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Encyclopedia > Forest Evashevski

Forest Evashevski (born February 19, 1918 in Detroit, Michigan) was a college football player at the University of Michigan and a college football coach and athletic director at the University of Iowa. February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Nickname: Motor City; Motown, D-Town, The D, The Renaissance City, Detroit Rock City, The Rock City, The 313 Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Latin for, We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes) Location in Wayne County, Michigan Coordinates: Country State County United States Michigan Wayne... A college football game between Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy. ... This article is about the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. ... A college football game between Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy. ... The University of Iowa is a major national research university located on a 1,900-acre campus in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on the Iowa River in East Central Iowa. ...

Contents


Background

Forest Evashevski, nicknamed "Evy", was the son of a Polish machine-tool salesman. In grade school, Evy captained the basketball, baseball, soccer, and track teams. In high school, however, he was not allowed on the football practice field his sophomore or junior years. The school's varsity football coaches felt that Evy was too small at just 128 pounds. So he played intramural football at his high school. As a senior, Evy had grown to 180 pounds and his intramural football squad scrimmaged against the varsity football team. Evy led his intramural team to an upset of the varsity squad, and the coaches let him join the team.


He started at tackle and linebacker as a 16 year old high school senior. Evy was allowed to skip a few grades in grade school to help him maintain interest academically. After his first varsity football game, a Detroit News writer said he was a sure-fire all-state pick, if he could stay healthy. But Evy suffered from headaches and vomiting after the game. In his next game, he hit a punt returner, forcing a fumble. Evy was knocked out cold and spent the next several months in the hospital. Evy said, "In the second game, I suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. They did three spinal taps on me before they decided to operate. I was supposed to be through with football. But when something is taken away from you like that, I believe you want it even more than you did before." Along with The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News (owned by Gannett) is one of the two major Metro Detroit newspapers. ... A cerebral hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke is a form of stroke that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or bleeds. ...


Since his father could not afford to send him to college, Evashevski began working for the Ford Motor Company. He earned a spot on their industrial football team, beating out a host of college players during tryouts. Meanwhile, he stashed money away and 18 months later, Evy enrolled at Michigan. He spent summers as a dock hand, and he washed dishes and parked cars to help pay his way through college. Ford Motor Company (also called simply Ford NYSE: F), is an American company that manufactures and sells automobiles worldwide. ... This article is about the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. ...


College Career

Michigan already had a terrific player playing the center position on the team. But Michigan coach Fritz Crisler wanted Evy on the field, so he was moved to quarterback one week before his first varsity game. In Crisler's system, that position meant mostly calling signals and blocking for the running back, and Evy had the blocking skills and intelligence necessary to become a star. He started and was an all-Big Ten performer three straight seasons. He played from 1938-1940 and paved the way for running back Tom Harmon, who won the 1940 Heisman Trophy. Herbert O. Fritz Crisler was head football coach at the University of Michigan from 1938 to 1947. ... Big Ten Conference The Big Ten Conference is the United States oldest college athletic conference. ... Thomas Dudley Harmon (September 28, 1919 - March 15, 1990) was a star player of United States college football and a sports broadcaster. ... The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (also known simply as the Heisman Trophy or The Heisman), named after former college football player and coach John W. Heisman, is considered the most prestigious award in American college football. ...


Harmon said, "Evy seemed to think right with Crisler...As a linebacker, he had a fantastic instinct for smelling out the play...As a blocker, I never saw a better one." Though Harmon won the Heisman, Evashevski was the team's captain. Evy was also the most dynamic personality on the team.


Once, Crisler's Wolverines were leading a foe 21-0 at half. He feared a letdown, so he ordered his team to consider the game scoreless. Crisler then asked, "OK, Evy, what's the score?" Evy replied, "You can't kid me, coach. The score is 21-0." On another occasion, Evy shocked both his coach and teammates by lighting a victory cigar on the sidelines with thirty seconds to play in a 1939 win over Ohio State. The Ohio State University (OSU) is a coeducational public research university in the U.S. state of Ohio. ...


