Former UI 3-Sport Star Passes Away

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Matt Szykowny, who earned a total of seven letters in three University of Iowa sports, passed away last month in Las Vegas at the age of 79.

Szykowny, who majored in civil engineering, lettered three years in football (1960-62), and two seasons each in baseball (1961, 1963) and basketball (1961-62).

Szykowny, who was on Iowa’s 1960 Big Ten Championship football team, ranks 23rd in program history in career passing with 2,038 yards and 14 touchdowns. The quarterback led the Hawkeyes in passing in 1961 (1,078) and 1962 (737).

His 80-yard pass completion to Larry Ferguson against Wisconsin in 1962, ties for the 12th longest completion by a Hawkeye. Szykowny accounted for a career-high five touchdowns in a 47-15 victory over the Badgers in 1961.

The native of Bellevue, Pennsylvania, is the only Iowa quarterback to beat Michigan and Ohio State in the same season. Szykowny and the Hawkeyes beat the Buckeyes and Wolverines by identical, 28-14, scores in Kinnick Stadium in 1962. He was drafted by his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1963 NFL Draft.

Szykowny was a starter on the 1961 basketball team that tied for second place in the Big Ten, averaging 9.9 points per game. He came off the bench on the 1962 squad that finished fourth in the league, averaging 7.5 points per contest.

He was a starter on the 1963 baseball team, that finished in second place in the Big Ten.

Szykowny was preceded in death by his father (Frank T), mother (Helen W), brother (Frank J. “Swish”). He is survived by two daughters, Kim (Scott) and Karen (Coya); brother, Larry (Peggy); five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Due to COVID-19 and geographical logistics, the family plans to hold a celebration of Szykowny’s life in Pittsburgh at a later date, yet to be determined. Arrangements will be announced in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.