26 September 2011

All-time Fave Hawkeyes

I swiped this post topic after enjoying SH's post about who her all-time favorite Hawkeyes were.  This is tougher than I thought it would be.  I've been a Hawk fan since I was brought into the world at University Hospital on a home football weekend by a young U of I education major.  The Hawkeyes lost that weekend and went 5-6 that year, which actually was one of the best years of those two decades of bleak times for the Iowa program.  Luckily that all turned around with Hayden Fry and the glory days of the 80's.  Do I choose some of those star players from my first memories of cheering them on (Matt Hughes, Chuck Hartlieb, Nick Bell, and my first Iowa FB memory...Ronnie Harmon)?  Or more recent players who I've watched more closely and remember more clearly?  And weighing favorites from different sports is tough so with no exact science to it, here are a two or three from football, basketball and wrestling...
  • Tim Dwight - ('94-'97) He was a year older than me and I was able to see him put on one of the most stunning performances ever when he took his City High 4x400 team from behind to a wide victory at the State track meet.  After than I followed his Iowa career closely.  He was electric to watch.  Punt returns, receiving, and of course this hit on punt cover against Arizona.  He seemed like Superman at the time...actually, he still does. 
  • Tavian Banks - ('94-'97) I was there for his 314 yard game against Tulsa his senior year.  I had bought tickets off a scalper and they were in the third row one of the end zones.  Closest I've ever been.  Fantastic.  I also had an "Iowa Football #22" white baseball hat that I LOVED in college. 
  • Tyler Sash ('08-'10) I was sad the day he declared he was leaving before his senior year for the NFL.
  • Honorable Mentions:  Matt Hughes (LB '95-'98), Chuck Hartlieb (QB '87-'88), Nick Bell (RB '88-'90)
  • Tom Brands ('89-'92) There was an speaker that came to my school when I was in junior high. I don't even remember who it was, some sort of motivational thing and afterward there were posters and stuff for sale.  I bought a poster that had Tom and Terry running up the stairs in Carver-Hawkeye.  Another poster there has a quote from Alexander Karelin "I train harder every day of my life than they have ever trained a single day in theirs" that I really liked, so I wrote that on the bottom of the Brands poster in Sharpie.  I still have the poster.  And I'm thrilled that this guy is leading the Iowa program.
  • Dan Gable - He started it all for Iowa and his exploits are legendary.  Plus you still get to listen to him whenever you watch Iowa wrestle on IPTV.
  • Joe Williams ('95-'98) I had a friend who was statistician for the wrestling team while Joe was there so we actually crossed paths a couple times.  The guy was a specimen. 
  • Matt Anderson ('00-'03)  A friend from back home, this guy was a beast in HS and although he didn't have the kind of success as the others listed here, he was a three-year letterwinner and placed in the Big 10's, and he made it very fun to follow the squad in those years.
  • Honorable Mention: The 1995 Iowa squad (McIlravy, McGuinness, Ironside) This was the first time I'd seen college wrestling.  The national championships were at Carver-Hawkeye, I was a senior in HS, walked over to the arena, bought a ticket super cheap and went in to witness one of the sessions.  Incredible.  
  • BJ Armstrong ('85-'89)
  • Andre Woolridge ('95-'97)
  • Honorable mention: Chris Kingsbury ('93-'96), Roy Marble ('85-'89) Reggie Evans ('01-'02)


  1. You are so young! You missed the greatest Iowa b-ball player: Ronnie Lester (graduated 1980). He led Iowa to a Big Ten tri-championship in 1979 (with Magic Johnson's Spartans & Joe Barry Carrol's Purdue) then to the Final Four in 1980, where he went out with a knee injury against eventual champion Louisville. Great player. Better than Armstronog or Wooldridge.

  2. Oh, yea, and before Hartlieb: Chuck Long, runner-up for the Heisman. Not beautiful, but so effective!

  3. and the tragic death of Chris Street. and our area player from Atlantic Iowa, Ed Podalack.

  4. I know, I just missed those shiny times of Iowa BB. When I was with Nationwide, one of my agents was Kevin Boyle, and I didn't know who he was. My sales manager had to fill me in. :(
    And I just missed Chuck Long too! i think my first memory was of watching a game in a hotel in...Cedar Rapids maybe?..with you and Ronnie Harmon getting a lot of cheers! (i didn't know about his Rose Bowl meltdown until i googled him while writing this)