Before a game against Minnesota, Crisler implored his team in a pregame speech to be 11 lions on offense and 11 tigers on defense. Evy spoke up and said he would not play unless he could be a leopard. On another day, Crisler, who demanded punctuality of his players, arrived for practice a little late. "Fritz," Evy barked, daring to use Crisler's nickname, "we begin practice at 3:30. It's now 3:35. Take a lap around the field." Crisler did. [1] Washington Avenue Bridge at night The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. ...


The Wolverines were 20-4 from 1938-1940. Crisler later called Evashevski "the greatest quarterback I ever had." Evy won the Big Ten Medal given to the school's best senior student-athlete. He was the baseball catcher, the senior class president, and an honor society member. [2] Evy graduated with a sociology major and a psychology minor. He wanted to take labor law at Michigan law school, but World War II beckoned. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the use of images on this page may require cleanup, involving adjustment of image placement, formatting, size, or other adjustments. ...


Evy coached Hamilton College to a 5-2 record in 1941 and served as an assistant coach for spring football at Pittsburgh in 1942. Evashevski then enrolled at the Iowa Naval Pre-Flight School in Iowa City, teaching the students hand-to-hand combat and playing for the Pre-Flight Seahawks in 1942. Then he left to serve three years in the military from 1943 to 1945. Hamilton College is a private, independent liberal arts college located in Clinton, New York. ... The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related, doctoral/research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...


When he returned from the military, Evy went back to Ann Arbor to try to enroll at Michigan law school. But Evy and his wife could not find a room with all the military veterans returning from the war. When Clarence "Biggie" Munn, Crisler's line coach at Michigan and now the head football coach at Syracuse, offered Evy an assistant coaching job in 1946, Evashevski took it and never looked back. Clarence L. Biggie Munn (September 11, 1908 — May 11, 1975) was the football coach for Michigan State University (MSU) from 1947-1953 and has the most successful Spartan football coaching record ever with a winning percentage of . ... Syracuse University (SU) is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. ...


Evy followed Munn to Michigan State one year later and served as his assistant coach there from 1947 to 1949. In 1950, Evy accepted the head coaching job at Washington State, which he held for two years. He compiled a 4-3-2 record in 1950, and the Cougars improved to 7-3 in 1951. Michigan State University (MSU) is a public university in East Lansing, Michigan. ... Washington State redirects here. ...


Iowa Coaching Career

"People in the Midwest are my people and I wanted to be back among them...And, of course, I don't have to tell you what I think of Big Ten football. It's the best in the country." [3] With those words, Evashevski left the west coast to become Iowa football's 19th head coach. His decision was not an easy one. The Iowa Hawkeyes is an American football team that competes as a member of the Big Ten Conference in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A and represents the University of Iowa. ...


He nearly took the head coaching job at Indiana, but Fritz Crisler urged him to consider Iowa. He felt that it would be easier to attain statewide support at Iowa, and in Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame share the spotlight. Evy agreed and was familiar with Iowa City from his stint with the Naval Pre-Flight School. Crisler was actually the man who recommended Evy to Iowa's athletic director, Paul Brechler. Crisler did warn Brechler, however, that Evy was "a tough, stubborn Pollack, and you might have to put the reins on him." [4] Indiana University, founded in 1820, is a nine-campus university system in the state of Indiana. ... Herbert O. Fritz Crisler was head football coach at the University of Michigan from 1938 to 1947. ... See also: Purdue University System Purdue University is a public land-grant university whose primary campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana on the bluffs above the Wabash River. ... The University of Notre Dame IPA: is a leading Roman Catholic institution of higher learning located in Notre Dame, Indiana, immediately northeast of South Bend, Indiana, United States. ...


