Donor Profile: Herb and JoEllen Dickkut
AMES, Iowa - Herb Dickkut graduated with a bachelor of science in accounting from UNI in 1972. After working for a corporate accounting firm he decided to come back home with his wife JoEllen and farm on his family’s 1000-acre spread near Marshalltown. Since 1980 Herb and JoEllen have been a part of the Cyclone Club and will continue to follow Iowa State athletics for years to come. We sat down with Herb and talked about his experiences as a Cyclone fan.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Cyclone Club?
A: “There were a number of reasons for me and my wife. The main one would be the seating benefits you can gain from it. Also being a part of one big Cyclone family has allowed me to gain new friends and meet new people. We started donating to the Cyclone Club around 1980 and just moved up to the Victory Club last year. I respect everyone in the athletic department and commend them for what a great job they have done so far. I saw (Iowa State head football coach Gene) Chizik speak at one of the Gridiron Club meetings last year, and that made me join right there. I feel like we are heading in the right direction for all of our athletic programs.”
Q: When did you attend your first Cyclone event?
A: “I never really got into Iowa State athletics until after I graduated from college. My first game would have been around 1975 and it was a basketball game. I decided to join in with some friends and buy men’s basketball season tickets around that time. My wife and I bought our own season tickets a couple of years later and have continued to follow the team ever since. It used to be hard for me to get out of the field harvesting and raising livestock during the fall. Since our operation has moved on to just grain we have started to go to more football games. We started getting (football tickets) in 1995 and were able to see the progression during the McCarney years.”
Q: What is your most memorable game that you attended?
A: “Every Kansas basketball game that I ever went to was amazing. I remember when we had Eustachy and we beat them five games in a row. Those were the days when we could just do anything. There was also a time when (Kansas All-American) Danny Manning never won in Hilton Coliseum, and he was the one who led them to the (1988 NCAA) national championship. My favorite game of all time would have to be the Lafester Rhodes game against Iowa in 1987 though. The game against Oklahoma State when Freddy (Hoiberg) went wild and we pulled it out in the final seconds (1992) was something I will never forget. Most recently one of the most memorable events was when Jake Sullivan was here. His freshman year against Kansas in Hilton he was just shooting the lights out.
“In football it was always big to beat Iowa. I mean they beat us for 15 straight years and all of a sudden we went on a streak where we beat them five straight times. This past year when we beat the Hawks it was great because nobody expected it. It sure was nice for (Iowa State placekicker Bret) “Shaggy” (Culbertson) to put that ball through the goalposts with everything he had gone through.”
Q: What was your favorite Cyclone road trip?
A: “Going down to Phoenix for the Insight.com Bowl in 2000 was such a great experience. We reminisce about that trip a lot with the family. The weather down there was so awesome and everywhere you went there was cardinal and gold. I kind of felt bad for Pittsburgh because we just took over the city of Phoenix for that game. Going to Texas for the Houston Bowl when we lost to TCU in 2005 was an amazing trip. Reliant Stadium was brand new and was a phenomenal facility.
“We have always enjoyed making trips with the women’s basketball team. JoEllen and I went to Columbia, Missouri two years ago for a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. It was a Saturday and there were very few Cyclone fans present. I remember it so well because it was McDermott’s first ever conference game and I thought that we had lost the game (which Iowa State won in the last seconds). It was an amazing finish and great to see so many Missouri fans clear out of the building so quiet and so fast.
“When my wife retires we will start traveling to more women’s road games. We followed them clear out to Denver in 2001 for the NCAA Tournament. We were there when they beat UConn and then played to go to the Final Four against Georgia in 1999. Another game I remember was when we saw the women play Penn State down in Kansas City in 2000. It was a tough call because that was the same day that the men played Michigan State up in Auburn Hills. They both were playing in the NCAA Tournament and the men had a shot for the Final Four. That was one of those days that was hard to swallow for a Cyclone.”
Q: Who are some of your favorite players and coaches sporting cardinal and gold?
A: “Fred Hoiberg. He epitomized the word Cyclone as a great student, a great person, and a great role model. You really have to look up to him for everything that he has done for this University. Someday I would love to see him come back and coach for the Cyclones. Marcus Fizer was something else. He was a man among boys and I wish he would have stayed around for one more year. I remember watching him at the McDonalds All-American game in high school and he was so dominant. I just bought the All-Century Club DVD and it has great clips from all the coaches and a lot of the great players that came through here.
“As far as coaches go – Johnny Orr was awesome. He was a very colorful guy and did some great things for our basketball program. The one thing I miss at Hilton is when the pep band played ‘Here’s Johnny.’ What a theme song. I remember some of the players on the opposing side would stop shooting just to see what was going on. They would be in awe of the crowd.
“When my son went to school here he lived through the glory years of Iowa State dominance. He was a manager for the women’s basketball team in 1999 and we all loved to follow that team. Megan Taylor was just in constant motion and she could do anything.”