Former Cyclone John Arnaud Passes Away
AMES, Iowa - John Arnaud, one of the most ferocious hitters in Iowa State football history, passed away Saturday in Ames. He was 51 years old.
A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Arnaud starred on the gridiron and in track & field during his Cyclone career from 1978-82. Nicknamed "Land Shark," the defensive back was known for his big hits from the secondary. He started three years at safety and cornerback for the Cyclones, but knee injuries hampered his progress throughout his career.
Arnaud was a preseason All-Big Eight selection in 1981 after a fantastic sophomore year in 1980 where he recorded 35 tackles, including six for a loss. Iowa State began the 1981 season at 5-1-1 and was ranked in the top-25 nationally until Arnaud went down with a season-ending knee injury. His key interception vs. Oklahoma in 1981 helped the Cyclones tie the fifth-ranked Sooners, 7-7.
A gifted athlete, Arnaud was also an excellent high-jumper, clearing a career best of 7-2 for the Cyclones. He was the only freshman to make the finals of the high jump at the 1980 NCAA Championship.
After graduation, Arnaud played three seasons in the United States Football League.
Arnaud's son, Austen, would later go on to star for the Cyclones as Iowa State's starting quarterback from 2008-10. Austen is second all-time in career passing yards (6,777), completions (616) and touchdown passes (42) in Iowa State history.