Given the legacy of Jack Trice and his importance to the Iowa State community, we wanted to create a place for people that don’t know his story to find whatever they might want to learn more about him and why we honor him.
We will continually update this article as we find new material, or if you, the readers, bring anything to our attention. So please, help us tell Jack’s story to the world, and if you don’t know much about him, please feel free to peruse the various newspapers articles, videos, stories, and more than we have linked or embedded here.
FYI: This article will be best viewed on devices that are not mobiles.
Start here, watch this seven minute documentary for an umbrella of Jack Trice:
- Spencer Hall’s essay “BUFFALO” is absolutely a must-read.
- The Undefeated also wrote an article about him.
- Also, be sure to view Kagavi’s links.
- ISU Special Collections has a Flickr album, featuring pictures of Jack Trice, his letter and his memorial service on campus.
- This song came out five years after Jack passed, but listening to it might help you read this; it helped me type this, anecdotally.
- Travis Hines wrote this piece on the decades-long battle to name the football stadium after Jack.
Jack Trice in his high school sweater:
December 10, 1921, Jack’s high school team backed out of an exhibition game in Texas because the opposing team didn’t want to play him. Here is East Tech’s perspective from a newspaper in Dayton, Ohio:
December 13, 1921: The Waco News-Tribune had their own response, and it’s maybe the worst take I’ve seen:
“As the Cleveland scribe writes, John Trice might be embarrassed in Texas before the game, but he would not be embarrassed after being carried off the field at Cotton Palace park. More than likely he would be embalmed.”
September 26, 1922: Jack Trice’s registration card for classes
October 4, 1922: The local Ames newspaper makes first reference of Jack’s playing ability.
September 28th, 1923: Trice receives praise for his play in practice and is expected to start against Simpson.
October 6, 1923: Play by play against Minnesota. For these images, right click and “open image in new tab” for best visibility of the text.
October 8, 1923: Ames Daily Tribune and Times expects Trice’s injuries to keep him out for about four weeks.
The Gazette offers a tribute to the fallen Trice in 1923:
October 18, 1923: the Jack Trice fund has reached $1975 in the City of Ames, $375 coming from the Ames Business District and the rest coming from students at Iowa State College.
October 21, 1923 (evening): a memorial for Jack Trice is held at 1125 Kellogg Avenue, over by Mary Greeley Hospital.
December 5, 1923: Chicago Tribune reports that 19 players have died playing football in 1923.
December 15th, 1923: Anna Trice (Jack’s mother) issues a statement in the local paper.
December 20, 1923: news about a bronze tablet honoring Jack Trice at State Gym made its way to Ohio.
January 3rd, 1924: $2259 has been raised, and the mother of Jack, Anna, receives an honorary “A” blanket.
Interview of Guy Roberts, teammate of Jack Trice, posted on Coffin Corner:
“I asked him about racism against black players in football and he said he “was never able to understand the adversity to the blacks.” At that time, Iowa State had a fine black tackle on its team – Jack Trice. Roberts wrote about the way Trice was treated on road trips with the football team: “I was puzzled when Jack had his meals served to him alone in the hotel room. Jack was not only a fine athlete and gentleman but was a brilliant student as well.”
Trice met a tragic end on the football field.
Roberts wrote: “One of the very dark moments during my football days occurred while still at Iowa State in the fall of 1923. We were playing the U. of Minnesota in Minneapolis. One of our tackles, Jack Trice, was black. There were rather few black players in those days, at least in our part of the country. It was one of Jack’s first major college games. He was a terrific player and in my estimation could have made any college team. He was also as much a gentleman as he was a player. I can’t believe that it was intentional but to contain Trice during the game, I think the Minnesota linemen had to gang up on him and he was severely injured. Jack died the next day. Some years later when Iowa State built a new stadium they honored him by naming it ‘Jack Trice Field.’”
Contact your local library to see if there’s a copy of Football’s Fallen Hero: The Jack Trice available for curbside pickup, or, check WorldCat.
Dorothy Schwieder, professor emerati of history at Iowa State, wrote 39 pages about Jack Trice here.
Jaime Schultz for Journal of Social History wrote “The Legend of Jack Trice” and the Campaign for Jack Trice Stadium, 1973-1984, but it’s behind a paywall here.