Oct. 4, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It takes special people to win championships.
That was the primary message Bo Porter offered the University of Iowa football team Friday — the eve of its Homecoming contest against Michigan State. Porter, the honorary captain, played football and baseball for the Hawkeyes in the early 1990s.
“You have to be committed to it that’s why I stressed the importance of what commitment really means,” Porter said. “It’s about carrying out an action long after the mood in which you made it has passed.”
Not only was Porter a dual-sport athlete at the UI, but Friday he was a dual-sport team motivator. He met with Rick Heller’s baseball players prior to addressing the football Hawkeyes.
“Once a Hawk, always a Hawk,” said Porter, now manager of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros. “I follow pretty-much everything that takes place here. It’s near and dear to my heart and when coach (Kirk Ferentz) reached out to me, it was a quick yes.
“You’re honored to come back to a place you laid roots and had a big impact on the university. The University of Iowa had a huge impact on my life.”
Porter shared UI football MVP honors as a senior. He recorded 69 tackles with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries while starting all 11 games in 1994.
Porter was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1993. He played three seasons in the major leagues with the Cubs, Oakland and Texas.
On Sept. 27, 2012, he became the youngest manager in Major League Baseball when he was hired by Houston. He has also coached for Arizona, Florida, and Washington.
Porter will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for Saturday’s pregame coin toss. He has fond memories of fans in Kinnick Stadium.
“They are second to none,” Porter said. “It’s one of the unique places to see college football. I remember my first game walking out of the tunnel in Kinnick Stadium; we came out for special teams and there were empty seats and people were piling in. We came out to get into (the Swarm) and it was a sea of black and gold.”