Iowa Extends 18-Wheel Olive Branch

June 3, 2013

Photo Gallery

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The semi-trailers that haul the University of Iowa football team’s equipment to each road venue took on a much larger role for the people in tornado-stricken Oklahoma.

Mike Riggan, the president of TanTara Transportation Corporation from Muscatine, Iowa, and the designer/driver of the Hawkeye football semis, led the efforts in collecting food and other goods to assist the areas affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. The items were delivered to a Food Bank today, where members of the Oklahoma football team offered their assistance.

“On behalf of myself, Carol and everyone at the University of Oklahoma, we really appreciate the generosity of the people of the state of Iowa,” said OU head coach and former Hawkeye Bob Stoops. “It’s really incredible that the people of Iowa brought truckloads of food here to the Food Bank.

“I spent 10 years — five playing and five as a young assistant at Iowa — and to see the Iowa Hawkeye trucks here is pretty special.”

UI head coach Kirk Ferentz reached out to Stoops a week ago, filling him in on Riggan’s plan on collecting the goods and delivering them to Oklahoma.

“Kirk called me and said `Hey, we want to send a couple of trucks down to help the people in Oklahoma,’ said Stoops. “(Mike Riggan) has the Iowa football trucks heading that way. Can you have some guys help unload it or will you be there?’ I said, `Absolutely.’

The timing of the delivery of goods ended up corresponding with the return of the Sooner players to campus for summer classes and workouts.

“I’ve got all my big linemen (out helping),” said Stoops. “They’re the right ones to unload a truck. We’ve got all them up to try and help out. We’ll continue to do what we can and try to jump in and help people in different ways.”

Stoops is an 1983 graduate of the University of Iowa, while his wife, Carol, is also an Iowa alum and a native of Cresco, Iowa.