th & Goal to send the Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX where he would get the starting nod. Unfortunately, the 49ers would hang 49 on San Diego and they would lose by 23. In December 2017, Gibson granted the website that I normally write for an interview for those that want to read it.
Gene Williams was an outstanding offensive guard from 1987-1990. He earned First-Team All-Big Eight honors in 1990. His blocking ability allowed Blaise Bryant to have massive success in his rushing attack. Gannett News honored him as an All-American in 1990, and also in 1990, he played in the Blue-Gray Classic. He is in the Iowa State Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The Dolphins drafted him 121st overall where he teamed up with former Cyclone teammate Keith Sims. The Omaha native would spend two seasons with Miami, two more with the Browns, and he was with the Falcons when he made his Super Bowl appearance. He started in Super Bowl XXXIII but alas the Falcons fell to the John Elway led Broncos 19-34.
Seneca Wallace may have only spent two years at ISU, but he made enough highlight tape worthy plays to make it seem like he spent more time here. Known best for his run against Texas Tech in 2002, Seneca almost engineered a comeback against #3 Florida State in 2002, but he would be ruled against by a referee, and the Cyclones would lose 38-31.
Seneca would find himself being drafted by Seattle (110th overall) and that’s where he would appear in Super Bowl XL two seasons later. The Seahawks would lose, but Wallace would appear in the game as a sub.
Ellis Hobbs III was a great defensive back for the Cyclones from 2001-2004, playing in 49 games in which he accumulated a little over 200 tackles. In his final game as a Cyclone, he had a long interception to seal the Cyclone win in the 2004 Independence Bowl over Miami (OH).
The Patriots drafted him 84th overall in 2005. In the perfect regular season of 2007 for New England, Hobbs returned a kickoff for 108 yards which at the time, was tied for an NFL record. In Super Bowl XLII, he had the interception in the game of which he returned for 23 yards.
Kelechi Osemele is the next Cyclone on the list, playing here from 2008-2011. He was a strong force on the offensive line, and he would be named a First-Team All-American by Sports Illustrated. He played in 49 games and had 44 consecutive starts. The Ravens would draft him 60th overall, and the rookie would be a key factor in Baltimore’s win in Super Bowl XLVII over the 49ers.
Next up is A.J. Klein who was a stud linebacker from 2009-2012. He tallied 361 tackles which is fourth most in Iowa State history. In both 2011 and 2012, he was a First Team All-Big 12 honoree. In Super Bowl 50, he played 1 defensive snap and 22 special teams snaps.
Jomal Wiltz is the final Cyclone on the list, as he played here from 2015 to 2016. He would be named Honorable Mention All-Big 12 his senior season, and he won the Al and Dean Kundson award which goes to the most outstanding defensive player at Iowa State. He was selected to appear in the College Gridiron Showcase.
Wiltz is currently on the practice squad for the Patriots, however, I’ll be keeping an eye out for him on Sunday when New England takes on the Philadelphia Eagles!
Tomorrow is the Iowa State vs. Iowa football game. Wednesday’s post detailed the history behind the rivalry. Today’s Flashback Friday photograph is of an Iowa versus Iowa State football game in Ames at Clyde Williams Field.
In honor of Homecoming, today’s image features the ISU Alumni Band, performing during the 1985 homecoming half-time show.
The ISU Alumni Band Association was formed in 1981 by Kirk Hartung, a 1979 ISU alum. In collaboration with the marching band directors, he brought together 165 former marching band members from the graduating classes of 1927 to 1981. The band first performed together at the 1981 Homecoming football game, and has performed there every year since. Watch for them during this year’s game against Toledo on October 11!
Football season is in full swing, but let’s not forget about that musical ensemble that breathes life into that break between the two halves of every football game! Yes, it’s also marching band season, and halftime would not be the same without them. In the photo below, some sousaphone players are pictured blasting out the eardrums of two poor piccolo players (okay, it’s probably just posed) from our own marching band – the Iowa State University Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band, or ISUCF’V’MB.
The band was first organized at Iowa State around 1879 or 1880. The Iowa State Band went on to play at the World’s Columbian Exposition, otherwise known as the World’s Fair, in Chicago in October 1892 for the dedication of the Iowa State Building. The band’s long tradition is still strong today, with a membership of more than 300 students.
More marching band photos are available here, as well as in the Special Collections Department. Interested in learning more about our fantastic marching band? Come in and have a look at our Marching Band Records, RS 13/7/3, a collection full of scrapbooks, documents, and artifacts, in addition to photographs.
