Evy revered in a major, permanent way

Sept. 3, 2010

Evashevski Drive Dedication

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The late Forest Evashevski, the only University of Iowa head football coach to win a Rose Bowl and a primary reason for the popularity of the Wing T offense, officially has a street named in his honor north of Kinnick Stadium.

Evashevski Drive was dedicated on a beautiful Friday morning with some of the most prominent dignitaries on campus making brief presentations.

“You can’t talk about how great the Iowa Hawkeyes are without talking about Forest Evashevski,” UI President Sally Mason said. “Thanks to Evy, the mid-20th century Iowa Hawkeyes became the greatest ever. As everyone approaches Kinnick in the years to come, Evashevski Drive will put the legacy of one of our greatest coaches ever front and center.”

The current Hawkeye head coach, Kirk Ferentz, considers it an honor to coach at Iowa in part because of the impact Evashevski had during his time on campus. Ferentz shared a tale from his early days as a UI assistant.

“Coming here in 1981, one thing jumped out at me quickly while scouting high school games,” Ferentz said. “It finally led me to ask the question why everyone in this state runs the Wing T. Shortly thereafter I found out that was a by-product of coach Evashevski’s time here in the 50s.”

Gary Barta, UI director of athletics, will be reminded daily on Evashevski’s impact at the university.

“When I drive into work and I drive down Evashevski Drive, I’m going to remember what he did for our tradition, our history,” Barta said.

“If coach Evashevski would have his way, Evashevski Drive would be one way — that would be his way.”
Dave Triplett
Evy Dedication emcee

Jim Gibbons, a three-year lettermen (1955-57), called his former coach “a man above men.”

“Coach Evashevski taught us commitment, discipline, loyalty, dedication and hard work,” Gibbons said. “Good or bad, if you’re given an opportunity, whatever you do with it is up to you.”

Evashevski’s son, John, spoke on behalf of the Evashevski family and revealed his father’s humorous side. Evashevski won more than 65 percent of his Hawkeye games, three Big Ten championships and Rose Bowls in 1957 and ’59.

“My uncle visited my dad last summer and expressed that it was too bad he didn’t coach with the big coaching salaries of today,” John Evashevski said. “When dad was told how much it was, he called to my mom, `Ruth, go and get my whistle.'”

Then John half-heartedly apologized to anyone residing on a street that is spelled with 10 letters, four vowels and two v’s.

“If there are any mailable addresses on this street, I apologize to those you must spell Evashevski,” he said.

Evashevski was known as a disciplinarian, a theme that surfaced several times during the 40-minute ceremony.

“If coach Evashevski would have his way, Evashevski Drive would be one way — that would be his way,” said former pupil Dave Triplett, who emceed the dedication.