In 1952, Iowa football had only had three winning seasons in 16 years. Iowa had also gone without a Big Ten title for three decades. A United Press story named three football programs in 1952 with new coaches that would struggle to ever be competitive: Iowa, Indiana, and Pittsburgh. Iowa's first two opponents in 1952 were Pittsburgh and Indiana...and Iowa started the year 0-2. Such was the depths to which Iowa football had fallen. But Evy knew the Hawkeye program could be resurrected. When he came to Iowa, Evy was asked by a writer, "Do you think Iowa could ever really have a consistently winning team?" "Why in the hell do you think I took the job?" Evy snapped. Afterward, a photographer noted, "I think that man truly believes he's the savior of Iowa football." [5] The Iowa Hawkeyes is an American football team that competes as a member of the Big Ten Conference in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A and represents the University of Iowa. ... Big Ten Conference The Big Ten Conference is the United States oldest college athletic conference. ... United Press International (UPI) is a global news agency headquartered in the United States filing news in English, Spanish and Arabic. ...


Early Years (1952-1955)

The Hawkeyes struggled to an 0-4 start in 1952, surrendering more than 32 points per game during that stretch. Iowa was scheduled to play Ohio State for Homecoming, and Evy's Hawks were three touchdown underdogs. Ohio State had never played in Iowa Stadium, having last played a road game at Iowa 25 years earlier. Evy completely retooled his offense the week before the game, and Iowa shocked the Buckeyes, 8-0. The Des Moines Register wrote, "Put your license plate back on the family auto, citizen, for Iowa won a football game Saturday." Register sports editor Sec Taylor added, "It was like my 8-year-old granddaughter out-boxing Sugar Ray Robinson." [6] The Associated Press (AP), in a year-end poll, voted it the third biggest upset of the year. Kinnick Stadium is a stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. ... The Des Moines Register is the daily morning newspaper of Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States. ... Sugar Ray Robinson, born Walker Smith Jr. ... Associated Press logo Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ...


Before the season, Evy had warned the school administration to expect some eyebrow-raising behavior from him. He strongly believed that the team had to be instilled with a fighting attitude, and that the Big Ten needed to be made aware of Iowa's presence in the league. In a loss to Minnesota, Gopher fans on the sideline yelled at Iowa coaches and players to stop obstructing their view. Words were exchanged, and several men wound up charging Evashevski, with one fan taking a swing at Evy and missing.


The following week against Illinois, a very physical game turned dirty in the fourth quarter. More than one brawl cleared both benches, and players from both sides were ejected from the game. Evashevski stormed onto the field to protest a call, which fired up the Iowa crowd. When an official tried to mark off an Illinois penalty against Iowa, the Hawkeye crowd started throwing apple cores at the officials. After the game, as the Illinois team was trying to leave the field, an Illinois player got into an argument with an Iowa student and punched him, breaking his jaw. Several Illinois players and ten Iowa players were hurt during the game, with four being sent to the hospital. This incident led to a suspension of the Iowa-Illinois series for 15 years. [7]


Iowa improved in 1953, starting the season with a 3-3 record before shining in their last three games. Iowa defeated Purdue 26-0 and Minnesota 27-0 in consecutive weeks to set up the most controversial game in school history. The final game of the season was against #1 Notre Dame in South Bend. Notre Dame was a 13 point favorite. In fact, not only was Notre Dame the top-ranked team in the nation, the AP writers had voted the Irish number one by the largest margin in their poll's history.


With just seconds remaining in the first half and Iowa holding a 7-0 lead, Notre Dame was stopped for no gain on Iowa's seven yard line. A tackle for the Irish screamed and fell to the ground, and the clock was stopped for the injury with just two seconds remaining. The Irish broke huddle and the officials signaled for the clock to start. Notre Dame was able to set down the lines, call signals, and snap the ball before time expired, and Notre Dame completed a touchdown pass on the final play of the half. The game was tied at halftime, 7-7.


