Donor Profile: Ryan and Heather Lund
AMES, Iowa - Ryan Lund graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in journalism in 1994. While in school he covered central Iowa sports for WHO-TV Channel 13, and has continued to be a loyal Cyclone fan. Ryan currently works for Media Relations for Ameriprise Financial in Edina, Minn. He and his wife Heather also have two future Cyclones at home - Connor age 4, and 1-year-old Carter.
Why did you decide to join the Cyclone Club?
"I joined basically to support Iowa State and its student-athletes. I feel strongly about giving back to this University. What I always say is ‘I’ve only got one alma mater’, and because of that I will always have a vested interest in seeing Iowa State succeed in everything, especially athletics.
"I also organize a trip with six other couples every year to go to a football game, either on the road or at Jack Trice. This year will be our seventh annual trip, and I look forward to it each and every year. The first year we did it was in 2002, when we went to Kansas City for the Eddie Robinson Classic. That game went down to the very end, and it was great to see us compete against a team like Florida State. We went to Lincoln (Neb.) for the two-overtime loss to Nebraska two years ago. Just this past year was our first reunion in Ames, when we beat Iowa. This year I am really excited about going to UNLV and to be downtown in Las Vegas.
"Our group of couples even has our own name – TWISC. It stands for Tekes, wives and Iowa State Cyclones. All of us guys were fraternity brothers at Tau Kappa Epsilon when we went to school at Iowa State. What I do is coordinate everything from the hotel reservation to the flight plans. Every year we vote on where we are going the next year. We even have our very own official board meeting, and go through all of our plans for the trip. It started as my idea, and as we all got older and married, and started having families it was harder to see each other. We decided this was a good way to keep in touch, and support the Cyclones. Now we have all committed to this each and every year, and I love it. Of the seven couples, none of them even live in Iowa. There are two couples in Minnesota (including us), two in Arizona, one in Omaha, Kansas, and Colorado. I am really looking forward to Las Vegas this next fall."
When did you attend your first Iowa State athletic event?
"My first game would have been my freshman year in the fall of 1990. I remember it was a football win against Northern Iowa. It was a beautiful early September day; we still had hot weather and it was a great atmosphere. I remember back then everyone was quite optimistic going into the season. One other game I remember well is when we beat Nebraska in my junior year (1992)."
What was the most memorable game that you attended?
"Without a doubt, the best game that I have seen was the Troy Davis performance against Missouri in 1996. He went for 378 yards in one game, I mean how many guys could say they even came close to that. My wife went with me to that game and I remember Missouri had literally 10 guys in the box. Everyone watching that game knew where the ball was going, and they still couldn’t stop him. I’m still bitter he didn’t win the Heisman, he deserved it hands down. Just like the Missouri game, he was our entire offense that whole year. Every team we played, their defense knew where the ball was going, and nobody could stop him.
"As far as basketball games went, I remember fondly the Texas game in 2000 when (former ISU basketball player) Marcus Fizer dunked over Chris Mihm. That was a great moment and definitely an all-timer. I remember the comeback against Oklahoma State in 1992. They (OSU) were ranked number two in the country, and all I can think of that game was Justus Thigpen just going off and making every shot. Fred Hoiberg had that quote after that game that he could feel the floor shaking. That to me was the epitome of Hilton magic.
"Some more good times were when we had Kansas’s number in basketball. I remember we beat them in 1999, then twice in 2000, and twice again in 2001. Beating the Jayhawks in Lawrence is a tremendous feat, and we were able to do that two years in a row.
"I do have an interesting story about the day we beat Iowa in football in 2002. I was working as a weekend sports anchor for the Fox affiliate in Minneapolis, Minn. At this time I was in Cleveland covering the Indians, as they were about to clinch their division. I was watching the Iowa State- Iowa game and we were getting smoked at halftime (24-7). Then all of a sudden turnovers begin to go our way and (Iowa State quarterback) Seneca Wallace starts taking over. It was a historic comeback (36-31) and all the while I was trying to keep my eye on the game and do my job. I was telling myself I needed to concentrate on the baseball game instead of checking the TV monitors every minute. I couldn’t believe they were coming back, because I thought the game was over. I think the rest of my colleagues understood how big of a Cyclone fan I was, and cut me some slack."
What was your favorite Cyclone road trip?
"I was working for WHO-TV when we played Baylor in basketball down in Waco, Texas (2000). We ended up clinching the Big 12 Conference regular-season title that night. It was awesome because a bunch of Cyclone fans flew down on a charter plane, and there were more fans from Iowa State at the game than Baylor fans.
"Another trip that will go down in history was to Phoenix, Ariz. for the Insight.com Bowl in 2000. Being there with all those Cyclone fans really spoke volumes about our university. Not only were we in the game, but we beat a good team in Pittsburgh. I remember going down on the field with everyone that was in the stadium. Jamaine Billups’ punt return was the big highlight, and Reggie Hayward and Sage Rosenfels both had awesome games."
Name some of your favorite players and coaches?
"Wow, where do you start? In terms of the best players - Troy Davis, in my opinion is the best and Marcus Fizer a close second. You can’t forget Fred Hoiberg, and also Jamaal Tinsley was amazing, he could do anything with the ball in his hands. Tinsley’s overall record in Hilton Coliseum was unheard of. He never lost a game in that building and brought home two Big 12 titles.
"Going to coaches now - you can’t beat the character of Johnny Orr. I really liked Dan McCarney’s passion and love for Iowa State; it was genuine and contagious too. The players and the fans really believed in his respect for the school. Larry Eustachy’s fire on the sideline really got people rallied up - the team and crowd both fed off that."
"I think our programs will get there. I am excited to see what (head football coach Gene) Chizik can do. I am very optimistic about carrying over success from last season into this season. I think (head basketball coach Greg) McDermott will also do some great things while he is here. Bill Fennelly, what he has done with that women’s basketball program is historic. His lifetime contract that he received was the right choice, and I am excited for the future of our women’s basketball team.
"I agree with (athletics director) Jamie Pollard - if we are going to be competitive in this conference it takes a commitment from both the fans and alumni. We have to have the tools and facilities in place, just like the other schools. I think that both Jack Trice and Hilton Coliseum have been due for improvements for years now.
"I’m really fired up for the Las Vegas trip; really looking forward to another year of Cyclone basketball and football. It is only May, but the summer will go by quickly, and before you know it we will be watching college football again."