Iowa State University

1976 - 78 Cyclones
(Authentic Reproduction)



The new helmet logo introduced in 1975 was very popular with alumni and fans, even on an otherwise plain helmet. For 1976, the same vertically stacked white "ISU" lettering was placed within the Cardinal block letter "I", bordered in white, but striping was added to the Sunflower gold shell. The team took the field with a one-inch white center stripe and three-quarter-inch Cardinal flanking stripes. With the side decals, it was a sharp looking head piece. Improvement to 8-3 came from the offensive output that put them at the top of the Big Eight and second in the country offensively. With Williams lost for the season to injury, TB Dexter Green exploded for 1074 yards, second in the conference to OSU's Terry Miller. QB was adequately split between Wayne Stanley and Buddy Hardeman. TE Dave Greenwood was moved inside to guard, opening up the running lanes and  ends Al Dixon who played on the Giants for six seasons, and Luther Blue, a future Lions and Eagles WR, made opponents respect the pass and Blue was a Kodak All American. On defense, big Mike Stensrud returned from injury for a great season, exceeded only by that of his brother Maynard who moved to a stand-up LB position and was All Big Eight. Maynard's son Josh later played for ISU. All Conference DB Tony Hawkins controlled the secondary and it appeared now that Bruce, the Big Eight Coach Of The Year, was doing what Majors had done at ISU.
1977 featured many terrific individual performances. With All American DT Mike Stensrud leading the conference with fifteen sacks and 115 tackles and strong Ron McFarland named as a Football News Second Team All American despite playing but half the schedule, the Cyclones had the circuit's number-one overall defense. The D-line was rounded out by the excellent play of Tom Randall who was converted to offensive guard by the Super Bowl Cowboys. The offense featured All Conference RB Dexter Green again and he put up 1240 yards on the ground and led the Big Eight in scoring with fifteen TD's. The 8-3 record included a 12-10 loss in the renewal of the Cyclone's rivalry with Iowa and another "just-missed" game versus Colorado and although they had a defeat tacked on against North Carolina in the Peach Bowl, Green ran for 172-yards. Bruce again was the Conference Coach Of The Year. The 1978 number-eighteen ranked ISU Cyclones presented what many fans still believe is their finest team ever. With All Americans DT Mike Stensrud finishing with 306 career tackles and RB Dexter Green who completed his career  as the school's all-time leading rusher with 3347 yards, a record that stood for almost twenty years, they completed their third consecutive 8-3 season. Losing ten players due to academic deficiency prior to the Hall Of Fame Classic Bowl game resulted in a losing effort to Texas A&M,  28-12. Stensrud had an eleven-year NFL career, mostly with the Oilers and like his brother Maynard, had a son follow in his footsteps as a Cyclone gridder. Green spent two seasons with the Jets and unfortunately passed away at a young age from cancer. DB Mike Schwartz was an All Conference pick that shut down the opponents' best receivers. Majors started the rebuilding job and Bruce took it to the next level so that Iowa State was no longer a Big Eight doormat. Predictably, Bruce had many head coaching offers at the end of the season. When Woody Hayes had his infamous punch-out incident with LB Charlie Bauman of Clemson, the Ohio State job opened and this former Buckeye was an obvious choice for that head coaching position. Bruce had great success, taking the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in his debut and winning National Coach Of The Year honors. Like Majors before him, Bruce had outstanding ISU assistants, including Pete Carroll, Tom Lichtenberg, Glen Mason, and Steve Szabo, all of whom have gone on to success in the NFL and collegiate ranks.

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