Iowa scored another touchdown with two minutes remaining in the game. With just 32 seconds left on the clock, Notre Dame advanced the ball to the Iowa 19 yard line. But the clock was running, and Notre Dame had no timeouts remaining. Again, an injury timeout was granted, but this time, two Notre Dame players fell at the same time, apparently unaware of the other. Both players left the field unassisted, and Notre Dame quickly resumed their drive. With six seconds to play, Notre Dame completed another touchdown pass and salvaged a 14-14 tie.


At the time, Iowa's coaches and players were as mad about how Notre Dame had enough time to run a play at the end of the first half as anything else. But the game has been remembered for the fake injuries Notre Dame used to stop the clock. Iowa sportscaster Bob Brooks said, "In retrospect, faking an injury was common in those days. That’s what teams did, anything to get a timeout. However, it was abnormal in that Frank Leahy, the Notre Dame coach, had the Irish fainting all over the place. Players went down like they were shot." Critics labeled Notre Dame as the "Fainting Irish", and while there was no official rule against faking injuries, many critics questioned the practice. When Notre Dame star Johnny Lattner was asked about it, he responded, "Pretty smart thinking, wasn't it?" [8] Frank William Leahy was an American collegiate football coach, born in 1908. ... Johnny Lattner (born October 24, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois) was a halfback for the University of Notre Dame. ...


Famed sportswriter Grantland Rice did not think so. "I consider it a complete violation of the spirit and ethics of the game and was sorry to see Notre Dame, of all teams, using this method. Why, in heaven's name, was it allowed? If this violates neither the rules nor the coaching code, let's throw them both out the window. Some people are calling it smart playing. I think it was disgraceful playing." [9] Grantland Rice (November 1, 1880–July 13, 1954) was an early 20th century American sportswriter. ...


Evashevski was furious, yet pleased that his team had played so well. He attended a pep rally when he returned to Iowa City, and he parodied Rice himself when he said, "When the One Great Scorer comes to write against our name, He won't write whether we won or lost, but how come we got gypped at Notre Dame." Evy said, "Don't celebrate a tie; celebrate a victory. I was there Saturday, and if ever a team won a game, Iowa won a victory at Notre Dame Saturday." School officials eventually ordered Evy to apologize for his remarks. [10]


The tie cost the Irish the #1 spot in the final AP poll, dropping them to a distant #2. Iowa rocketed into the AP rankings, finishing the year ninth in the nation and garnering six first place votes. It was Iowa’s highest ranking since 1939, and the tie gave the Iowa program national attention. The Hawkeyes started the 1954 season 5-2, but Iowa suffered two tough losses to end the season at 5-4. In 1955, the Hawkeyes finished a disappointing 3-5-1, but lineman Cal Jones did win the Outland Trophy at the end of the season. Calvin Jack Jones (born February 7, 1933 in Steubenville, Ohio; died December 9, 1956) was a college football player for the University of Iowa. ...


Rose Bowl Years (1956-1958)

In 1956, Iowa started the season 5-0 before Michigan scored a touchdown with 66 seconds remaining in the game to upset the Hawkeyes, 17-14. Evashevski was disappointed as he dropped to 0-4 at Iowa against his alma mater, but he was encouraged by the fact that if Iowa could win their next two football games, they would go to the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, Minnesota was Iowa's next opponent, and the Gophers were in the lead in the Rose Bowl race.


Rather than a pregame speech, Evy used a pregame altercation to fire up his Hawkeye team. The Iowa team filed off of the team bus outside of Minnesota's stadium and huddled together, shivering in the cold. Evy was the last man off of the bus and as he walked over to the gate, he was immediately scolded by the gatekeeper. "You know better than this!" the gatekeeper said. "You were given tickets, and you can't get in without them!"