A new online digital collection, containing highlights from the Jack Trice Papers and University Photographs, is available for viewing. 90 years ago this October, an Iowa State legend lost his life from injuries sustained during his first college football game. John G. Trice, better known as Jack, was born in 1902 in the small town of Hiram, Ohio. He later attended high school in Cleveland at East Technical High School, where he had a stellar football career. When his high school coach, Sam Willaman, left to coach at what was then Iowa State College, Trice followed to study animal husbandry with the ultimate goal of going south to help fellow African-Americans in their farming endeavors. While at Iowa State, Trice participated in both track and football, though he is best known for the latter. While just about everyone who has ever been associated with Iowa State knows the story of Trice’s first and last game with the college, here it is for those who are not familiar with it.
On October 6, 1923 Iowa State College (now University) played the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Trice was excited to play in his first college football game and, according to his “last letter,” felt like he had something to prove. In the second play of the game, Trice broke his collar, but said he was alright and kept playing. Then, during the third quarter, University of Minnesota players tackled Trice, forcing him to the ground and crushing him. Although he again claimed to be fine, he was taken out of the game and sent to the hospital. After an examination, the doctors decided that he was fit to travel, and he returned to Ames with the rest of his team. Not long after, on October 8, 1923, Jack Trice passed away from internal bleeding due to injuries from the game. According to a hospital record, he died of traumatic peritonitis following an injury to his abdomen. He left behind a young wife, Cora Mae, whom he had married just that previous summer and who was devastated by the news. Jack Trice is the only athlete to have died as a result of playing for Iowa State.
The night before the game, Trice wrote a letter, part of which is pictured below. It not only gives us a glimpse into what he was thinking and feeling the night before the big game, but it shows that he may have had some sense of what was to come.
the most poignant excerpt reads as follows:
“The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Every one is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field. “
Jack Trice made history even before the fated football game. He was Iowa State College’s first African-American athlete, which is made more significant by the fact that this was the early 1920s and many schools, especially in the South, did not have integrated teams until the 1950s and 1960s. Not everyone viewed Trice’s involvement on Iowa State’s team as a good thing. The states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma all refused to let their schools play against an African-American; essentially what they said was that either Trice would not play in the games against them, or there would be no football game. As expected of that time, Trice faced prejudice and discrimination, and yet he kept going. It does seem, however, that he and his fellow teammates got along well enough.
Today, a bronze statue of Trice, erected in 1987, stands near Jack Trice Stadium, the only Division I-A stadium named after an African-American. The stadium, built in 1975 to replace Clyde Williams Field, was finally named after Trice in 1997 after a long promotion to name it after him that started in 1973. It was originally named Cyclone Stadium in 1984 and the playing field was named Jack Trice Field at that time as well. Now the stadium and bronze statue stand as a commemoration of a young man who sacrificed all for his team, his race, his family, and himself.
For more information on Jack Trice, in addition to what can be found in the online digital collection, feel free to contact us or stop by the Special Collections Department to view the physical collection. To see what the collection contains, click here. To learn more about Jack Trice Stadium, please see collection RS 4/8/4. Come on in and see us!
The plain and simple cover of the 1930s era football manual recently donated to our University Archives – inside is some wonderful insight into the Cyclone football team of that time.
A football manual from the 1930s was recently donated to the University Archives, and may have even been written by George Veenker, the football coach at that time. In paging through the manual, you only came across a few photographs. Even so, the manual is itself a wonderful picture of the spirit and advice given to football players years ago! It is fun to imagine the manual tucked away in the dorm rooms of every football player, being read diligently every night (really – we’re sure they did!).
The manual opened to the first page (Introduction).
The manual contains an introduction which describes the reason for the booklet:
“If after being told by a coach about a certain rule, a play or what to do under certain conditions, each player would know and remember his job, the coaching of football would be a bed of roses. If, after having it repeated a certain number of times, all would get the instructions, it would still be alright…” The manual goes on to say that that, however, does not happen on a regular basis and “Some boys will pick it up reading it in the quiet of their rooms quicker than in the hustle and rush on the field…IT IS FOR THIS PURPOSE THIS NOTE BOOK HAS BEEN ASSEMBLED.” (And yes, this final sentence is in all caps!).
The bulk of the book contains advice and strategies for the game. When one looks at the photograph below from a 1938 game, one can only wonder how many of those players were following the advice contained in the manual!
1938 football team
One of my favorite sections is the “Rules and regulations on the care and use of this book” in which the manual explains that “There is a lot of valuable dope in this book which, if gotten into the hands of our opponents, would ruin us…It is secret to the extent that it is the way we really are doing things. It is valuable to them only to that extent and it is plenty.” Players are not to share the manual with anyone, including their other football players! The final part of the section explains that the book is to be eventually turned in and not kept by the player – one can only wonder how many Cyclone football players owned this particular manual while on the team…or if it was the coach’s own personal copy!
