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There’s always an Iowa connection: 2022 Iowa State football schedule edition

Ty Rushing, this one is for you

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The people of Iowa welcome you sign
A sign seen by those that enter into the 29th state, Iowa.
Photo by: Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Saturday evening, we should know how the Iowa State Cyclones performed against the Southeast Missouri (SEMO) Redhawks in the first gridiron battle between the two schools.

Sure, Houck Stadium located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is about 480 miles away from Jack Trice Stadium, but like every opponent on the schedule, there’s at least one Iowa connection.

SEMO, Sept. 3: Dan Peiffer, a class of 1973 graduate of Southeast Missouri, was inducted into their athletic hall of fame in 2004. Peiffer was the starting center all four seasons and was the captain of the Chicago Bears in 1975.

Washington Redskins v Chicago Bears
Center Dan Peiffer (53) of the Chicago Bears walks the sidelines during a game on Oct. 3, 1976.
Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

He was born in Sigourney on March 29, 1951, and attended Keota High School.

On Aug. 10, 2020, the day of the derecho in Iowa, Peiffer interviewed with the author while the power was out at The News-Review in Sigourney.

Redhawk senior tight end, No. 88, Will Weidemann attended Clarion-Goldfield-Dows high school and attended Ellsworth CC before heading to SEMO.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Southeast Missouri at Missouri
Missouri Tigers linebacker Chad Bailey (33) is able to make the tackle on Southeast Missouri State Redhawks tight end Will Weidemann (88) during a non conference game between Southeast Missouri and Missouri onSept. 18, 2021 at Faurot Field
Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In 2021, Weidemann had 11 receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

KCCI feature on Weidemann.

At Iowa, Sept. 10:

1913 Iowa State College Cyclones team photo

The athlete pictured at the far right in the front row is Nile Kinnick Sr., who won letters in 1913 and 1914.

ACϟDC, a well known rock and roll band from Australia, has had their 1980 song “Back In Black” play before pregame at Kinnick Stadium since 2005.

ACϟDC has played two concerts at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The first was on Nov. 4, 1988 and the second was on Dec. 4, 1990.

Ohio, Sept. 17:

Iowa State’s offensive coordinator from 1974 to 1978 Tom Lichtenberg was at the helm of the Bobcats from 1990 to 1994.

While his record wasn’t anything to write home about, 8–45–2 overall and 6–34–2 in Mid-American Conference play, Lichtenberg got Iowa State wide receiver Stan Hixon to get into coaching as he was just “a good role model,” per Hixon’s interview with the author in 2018.

1978 Hall of Fame Classic — Game Program

Additionally, Lichtenberg gave Hixon his first full time coaching job as running backs coach of Morehead State in 1980.

Lichtenberg coached one season at Maine, 1989, where his Black Bears got all the way up to No. 4 in the country before falling in the first round to No. 9 Southwest Missouri State (presently known as Missouri State) in NCAA Division I-AA first round action.

Kirk Ferentz succeeded Lichtenberg at Maine.

The following is from an Ohio Bobcats media guide:

Ohio University vs University at Buffalo Set Number: X155567 TK1 R3 F104

“Peden Stadium has seen a number of milestones in recent seasons, beginning with a visit from Iowa State in 2001. The first ever member of a Bowl Championship Series conference to play at the “Wrigley Field of college football”, the Cyclones met the Bobcats in front of a then-stadium-record crowd of 24,000 fans.”

The Burrows (from left) Jimmy, Joe and Dan.

Ohio’s defensive coordinator from 2005–2016 and associate head coach/defensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018 Jimmy Burrow spent time in central Iowa before heading east.

From 1987 to 1993, Burrow was the secondary coach under head coach Jim Walden. In 1994, Burrow wore his prior hat and a hat as co-defensive coordinator.

In 1995, Burrow started his high school coaching career of the Ames High Little Cyclones where he would remain an assistant until 1998.

Burrow, and his son Jamie, would go all the way to the state championship with the Little Cyclones in 1996.

Burrow succeeded Kirk Daddow, who was at the helm of Little Cyclone football for the prior 17 years, for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

Notre Dame v Nebraska X
Jamie Burrow of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates during the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2001. The Cornhuskers won 27-17.