Evy, who had his hand on the team's passes and was about to produce them, saw an opportunity. He shoved the passes back into his pocket and engaged in a verbal battle with the gatekeeper, as his cold and angry Hawkeye team watched. Finally, the gatekeeper let the team pass, but he detained the coaches. The players were in the locker room, not knowing where the coaches were, until Evy and his assistants filed in moments before kickoff. The Hawkeyes were seething with anger, and they took it out on the Gopher team. The Hawks scored a touchdown off of a turnover just a couple minutes into the game. Iowa forced six fumbles and three interceptions from Minnesota and won a 7-0 slugfest. [11]


Iowa then faced Ohio State for the Big Ten title. Ohio State, coached by Woody Hayes, had just defeated Indiana by rushing for 465 yards as a team, setting a Big Ten Conference record. The win over the Hoosiers was Ohio State's 17th consecutive Big Ten win, also a Big Ten record. With a win over Iowa, the Buckeyes would clinch an unprecedented third consecutive outright Big Ten title. Iowa, on the other hand, was playing for their first Big Ten title in 34 years. But while the Hawkeyes had over a dozen players injured, the Buckeyes were at full strength. The Ohio State University (OSU) is a coeducational public research university in the U.S. state of Ohio. ... Wayne Woodrow Woody Hayes (February 14, 1913 – March 12, 1987) was an American football coach who is best remembered for his 28-year tenure at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio from 1951-1978. ... Big Ten Conference The Big Ten Conference is the United States oldest college athletic conference. ...


A sign in Iowa's locker room said, "You have sixty minutes to defeat Ohio State, and a lifetime to remember it." In one of the most hard-hitting and memorable games in Iowa history, Iowa defeated Ohio State, 6-0, to clinch Iowa’s first Rose Bowl trip in school history. Following a scoreless first half, Iowa took the lead on a 17 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ken Ploen to receiver Jim Gibbons. The Hawks then allowed Ohio State just 53 yards total offense in the second half to punch home the win. The game was so exciting, University of Iowa president Virgil Hancher had to be hospitalized with an apparent heart attack. Ken Ploen was a quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1957-1967, during which time he lead the Blue Bombers to six Grey Cup appearances, including four victories. ... The University of Iowa is a major national research university located on a 1,900-acre campus in Iowa City, Iowa, USA, on the Iowa River in East Central Iowa. ...


After a forty point win over Notre Dame, which stands as one of the worst losses in the history of the Irish, the Hawkeyes prepared for the Rose Bowl. Such a happy occasion was marred, however, by the tragic news that former Hawkeye Cal Jones had just died in a plane crash in Canada. One week later, the Hawkeyes flew to Pasadena. The team quietly dedicated the game to Jones’ memory and defeated Oregon State, 35-19. Ploen was named the Rose Bowl MVP. The Hawks sent the game ball to Cal Jones' mother in Steubenville, Ohio. The Rose Bowl can refer to: The Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California. ... Calvin Jack Jones (born February 7, 1933 in Steubenville, Ohio; died December 9, 1956) was a college football player for the University of Iowa. ... Oregon State University (OSU) is a research and degree-granting four-year public university located in Corvallis, Oregon. ...


Iowa was nearly as good in 1957 as they had been the previous season. Iowa again started the year 5-0 before traveling to Ann Arbor to play Michigan. This time, the Hawkeyes fell behind by two touchdowns and trailed at halftime, 21-7. Iowa rallied for two second half touchdowns and tied the game at 21-21. With three minutes to go in the game, the Hawks regained possession of the ball. The Hawkeyes ran out the clock and settled for the tie.


It made strategic sense. Iowa's quarterback, Randy Duncan, had left the game with leg cramps, crippling Iowa's offense. Further, Evy calmly explained that a tie did not hurt Iowa's Big Ten title chances, while it all but ended Michigan's. Still, Time Magazine published a story in which they called the Hawkeyes "quitters". [12] Fans rallied to Evy's side and defended his decision. Randy Duncan (born Hearst Randolph Duncan, Jr. ... (Clockwise from upper left) Time magazine covers from May 7, 1945; July 25, 1969; December 31, 1999; September 14, 2001; and April 21, 2003. ...


