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This Iowa Hawkeyes Football History and Facts section highlights the program's tremendous success along with many amazing facts

Iowa Hawkeyes Football History and Facts

Iowa Hawkeyes football has generated great success through nearly a century and a half. The program has earned Conference and National championships, a Heisman Trophy winner and numerous All-Americans.



Iowa’s first football season: Although football was played as a club sport as early as 1872, the first officially recognized football team first took the field in 1889. After going through that season undefeated, the university was invited to join the Western Conference in 1890. That league eventually changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.

Football National championships: The Football Writers Association of America awarded the 1958 Iowa football team as its national champion. Unlike the AP which awarded their national championship to LSU prior to the bowl games, the football writers selected the #2 ranked Iowa squad as their champion after Coach Forest Evashevski’s team beat California in the Rose Bowl 38-12

University's first bowl game: The school’s first postseason appearance was played on January 1, 1957 when the Hawkeyes defeated Oregon State 35-19.

School's football uniforms: Not only does the University feature black and gold as their primary colors, but the school’s uniform have a strong resemblance to ones worn by the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Head Coach Hayden Fry obtained permission in 1979 from the Steelers to model the university’s football uniforms in the same style of the NFL franchise. The Rooneys sent Fry replica copies of Terry Bradshaw’s home and away uniforms to help with the project.

football helmets: The Tigerhawk logo has been a fixture on the school’s headgear since 1979. Prior to that season, the school featured yellow/gold helmets that featured the word “Iowa”. The first markings on Iowa Helmets appeared in 1956 when numbers appeared on the helmet’s side. That trend continued until the 1965 squad featured a circled block I as its logo. The team with without logos on the helmet from 1966-70 and then featured an “attack hawk” logo from in the late 60s and early 70s.

Kinnick stadium: The University plays its games at Kinnick Stadium. Originally known as Iowa Stadium with it opened in 1929, the stadium was renamed after University of Iowa Heisman Trophy Winner Nile Kinnick in 1972. Kinnick won the Heisman in 1939 and later died in World War II. The Navy pilot died on a training flight when his F4F Wildcat aircraft developed an oil lead and Kinnick was forced to attempt what became a fatal emergency landing in the water. A statue of Kinnick stands outside of the stadium named in his honor.

Hawkeyes rivalries: The University’s top rivalry is with Minnesota and the two schools have played for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy since 1935. The statue features a bronze pig and is a travelling trophy that goes home with the game’s winner.

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