The manual contains wonderful pieces of general advice, often in found in all-caps. An example found in the “Morale” section states: “IT NEVER DOES ONE ANY HARM TO HAVE HIGH AMBITIONS AND IDEALS, IF TEMPERED WITH COMMON SENSE AND ABILITY TO STAND DISAPPOINTMENT” (many of these are great sayings anyone, whether or not a football player, would benefit to keep in mind!). Another fun section to read through is the “More than Poetry” section. One paragraph states “Be sure to dance during the season. You have lots of energy to spare anyhow.”
Jack Trice and his teammates in 1923.
One final part of the book I would like to highlight is the page about Jack Trice, and the entire section could be thought of as equivalent to these sayings found throughout since it is quite clear the author meant for Jack Trice to be an example to current football players. The manual states “He had the right attitude, the right spirit and a fine sense of loyalty.” I won’t quote it at length here, but I highly encourage visitors requesting the manual to take a look at this page! (More information on Jack Trice can be found in the finding aid for his papers and on our Flickr page).
The gym plaque mentioned in the section on Jack Trice.
The manual closes with a March 4, 1933 editorial, “There’s Something to Cyclone ‘Spirit'”, by Harold Ingle, sports editor of Iowa State Student. One can think that this manual might be one of those “seeds” mentioned in a paragraph of the editorial: “When we take note of the heroes who are now here and consider what they are doing to remain, we know that there has been planted here a virile seed that cannot die out. Repeat to us the hardships that our pioneer classes endured to plant this seed, and we will tell you of the proud and courageous children who are carrying on in face of even greater difficulties.”
The football manual came to us in fragile condition, and the library’s Preservation Department did a wonderful job in making sure the manual will be well-preserved for future generations! Please take a look at the Preservation Department’s blog post about how the manual was preserved. If you would like to find out about other records we have in the University Archives about football and other athletic teams, click here for a listing of the various collections’ finding aids.
As I listened to the news stories this past weekend leading up to the Super Bowl game of the Packers versus the Steelers, I realized that our own Cyclones and other collections we have here in the Special Collections Department had a few things in common with the history of this year’s Super Bowl team names.
The history of how the Packers and Steelers received their names has been recounted in numerous articles. The Packers got theirs from a Wisconsin meat packing company which helped supply their uniforms, and the Steelers from the steel industry around the Pittsburgh area. Both names are rooted in history and place, just as the Cyclones’ name.
How did our Cyclones get their name? Iowa State’s athletic teams have been known as the Cyclones since 1895. On September 28 of that year the Iowa State football team surprised Northwestern University’s team, and themselves, by scoring an amazing 36 points. Northwestern scored 0 points. The Chicago Tribune described the game the next day:
“Struck by a Cyclone…Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday. At the end of fifty minute’s play the big husky farmers from Iowa’s Agricultural College had rolled up 36 points, while 15 yard line was the nearest Northwestern got to Iowa’s goal.”
Although tornadoes are not necessarily a money making industry here in Iowa, Iowa is nevertheless well known for producing these often terrifying weather phenomena.
More on the history of the naming of the Cyclones can be found here on our online exhibit about the history of Cy. News clippings about that game with Northwestern, along with many others on the Cyclone football teams through the years, can be found in our football news clippings file (RS 24/6/0/0). The University Archives also holds other materials documenting ISU’s football history, including game programs and media guides. If you would like to read a little more about the history of football here at Iowa State, please read a previous post on an exhibit here in Special Collections on Iowa State’s football history (if you would still like to view this exhibit you need to hurry – a new one will soon be taking its place!).
The original Cyclone football team from 1895.
So you would like to do some research related to the names of the Packers and Steelers? Although we obviously do not collect records related to these teams, we do have Iowa papers and records of people and companies related to the industries these teams were named after. In addition to the papers of an Iowa State football player who played for one season with the Green Bay Packers (William Reichardt Papers, MS-8 – however – his papers do not contain much if any documentation related to his football career), we have the records of an Iowa meat packing company, the Rath Packing Company (MS-562). The Steelers? This might be a bit of a stretch, but we have the Sherwood DeForest Papers (RS 9/7/53). DeForest worked for the Agricultural Marketing Department (1954-1977) of US Steel (USX) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and held the positions of Marketing Representative and Manager Marketing – Agricultural Equipment.
Hopefully this post has given you an idea of the variety of collections we hold here in the Special Collections Department of Parks Library, in addition to a little bit of athletic history!