1939 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team - Preseason


Iowa football was clearly struggling as 1939 began. In fact, the entire Iowa athletic department was in poor financial shape. The Great Depression had greatly impacted the small farming state, and Iowa's athletic receipts sharply declined throughout the 1930s. The debt on Iowa Stadium, which was built in 1929, grew by the year. The Hawkeyes had finished among the worst three teams in the Big Ten standings every year in the 1930’s except 1933. Iowa had won just one Big Ten game in the last three years, and the team they beat, Chicago, announced that they would be dropping their football program following the 1939 season. Chicago soon withdrew from the Big Ten Conference.

After compiling a 2-13-1 record in two years at Iowa, head football coach Irl Tubbs was fired. Iowa athletic director E.G. ‘Dad’ Schroeder tried to inject some life into the program by hiring Dr. Eddie Anderson of Holy Cross. Anderson, a Mason City, Iowa native, played and coached under Knute Rockne at Notre Dame. He was the 1921 Notre Dame team captain, and Notre Dame went 28-1 in Anderson’s last three years as a player. Ironically, the lone loss was to the 1921 Hawkeyes.

Around 85 players arrived for spring practice in 1939. About fifty of them did not return in the fall. Anderson installed a complicated new offense and conducted rigorous practices. The 1939 Hawkeye team would be severely lacking in depth. Anderson felt the Hawks could still be a good team in 1939, but only if the starters played significant minutes. A coach brought in temporarily to help with Iowa's spring practice was quoted as saying when he left, "Among 5000 male students at the University of Iowa, there are only five real football players."

Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Ohio State were the Big Ten favorites for the 1939 season, while many sportswriters liked Purdue. Notre Dame was also highly ranked nationally. Iowa was picked at the bottom of the Big Ten.

Before the season, Iowa's best player appeared to be Nile Kinnick. Kinnick was an all-Big Ten selection as a sophomore, when he led the nation in punting average, but he struggled through an injury-riddled junior season. As a result, end Erwin Prasse, an all-Big Ten selection in 1938, was elected as the team captain of the 1939 Hawkeyes. However, Kinnick had recovered from his injuries and was ready for a standout senior season.

Read more about this topic:  1939 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team

Other articles related to "preseason":

Brian Hoyer - Professional Career - 2009 Season
... Hoyer debuted in the Patriots' preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, completing 11 of 19 passes for 112 yards ... In the preseason finale against the New York Giants, Hoyer played at quarterback the entire game, leading the team on a comeback after trailing 21–0 in the first quarter to a 38–27 win ... Hoyer finished the preseason 29-44 for 354 yards, including one touchdown, with a 98.1 passer rating, which ranked 30th among quarterbacks ...
Laurent Robinson - Professional Career - San Diego Chargers
... He had a disappointing preseason in which he had only 1 catch for 18 yards through the first three preseason games ... Despite an impressive final preseason game in which he caught six passes for 120 yards, he was released at the end of training camp on September 3, 2011 ...
Sen'Derrick Marks - College Career - College Awards
... The Sporting News SEC All-Freshman Team (2006) Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC Second Team (2007) Playboy Preseason All-America (2008) Lindy's Preseason First Team All-American ...
Mark Vlasic - Professional Career - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
... Vlasic began the preseason competing the third string quarterback job behind Mike Pawlawski while DeBerg and Craig Erickson competed for the starting job ... At the end of preseason, however, Vlasic was among the final group cut by the Buccaneers ... He remained on the roster for the 1994 preseason, but his only preseason pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, and he was waived shortly afterward ...