University of Iowa

1951 - 53 Hawkeyes
(Authentic Reproduction)




Raffensperger was hoping to turn things around and leave his mark on the program. He changed the helmet color to Green Bay gold and maintained the black one-inch center stripe. When Iowa’s fortunes were on the downturn in the mid-1970’s, they would again call upon this simple yet elegant helmet design in the hopes it would bring back past glory. Unfortunately, 1951 was worse than '50 with a Big Ten mark of 0-5-1 and overall record of 2-5-2. HB Bill Reichardt was a true star though, named as the conference MVP and he put up 1665 rushing yards for his career, a record that stood until broken by Ed Podolak. Reichardt, aptly nicknamed "The Bull", briefly played with the Packers at fullback. With a two-year record of 5-10-3 Raffensperger was replaced as head coach.


Iowa wasted little time in hiring a new head coach for the 1952 season. At age thirty-two, Forest Evashevski had already been successful as the head coach at Washington State and would put up with little booster complaints. In his own words, he told the alumni groups that "I have a rich father-in-law and I may get fed up with coaching..." and he made it clear that he expected support for his team, not grousing. He assembled a terrific staff that included future Iowa AD Chalmers Elliott. With a losing team and losing tradition, Evy was perhaps the only one who expected to win immediately and the 2-7 record shocked him even though he had installed a new Split-T offense in place of the Single Wing. George “Binky” Broeder was the rushing star, All Conference end Bill Fenton the top receiver, and center Jerry Hilgenberg led the line. A major 8-0 upset of Ohio State was the season's highlight. In losing to Minnesota, Iowa was forced to return the traditional game trophy, the Floyd Of Rosedale pig and in typical Evashevski fashion, he instructed the equipment manager to hand the trophy to the Gopher representative, "hind end first!" Using a mix of Split-T, Straight-T, and Single Wing Evashevski tinkered with 1953’s version of the offense and produced a 6-3-1 team that put up double-digit scores in seven of the ten games. He also added the Riddell “Eagle” style gold with black-trimmed one-inch numerals in the rear of the helmet for player identification. Strong through the tail end of their schedule, the 14-14 tie with Notre Dame cost the Irish the National Championship despite the suspicious use of numerous "fainting" and otherwise "injured" player stoppages of the clock by Notre Dame on their home field. Jerry Reichow quarterbacked the attack with FB Broeder the power runner who totaled 410-yards on the ground. Two All Americans, center Jerry Hilgenberg and soph guard Calvin Jones dominated opponents and fine blocking and receiving was provided by end Bill Fenton. Hilgenberg would later serve his alma mater as an assistant coach, a role that allowed him to instruct his younger brother Wally. Steubenville, Ohio’s Jones, known by college coaches throughout the Midwest, was brimming with talent and came to Iowa instead of Ohio State when he and his two high school teammates, Eddie Vincent and Frank Gilliam decided to play college ball together and Iowa offered scholarships to all three friends.

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