Oct. 23, 2006
The charter class of the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium Wall of Fame will be honored this weekend. The class of 20, which will recognize members of the news media and the University of Iowa’s own public relations staff, will be honored with a Friday evening banquet and with on-the-field ceremonies prior to Saturday’s football game.
“We wanted to honor those individuals who have covered Hawkeye football with integrity, accuracy, and fairness over a long period of time,” said former Iowa Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby, when the initial announcement was made last summer. “We believe a Wall of Fame in the new Paul W. Brechler Pressbox at Kinnick Stadium is an appropriate way to do so.”
The Wall of Fame’s first class includes 20 men who will be recognized in pre-game ceremonies prior to Saturday’s game against Northern Illinois. Together, the Wall of Famers have a total of 780 seasons covering Hawkeye football. Each will have a plaque, with their likeness, hung on the Wall of Fame wall in the media section of the new pressbox.
The honorees have reported on the past 84 years of Iowa football. They knew all the great coaches and players during that time, and witnessed all the great games.
Listed alphabetically, they are:
Bob Brooks, WSUI Iowa City, 1943-48; KCRG Cedar Rapids, 1949-76; KHAK Cedar Rapids, 1977-2000; KMRY Cedar Rapids, 2000-present.
Bob Brown, Ft. Dodge Messenger, 1956-1993.
Gene Claussen, KXIC Iowa City, 1948-86. (Deceased)
Tait Cummins, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 1939-47; WMT Cedar Rapids, 1948-70. (Deceased)
Al Grady, Iowa City Press-Citizen, 1951-87; Voice of the Hawkeyes, 1988-2002. (Deceased)
Ron Gonder, KRNT Des Moines, 1965-68; WMT Cedar Rapids, 1969-99.
Jerry Jurgens, Quad City Times, 1945-77. (Deceased)
Ron Maly, Des Moines Register, 1959-99.
Bert McGrane, Des Moines Register, 1922-63. (Deceased)
Frosty Mitchell, KGRN Grinnell, 1960-85; WMT Cedar Rapids, 1986-96.
John O’Donnell, Quad City Times, 1925-67. (Deceased)
Gus Schrader, Iowa City Press Citizen, 1950; Cedar Rapids Gazette, 1951-88. (Deceased)
L.E. “Ike” Skelley, Associated Press, 1929-58. (Deceased)
Russ Smith, Waterloo Courier, 1955-90.
Bud Suter, UI Athletic Relations Director, 1955-74. (Deceased)
Buck Turnbull, Des Moines Register, 1952-93.
Maury White, Des Moines Register, 1946-88. (Deceased)
Eric Wilson, UI Sports Information Director, 1924-68. (Deceased)
George Wine, UI Sports Information Director, 1968-93.
Jim Zabel, WHO Des Moines, 1949-2000
Brooks, still active, is covering his 63rd Iowa football campaign this fall. Zabel, Grady and Schrader were on the scene for at least 50 years each.
McGrane and Wilson covered the Hawkeyes when they still played on the east side of the Iowa River and, along with Skelley, reported on the first game at Kinnick Stadium in 1929. Those three, plus Cummins and O’Donnell, chronicled the legendary 1939 Ironmen, starring Nile Kinnick.
Cummins, Grady, Maly, McGrane, Turnbull and Wine have all written books on Hawkeye football.
The Wall of Famers were selected by a committee appointed by Bowlsby. Additional individuals will be honored in future years.