Jamie became the starting mike linebacker for the Cornhuskers in 2001, and from 1998-2001 (redshirted in 1997), Burrow tallied 116 tackles in 47 games played.

Phil Bates (Iowa State -> Ohio)
Photo by Stephen Mally/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images and Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Phillip Bates is probably best known for his 38 yard reception on a 2nd-and-13 on the Cyclone 46 with under two minutes in the game against Iowa in 2007.

Bates transferred to Ohio after the 2008 season where he tallied nine touchdowns (five passing, three rushing and one receiving) and 1,465 yards from scrimmage.

He spent some time in the Canadian Football League in 2015 and 2016. There, with Toronto and then Saskatchewan, he had 13 receptions for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Toronto Argonauts play the BC Lions
Toronto Argonauts wide receiver Phil Bates gets up over BC Lions defensive back Steven Clarke (29) and BC Lions defensive back Eric Fraser (37) to score a touchdown as the Toronto Argonauts play the BC Lions in Toronto. October 30, 2015.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Baylor, Sept. 24:

Baylor forward Sophie Wilson is seen in action during one of her five appearances in 2021.
Baylor Futbol - Instagram

Sophomore forward Sophie Wilson is the Baylor Ames connection, as Wilson attended and graduated from Ames High School.

She led the Little Cyclones in assists in 2018.

At Baylor, Wilson appeared on the Big 12 commissioner’s honor roll in fall and spring 2021 per her Baylor bio.

During the 2021 season, she appeared in five games and recorded three shots and one on goal.

At Kansas, Oct. 1:

Clarkson NCAA Archive
Gale Sayers (48) of the Kansas Jayhawks runs the ball past Richard Callahan (80) the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Nov. 9, 1963 in Lincoln.
Photo by Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

On Jan. 26, 1961 Gale Sayers (May 30, 1943 - Sept. 23, 2020) and his best friend since 6 years of age, Vernon Breakfield (June 21, 1942 - May 7, 2003) committed to Iowa State.

“We like the setup,” they were quoted as saying.

“Referring to the Ames campus and the full scholarship aid of room, board, tuition, book and $15 per month,” per the article on their commitment.

Sayers went on to play football at Kansas and Breakfield went on to play at Luther Junior College in Wahoo, Nebraska for a single season before working “for 35 years as the print shop supervisor for the Kirkham-Michael engineering firm.”

Sayers and Breakfield are buried 10 minutes away from each other in Omaha.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 31 Iowa State at Kansas
Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Hayden Hatcher’s (37) hair flies in the wind before a Big 12 football game between the Iowa State Cyclones and Kansas Jayhawks on Oct. 31, 2020
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Redshirt senior Hayden Hatcher, who spent two years at Iowa Western, is on the two deep depth chart for the Jayhawks in their season opener against Tennessee Tech.

Hatcher is a graduate of Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs where he had two interceptions, including a pick six, 73 tackles and 15 1/5 tackles for loss.

Hatcher at Lewis Central

Kansas State, Oct. 8:

TaxAct Texas Bowl - Kansas State v LSU
Head coach Chris Klieman of the Kansas State Wildcats tips his cap following a win against the LSU Tigers in the TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman is an Iowa native.

Specifically, Klieman hails from Waterloo, where he attended Columbus Catholic High School where he was a quarterback and defensive back for the Sailors.

From 1986 to 1990 he was a member of the University of Northern Iowa’s secondary.

Klieman is No. 9 in this photograph
1989 UNI Media Guide

His father, Robert “Bob” Klieman, was inducted into the Iowa High School Officials Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame in 1999.

At Texas, Oct. 15:

Eugene Van Gent is seen at the far left of the team photo
Des Moines Register | March 5, 1910

Eugene Van Gent (Dec. 23, 1889 - June 12, 1949), born in Ottumwa, won the high school state shot put title in 1909 and the discus title in 1910 while representing Ottumwa.

Van Gent coached Texas football in 1916 and guided them to a 7-2 record. He coached their basketball team that winter and led them to a 12-3 (7-1, Southwest Conference) record and an SWC title.

C.E. Van Gent, an Ottumwa native, is seen in the front row on the left.
1917 Cactus

The following is from Texas’ 2010 media guide.