The tie set up another showdown for the Big Ten title with Ohio State. However, unlike the previous season, the Buckeyes got revenge this time and handed Iowa a 17-13 defeat. It was Iowa's only loss of the year, as the Hawkeyes finished with a 7-1-1 record and ranked sixth in the nation.


In 1958, the Hawkeyes played Air Force to a surprising 13-13 tie. The Air Force Academy had only existed for a few seasons, and few thought they would give Iowa a challenge. But Air Force salvaged a tie and finished the regular season with a 9-0-1 record. The loss gave the Hawkeye players a lesson in humility, and they illustrated that they had learned their lesson by winning five straight Big Ten games, clinching the Big Ten title earlier than any team in conference history. [13] The most notable win was a 37-14 defeat of Michigan, Evashevski's first (and only) win over his alma mater. For the first time, the Hawkeye team was able to force their coach to accept the game ball. Air Force Academy can refer to. ...


A week after Iowa clinched the league crown, Ohio State spoiled Iowa's undefeated record with a 38-28 win in a terrific contest. Iowa went back to the Rose Bowl and clobbered California, 38-12. The Hawkeyes set or tied six Rose Bowl records in that game. Running back Bob Jeter rushed for a Rose Bowl record 194 yards on just nine carries, including an 81 yard touchdown run, another Rose Bowl record. Jeter was the Rose Bowl MVP. Evashevski, who had battled the flu and a 101 degree temperature the week of the game, could barely give the halftime speech. Afterwards, Evy said, "Right now I’m probably the lousiest feeling coach that ever won a Rose Bowl game." The University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal, UC Berkeley, UCB, or simply Berkeley) is a prestigious, public, coeducational university situated in the foothills of Berkeley, California to the east of San Francisco Bay, overlooking the Golden Gate and its bridge. ...


Iowa finished the year ranked #2 in the AP poll, although that vote was taken before the bowl games. The Football Writers Association of America, arguably the most prestigious organization at the time to vote on a national champion after the bowls were played, gave their national championship trophy, the Grantland Rice Award, to Iowa. The Football Writers Association of America is the organization responsible for naming college footballs All-American team, freshman All-America team, Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, Outland Trophy winner, Grantland Rice Trophy winner, Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, weekly defensive player of the week, scholarship program, surveys for better... The Grantland Rice Award has been presented annually since 1954 to the college football national champion, as selected by the Football Writer’s Association of America. ...


Feud With Brechler (1959-1960)

Iowa went 5-4 in 1959, a season marred by a very public feud between Evy and Brechler. Crisler had warned Brechler about Evashevski's stubbornness before Evy was hired. Brechler and Evashevski were both reportedly very good at their respective jobs, but relations between the two men quickly deteriorated. Evashevski and Brechler had a long and often bitter feud in the late 1950's. It boiled over several times, and Brechler often fell victim to the power that a winning football program wielded. Evashevski called the conflict "a complete destruction of confidence in each other." [14] At the end of the 1959 season, Brechler announced that he was leaving Iowa to become the commissioner of the Skyline Conference. The Skyline Conference, also known as the Mountain States Conference, was a college athletic conference based in the western United States. ...


Evashevski had repeatedly mentioned that he did not intend to grow old in coaching. After the 1957 season, he conceded that his health was not the best and that "my wife has wanted me to get out of coaching for some time." [15] Evy clearly wanted the athletic director job. Members on the Board of Athletics, however, were concerned about the prospect of the ambitious Evashevski holding both positions. The Board told Evy that he could take either job: head football coach or athletic director. Evy chose to become Iowa’s athletic director and promised to appoint a new football coach after the 1960 season.


Evy’s final season as football coach at Iowa was another memorable one. In 1960, Iowa overcame a fierce schedule and finished the year 8-1. The Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State on the last game of the conference season to clinch a share of the league crown with Minnesota. It was Evy’s third Big Ten title at Iowa. The Hawkeyes were ranked second in the final AP poll, which was taken before the bowl games. Iowa’s only loss that season was at Minnesota, which finished first in the final AP poll with an identical 8-1 record. The Gophers then went on to lose the Rose Bowl to end the season with two losses.


