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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Iowa State Football History: The 1920's

Release: 07/06/2012
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Photo courtesy of ISU Special Collections

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State’s football legacy stretches over 12 decades back to the program’s formation in 1892. Our Athletics Communications Department recently chronicled the highlights of that history into shortened document for another department project.

So, we decided to share that with you. Each Friday leading up until the home-opener on Sept. 1 vs. Tulsa, will recount major moments in Cyclone football history. Our fourth part features the 1910's. Archive links will be made below. 


C Leigh “Polly” Wallace earns All-America honors. The team is coached by former Amos Alonzo Stagg assistant Norman Paine. Paine leaves after season to pursue a career in medicine.


Maury Kent, Iowa State’s basketball and baseball coach, is named head football coach. Cyclone football is broadcast on the radio for the first time by WOI with Andy Woolfries as the first Iowa State play-by-play man. C Leigh “Polly” Wallace is a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honoree.


The Iowa State athletic council elects Sam Willaman, formerly head coach at East Tech High School in Cleveland, Ohio to be the Cyclone head football coach. Among the players he brings to Iowa State is African-American OL Jack Trice, the first African-American athlete in school history.


OL Jack Trice is seriously injured in Oct. 6 game at Minnesota and dies the following Monday. A funeral on campus draws more than 4,000 people. A note written before the Minnesota game is found in his coat pocket and head coach Sam Willaman reads the note at the campus funeral conducted near the campanile.


Jack Trice’s high school teammate, B Norton Behm, earns first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors.


Late in an Iowa State vs. Drake (Nov. 13) game at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa State QB Johnny Behm takes the snap with a 7-0 Cyclone lead and runs backwards, running as much clock as possible before taking a knee in the end zone for a safety. Drake then kicked off to Iowa State and Behm repeated his retreat two more times to run down most of the time remaining.  Iowa State wins 7-6. In the following offseason, the collegiate rules committee changes the rule to make a team that surrenders a safety have to kick the ball away to start the ensuing possession. 

After the season B Lincoln Cory earns first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference recognition.


After the season, Sam Willaman resigns to accept an assistant head coaching job at Ohio State, where he will eventually be head coach. Simpson coach Noel Workman is named head coach at Iowa State. The Cyclones close the season with 20-0 win over UCLA in the Los Angeles Coliseum on Nov. 27. The Iowa State team is met at the Ames railroad station by a huge crowd which travels with the team to State Gym for “the biggest rally ever tendered a Cyclone team.”


On Oct. 15, Iowa State fights to a 12-12 tie with Illinois in Champaign against an Illini team that would win the rest of its games and be declared national champions. The rugged rambling of FB Harry Lindbloom leads the Cyclone effort and earns him first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors. The year ends with Iowa State’s fifth straight 4-3-1 season.


Iowa State and former Missouri Valley Conference mates Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Kansas State form the Big Six Conference. The move was made in part to set up a conference in which every team played each other during the season, which was impossible in the 10-team Missouri Valley Conference. B Paul Trauger is a first-team All-Big Six selection.


G Maynard Spear is named first-team All-Big Six.

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