By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A lot has changed in the game of football in the 60 years since the University of Iowa won the Big Ten Conference, Rose Bowl, and national championship.
A lot has stayed the same.
“You win games with fundamentals and techniques. That is since the history of time,” said Tom Moore, an Iowa letterwinner and alumnus who is honorary captain for the Hawkeyes’ game against Wisconsin on Sept. 22. “Everyone comes out with all kinds of philosophies and all that stuff; philosophies don’t win football games. Teaching individual fundamentals and techniques to be sound, that is what wins football games and that is since the beginning of the game.”
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz introduced Moore to the current team, reminding the Hawkeyes that Moore coached at all levels and was part of three Super Bowl championships.
“I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who knows more football than him and can teach it any better,” Ferentz said. “The biggest thing about him that impresses me is the way he understands not only the game, but more so the people and the way the people are in the game.”
Moore has coached in college at Iowa, Dayton, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Minnesota. He coached in the NFL with Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Detroit, New Orleans, Indianapolis, New York Jets, Tennessee, and Arizona. He won Super Bowls with Pittsburgh (1979 and 1980) and Indianapolis (2007).
Moore, who lived in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, for a time and graduated from high school in Rochester, Minnesota, came to Iowa City because he wanted to play for a Big Ten school that had a chance to advance to the Rose Bowl. More specifically, he wanted to play for head coach Forest Evashevski, who he referred to as “dynamic.”
“I have lived a dream,” Moore said. “The greatest decision I ever made was to come to Iowa. I came because of the coaching staff; I wanted to go to the Rose Bowl, I was not a great player, but I was part of that (1958) team and that memory goes with me for a lifetime.”
The University of Iowa has a special place in Moore’s heart.
“It’s home. I spent six years here going to school and coaching on Jerry Burns’ staff,” he said. “I love the people, the school. The school gave me an opportunity, along with the coaching staff, for me to fulfill a desire to live a dream, which I have done. I’m 80 years old and I have lived a dream and it all started here. I’m indebted to this school and the coaching staff.”
Moore’s message Friday was to the point: talent isn’t the issue. There will be six plays in the Saturday’s game that will determine who wins or loses, he said. The problem is, no one knows which six plays it will be.
“You have to play every single play like that is one of the six,” Moore said. “You don’t have to do anything spectacular or out of the ordinary. All you have to do is do your job.”
A similarity between the 1958 season and the 2018 season is the Big Ten schedule. In the second league game of 1958, the Hawkeyes overcame a 9-0 halftime deficit to defeat No. 4 Wisconsin, 20-9. The Badgers are Iowa’s opponent for Saturday’s Big Ten opening America Needs Farmers Game sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (CT).
“I’m not here to motivate you,” Moore said. “If I have to motivate you, we have a problem; you have to motivate yourself.”