The Hawkeye Wave is the best tradition in college sports. When the Kinnick clock hits zero, at the end of the first quarter, 70,000+ football fans turn their attention from the field to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. In unison, they wave to the pediatric patients and their families watching the game. The patients and family members view this genuine act of kindness as life-changing, inspiring…a wave of hope.

As this tradition, born in 2017, etches itself in Hawkeye lore, the University of Iowa and the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics want to enhance and evolve the moment. Starting in 2022, for every home game the Iowa football team plays inside Kinnick Stadium, athletics, in coordination with the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Kid Captain program, will ask that week’s Kid Captain to help select a new song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave.

“We felt after five years it was time for the fans to choose the song for the Hawkeye Wave, and the fans suggested we extend that honor to the children. The children are the true heroes, so the choice is theirs. That is something we can all agree on, and I cannot thank our fans enough for their input, engagement, and generosity.”

Peter Matthes, vice president for external relations and senior advisor to the president