University of Iowa

1977 - 78 Hawkeyes
(Authentic Reproduction)




The classic Green Bay gold Iowa helmet of the former glory years, decorated with a black one-inch center stripe had not stimulated the type of all-out effort Commings had hoped for so entering the 1977 season, he made some additions to the helmet. For the first time, Iowa players set off their Green Bay gold shells with a black face mask for a nice, contrasting appearance. The black one-inch center stripe was augmented with the word “IOWA” in cursive black lettering that was bordered in white. The helmet was striking in appearance and very noticeable. In-state rival Iowa State was on the schedule for the first time in forty-three years but Commings was optimistic with fifteen starters and some good recruits coming in. Commings' son Bob, Jr. had to step in at QB after opening game injuries removed the first two quarterbacks on the depth chart. FB Jon Lazar led the 12-10 victory over Iowa State but going 1-5 in the final six games left them at a frustrated 4-7. LB Tom Rusk was All Big Ten. Predicting a 5-0 record before facing Ohio State in 1978’s pre-season remarks, Commings future was cooked when reality had the Hawkeyes at 1-4 and that included a 31-0 shutout at the hands of Iowa State. Center Jay Hilgenberg carried on the family tradition of tough and hard play and RB's Dennis Mosley and leading-rusher Jon Lazar (423 yards) were good but the offense could not score. Only team MVP Brad Reid was an effective receiver. The "Disco Defense", rather sarcastically named in the aftermath of a brawl involving members of the defensive line at a local dance club, was inconsistent although captain LB Tom Rusk remained a standout. With a 2-6 in-conference mark and 2-9 overall, Commings was fired by a vote of 16-1 by the Board on November 27th. Commings successfully returned to high school coaching, leading Glen Oak (Ohio) to a 76-44-1 record in a very competitive league.

If interested in any of these IOWA helmets please click on the photos below.