University of Iowa

1972 - 73 Hawkeyes
(Authentic Reproduction)




Coach Lauterbur first made a slight change in the 1972 helmet by using a simpler, less-detailed Green Bay gold “Flying Hawk” decal on both sides of the black helmet while maintaining the Green Bay gold one-half-inch flanking stripes on the black helmet. He assessed his first season and realized he had walked into what was obviously a terrible "can't-win" situation in '71 but he expected more than the 3-7-1 record of 1972. The Hawkeyes played Penn State tough while losing 14-10 but the wins came against weak sisters Oregon State, Northwestern, and Illinois. The staff played many of the newly eligible freshmen with vets Kyle Scogman at QB and RB Frank Holmes giving some stability. Freshman LB Andre Jackson led the conference in tackles. The bright spots in a dreary 1973 season were RB Jim Jensen who led the team with 505 rush yards and end Brian Rollins who was named All Big 10. However, with a record number of 401 points given up and only 140 scored, the 0-11 record was the final straw and on November 20th, days prior to the season's last game against Michigan State, Coach Lauterbur was asked to make staff changes for the upcoming 1974 season. Specifically, the terrible performance by the defense under coordinator Ducky Lewis who had followed FXL from Toledo where his defensive squads were always tough, had come under criticism. When asked to dismiss Lewis the reputation that Lauterbur had as a loyal and “stand up guy” was evident as he flatly refused the request. No one who knew the head coach was surprised by his actions and none acquainted with AD Elliott were surprised when the athletic director fired Lauterbur. Immediately after the losing finale against Michigan State, Lauterbur and his staff were gone. FXL went on to a number of assistant coaching positions including tenures with the Los Angeles Rams and the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers. Lauterbur became a long-time scout and personnel evaluator for an NFL scouting service before retiring.   


Despite the admonition of Woody Hayes to refuse the job, former Iowa guard and MVP on the '56 Rose Bowl team, and Korean War veteran Bob Commings said "yes." On December 15, 1973, the very successful, 44-5-1 head coach of Massillon (OH) Washington H.S. who had grown up tough on the streets of Youngstown, took the head job for his alma mater. He later stated that if he had been given the money and resources of Hayden Fry, he would have done as well or better but Iowa still had fewer resources and poorer facilities than the other Big Ten schools. This great motivator, having participated in Iowa’s successful era, was ready to restore the old glory and reintroduced the classic helmet design of the early 1950’s. He switched back to the Green Bay gold shell with the black one-inch center stripe, perhaps hoping that this call to the past would allow his players to emulate the success those teams had enjoyed. He looked to RB Jim Jensen to power the newly installed Wing-T which he did with 659 yards on the ground. An upset of heavily favored UCLA snapped a twelve-game losing streak with QB Rob Fick finishing the season with over 1000 yards passing. DB Earl Douthitt was named as the sole Hawkeye on the All Big Ten team and he then played with the Bears. His selection brought snide remarks from opponents that an Iowa defensive back had made the All Conference team because no one ever had to throw at Iowa because they could run on the defense without resistance. The results for '74 were disappointing at 3-8.


Starting the 1975 season 0-5 made any success difficult although left OG Joe Devlin and left OT Rod Walters were All Conference on a poor offense, led by RB Jensen. Devlin had a long thirteen-year pro career as a key member of the Buffalo Bills great offensive lines while Jensen, not to be confused with the Jim Jensen from Boston University who played for the Miami Dolphins, put in six NFL years with three teams. Walters had a few seasons with the Chiefs. Kicker Nick Quartaro was the leading scorer. Even with a switch to the I-Formation, Iowa and Commings again came in with a 3-8 record and the offense could be judged by the fact that the leading receiver had only eight receptions! Still plagued by a lack of depth as he entered the ’76 season, Commings at least had good kicking from Quartaro who once again was the leading point-getter. Quartaro went into coaching and until the conclusion of the 2006 season was the offensive coordinator at Kansas. A huge win over Penn State in a 7-6 battle was impressive but a couple of blowouts hurt giving up fifty-five points against USC and another thirty-eight at Wisconsin. Still, Commings moved his defense up a notch, giving up 234 points which was an improvement, with LB Tom Rusk the leading tackler (114). The offense was still poor and the final tally was 5-6.

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