FanFest Friday

Feb. 11, 2005

For those fans of Iowa football who can’t get enough of Iowa football, today is a very special day. It’s the first day of the third annual Iowa Football FanFest.

More than 350 fans of the defending Big Ten Conference champions – and winners of two straight New Year’s Day bowl game including, most notably, the 2005 Capital One Bowl – will descend upon the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Iowa City in search of everything black-and-gold and Iowa Football.

And, they’ll find it, too.

They’ll get the Big Ten Conference trophy, the Cy-Hawk Trophy, Floyd of Rosedale, the new Heartland Trophy, and, of course, the trophy representative of Iowa’s victory in Orlando.

They’ll also get the Hawkeyes. A handful tonight at a roundtable discussion and then all of them en masse Saturday at a special photograph and autograph event inside the UI’s “Bubble.”

They’ll also get the coaches….Lester Erb, Ken O’Keefe, Chris Doyle and Norm Parker all will share their insight and expertise and – in the case of Iowa’s veteran defensive coordinator – a handful of humor in addition to the X’s and O’s.

The crowning moment for the participants comes Sunday. Gary Dolphin, the voice of the Hawkeyes, will be on hand to introduce former Hawkeye standout and NFL all-Pro Andre Tippett and, later in the morning, the head coach himself, Kirk Ferentz.

Sprinkle in tours of the Iowa Football Complex and Kinnick Stadium, a visit to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a pair of basketball games and perhaps a wrestling match, a silent and live auction featuring items exclusively available at FanFest and a whole bunch of other stuff black-and-gold and you have three days in paradise for those so inclined.

“There’s no question that FanFest continues to evolve into everything that everyone involved in it have hoped,” said Rick Klatt, associate athletics director for external affairs.

Klatt said the event was the brainchild of Matt Engelbert, video coordinator for Iowa’s football program who is a Green Bay Packer fan who watched his favorite NFL team develop a similar event years ago. This year’s event will be planned and managed and executed by staff, students and volunteers from both the UI Sports Marketing Office and Iowa Football.

Make no mistake, though. The stars of the show are the guys who wear the black-and-gold on Saturday, and the men and women who work behind the scenes to make it all happen. will provide coverage of FanFest throughout the weekend and into next week for fans of the Hawkeyes who couldn’t make the trek to Iowa City.