During his tenure, Forest Evashevski compiled a 52-27-4 record. His teams won three Big Ten titles, won two Rose Bowls, and finished in the top ten of the final AP poll five times. Though he only a head coach for 12 total years, Evy was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. The College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indiana, United States, is a hall of fame devoted to college football. ...


Iowa Athletic Director

Forest Evashevski succeeded Brechler as Iowa's athletic director in 1960. He hired his assistant coach, Jerry Burns, to replace him as Iowa's head football coach. Iowa began the 1961 season ranked first in the initial AP poll but staggered to a disappointing 5-4 record. A defeat of Notre Dame on the final game of the season gave Iowa a winning record for the year; it would be Iowa’s last winning season for the next 20 years. Iowa stumbled to a 4-5 record in 1962, though for the only time in school history, Iowa defeated both Michigan and Ohio State in the same season. Two more sub par seasons put Burns on the hot seat entering 1965, but the 1965 team was predicted to do well. Instead, Iowa finished the year 1-9, and Burns was fired by his former mentor Evashevski. Jerry Burns (born January 24, 1927) is a former football coach who is best remembered for serving as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. ...


There are those who insist that Evashevski wanted to be called back as football coach and that rather than helping Burns to succeed, he hampered him with rules and regulations that were not in force when Evy was the coach. When Evy was in his final year as coach in 1960, Look magazine wrote, "Close friends are not at all sure (Evy) will quit. They feel he is not sure himself." [16] These rumors would be raised by those close to Iowa's next head coach as well.


One of Burns' assistant coaches said, "From the moment he became athletic director, Evy cut down the cost of maintaining the football program to the bare bones. He cut down on traveling expenses for recruiting, phone calls, entertainment of prospective recruits, you name it. When Evy was coach, we took visiting recruits and their parents to fine restaurants to eat. After Evy became the athletic director, the staff was told that visiting recruits and their parents would eat at the Quadrangle cafeteria. We were told if we recruited in Chicago one week, we were not to go back the next.


The football players knew Jerry couldn't make it because of Evy's attitude towards him. It was a very antagonistic situation right from the start that got worse through the years." [17]


Evy, for his part, denied the charges and continued to maintain that he never intended to grow old in coaching. However, despite his public statements, rumors swirled that Evy would appoint himself to succeed Burns. Ultimately, Evy hired Ray Nagel of Utah, a curious choice, because Nagel's record at Utah was not stellar. Some speculated at the time that finding a new coach had been difficult due to the problems Burns reportedly experienced with Evy. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported, "At least four coaches either turned down the Hawkeye job or expressed no desire to talk about it." [18] The Gazette is a daily newspaper published in the American city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ...


Nagel's hiring was questioned even more after he had a 3-16-1 record in 1966 and 1967 at Iowa. However, the Hawkeyes set several school and conference offensive records in 1968 and finished with a 5-5 record. A boycott by several black players at Iowa in 1969 hurt the Hawkeye football squad and was a factor in their 5-5 record that season.


Further, the team was distracted by a growing and very public feud between Nagel and athletic director Evashevski. Friction between Nagel and Evy began to take public effect in January 1970 when Nagel dismissed offensive line coach Gary Grouwinkel for "disloyalty," which Grouwinkel later revealed was his allegiance to Evy instead of Nagel. Less than one month later, star quarterback Larry Lawrence and fullback Tom Smith quit the team and transferred to Miami, loudly proclaiming that they would never stay and play for Nagel.


About two weeks later, Lawrence's roommate, a non-athlete, submitted to the Iowa Board of Athletics a written statement charging Evy with participating in a rebellion aimed at getting Nagel fired and that would allow Evy to succeed him as head football coach. Lawrence's roommate stated that Lawrence was recruited to gather player support for Nagel's removal, but that Lawrence's efforts were unproductive. Evy vehemently denied the charges, and Iowa's athletic board took no action.


