"Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum" Dedicated to Coach Orr
AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State Athletics Department held a dedication ceremony this afternoon for “Johnny’s At Hilton Coliseum”, a donor gathering space named in honor of one of Iowa State’s most legendary figures, Johnny Orr.
The former Cyclone coach and members of his family were in attendance as a larger-than-life statue of Orr was unveiled in the east concourse ofHilton Coliseum right outside of “Johnny’s”.
"This is awesome," an elated Orr said. "Iowa State did a great job on everything and I can't thank them enough for making this all possible."
Statue sculptors Lou Cella and Oscar Leon (from the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany, the same studio which developed the Michael Jordan statue at the United Center) were present at the ceremony as were donors Craig & Virginia Petermeier from Mingo, Iowa, and Lyle & Becky Siefering of Oskaloosa, Iowa. Their gifts helped fund the capital project. Institutional administrators and former coaches and players also attended the festivities.
“We thought it was important to preserve Coach Orr’s legacy for generations to come, do so in a unique way and make sure it represented Johnny’s charisma,” Pollard said. “We believe the statue, (sports bar-like) donor area and memorabilia from his tenure are the perfect tribute.”
Orr, who was the head men’s basketball coach at Iowa State from 1981-94, is Iowa State’s all-time winningest coach, amassing 218 victories in his 14 seasons on the bench. He led the Cyclones to six NCAA Tournament appearances and his exciting and up-tempo style of basketball and over-the-top personality sparked an unprecedented interest and jolt into a once dormant program.
The purpose of “Johnny’s” is to provide a large sports bar-themed gathering area for donors on gameday while honoring one of Iowa State’s most iconic figures. “Johnny’s” is equipped with numerous televisions, a lounge area and features murals of Orr in his career with the Cyclones. The flooring in the donor area is the actual game floor from historic State Gym, Cyclone basketball’s home from 1913-47. Memorabilia from Orr’s career is on permanent display outside the entrance of “Johnny’s” in the two concourse trophy cases.
“Coach Orr is responsible for putting Iowa State basketball on the map,” said Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, who played three seasons at Iowa State for Orr (1992-94). “He was extremely influential to me in my development as a player and a person. The new donor area and statue will provide Cyclone fans a chance to reflect on his wonderful legacy at Iowa State forever.”
Access to “Johnny’s” for men’s games will be provided to Cyclone Club members at the Directors Level ($12,500) with men’s basketball season tickets and men’s CourtCYd Club ticket holders. Victory Level ($5,000) and above Cyclone Club members with women’s basketball season tickets and women’s CourtCyd Club seats will have access to the hospitality area for women’s games.
Click here, visit the "links" slideout tab above or scroll through the selection below to see a PHOTO GALLERY of the Johnny's interior. Check back to cyclones.com later this afternoon for more photos, video of the dedication and quotes from Orr.