In May of 1970, the State Auditor of Iowa announced that the athletic department was under investigation for "padded expense accounts." Nagel not only denied wrongdoing but claimed that they were shown how to fill out their expense accounts by Evashevski himself. Charges and counter-charges followed, and after a long investigation, the Iowa Board of Athletics relieved both Forest Evashevski and Ray Nagel of their respective duties on May 19, 1970. Nagel was rehired a few days later, but Evy was replaced as athletic director at Iowa by Bump Elliott. Chalmers W. Bump Elliott was the head coach of the University of Michigan football team from 1959 to 1968. ...


The Iowa Attorney General submitted a report to the Iowa Board of Athletics that stated, in part, "Mr. Evashevski's attitudes and other things he has done all tend to support the view of Coach Nagel and four of his five assistants that this is part of a vendetta against him...(Evashevski) did the university and people of Iowa, many of whom have almost worshipped him, a great disservice." [19]


Forest Evashevski remains a controversial figure in the history of Iowa athletics. The extent to which Evy is directly responsible for Iowa's poor football performance in the 1960's will forever remain unclear. What is certain is that as Iowa's football coach from 1952-1960, he presided over some of the greatest years in the program's history, while as Iowa's athletic director from 1960-1970, he presided over the collapse of that same program.


Evashevski retired at a relatively young age. He was only 42 when he retired from coaching and just 52 when he was fired as Iowa's athletic director. He moved to Michigan with his wife, Ruth, and has six children.


References

  1. ^ Evy and the Hawkeyes, by Brian Chapman and Mike Chapman, Page 21 (ISBN 0-88011-186-0)
  2. ^ Greatest Moments In Iowa Hawkeyes Football History, by Mark Dukes & Gus Schrader, Page 87 (ISBN 1-57243-261-6)
  3. ^ Chapman, Page 38
  4. ^ 75 Years With The Fighting Hawkeyes, by Bert McCrane & Dick Lamb, Page 189-190 (ASIN: B0007E01F8)
  5. ^ Schrader, Page 84
  6. ^ Gridiron Glory: 1952
  7. ^ Chapman, Page 61
  8. ^ Chapman, Pages 98-99
  9. ^ Chapman, Page 99
  10. ^ Chapman, Page 101
  11. ^ Chapman, Page 139
  12. ^ Chapman, Page 179
  13. ^ Chapman, Page 194
  14. ^ Des Moines Register
  15. ^ Chapman, Page 187
  16. ^ Schrader, Page 88
  17. ^ 25 Years With The Fighting Hawkeyes, 1964-1988, by Al Grady, Page 12 (ASIN: B0006ES3GS)
  18. ^ Grady, Page 15
  19. ^ Hawkeye Legends, Lists, & Lore, by Mike Finn & Chad Leistikow, Page 132 (ISBN 1-57167-178-1)

External links

  • College Football Hall of Fame Bio
  • Evy's Register Hall of Fame Bio
Preceded by:
Leonard Raffensperger
University of Iowa Head Football Coaches
19521960
Succeeded by:
Jerry Burns
Iowa Hawkeyes Head Football Coaches
KnipeChalmersCatlinGriffithHawleyJonesIngwersenSolemTubbsAndersonMadiganCroweRaffenspergerEvashevskiBurnsNagelLauterburCommings • Fry • Ferentz
Washington State Cougars Head Football Coaches
Wm. Goodyear • Waite • Brodie • Gailey • Shively • Allen • Namack • Ashmore • Sweeley • Bender • Rheinschild • Kienholz • Osthoff • Dietz • Alvord • Welch • A. A. Exendine • O. E. Hollingbery • Sarboe • Evashevski • Kircher • Sutherland • Clark • Sweeney • SherrillPowers • Walden • EricksonPriceDoba

 
 

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