“Conrad Eugene Van Gent, a former three-sport star at Wisconsin, replaced Dave Allerdice in 1916 and continued the winning tradition. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound man, Van Gent was from Ottumwa, Iowa, and was an all-star in football, basketball and track for the Badgers. He had worked two years on the University of Missouri staff and the UT Athletic Council, led by the first-ever athletics director Theo Bellmont, had to raise its offer from $2,250 to $2,500 as a result of Missouri’s efforts to keep him.

The 1916 campaign was the season when the Texas A&M students kidnapped and branded the Longhorns’ mascot, hence Van Gent personally witnessed the birth of the name “Bevo” for the school’s favorite steer.

Van Gent led the team to a 7-2 record and an Southwest Conference-best 5-1 record (although a conference crown was not awarded in 1916). However, when the season was over, the world was about to change. More than 500 students and Van Gent left the Austin school when the United States declared war on Germany. The UT coach reported to the First Officers’ Training Camp at Camp Funston, near San Antonio in May 1917. He returned after the war as an assistant coach but left after the 1919 season. Van Gent then moved to California and entered private business. He returned to college coaching briefly at Stanford, posting a 4-4-2 record in 1922.”

Van Gent’s fifth game of the season, a 24-18 loss to Rice on Jan. 30, 1917, ended the Longhorns’ winning streak at 44 consecutive games.

Mack Brown was the wide receivers coach of the Iowa State Cyclones in 1979 and the offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.

“Iowa State Football Media Day 1981. QBs with Mack Brown”
Wesley Winterink

During his tenure, the Cyclones went 2-1 against Iowa. In 1981, the Cyclones tied No. 5 Oklahoma and rose to as high as No. 11 in the national rankings.

Oklahoma, Oct. 29:

Since 2006, K.J. Kindler has been at the helm of Sooner women’s gymnastics.

Prior to her present time in Norman, Kindler was head coach of her alma mater Iowa State from 2001 to 2006 and an assistant from 1992 to 2001.

According to her bio on, “As an ISU gymnast, Kindler was a three-time MVP for the Cyclones and runner-up in the all-around at the 1992 Big Eight Championships. She was the school’s first individual NCAA Regional qualifier and competed three times in the postseason meet.”

Kindler was a communications major at Iowa State.

Nov. 5, West Virginia:

West Virginia’s former head coach, 2011 to 2018, Dana Holgorsen, was born in Davenport and played football at Iowa Wesleyan.

The Cyclones were 2-5 against Holgorsen, but won against him in his last appearance in the “Riot Bowl” in 2018.

West Virginia Mountaineers v Iowa State
Head coach Dana Holgorsen of the West Virginia Mountaineers reacts to a safety call in the second half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 30-14 over the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Nov. 12, at Oklahoma State:

Dr. Strathe

Sonji Ketiku, per the 2006 Oklahoma State media guide, played at Buena Vista University in 2002. He sat out the 2003 season due to injury and transferred to the Cowboys in 2004.

Ketiku “played eight games as a true freshman and had three interceptions for the Beavers. He also ran track at Buena Vista and went to nationals in the 400-meter run and the 4x400-meter relay.”

Oklahoma State’s starting center during the 2011 game, Grant Garner, “considered” Iowa State.

Nov. 19, Texas Tech:

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Iowa State vs Washington State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Red Raider head coach Mike Leach was Iowa Wesleyan’s Assistant OC/OL/Equipment Coordinator from 1989 to 1991.

Nov. 26, at TCU:

Max Duggan, a senior signal caller at TCU, was a prolific quarterback at Lewis Central. He was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018. He passed for over 2,100 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior while adding 1,200 yards rushing.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) fires a pass against the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 26. Duggan was 15-26 passing for 216 yards. He threw two touchdowns and one interception in TCU’s 48-14 loss.
Jared Larson

Justin Hackett is the final Iowa connection I am putting on this list as it is after midnight on Friday.

Hackett will be a member of TCU’s baseball team.

Winterset Husky Justin Hackett almost throws his hat off after his delivery against Webster City in the substate final.
Jared Larson

As a member of Winterset’s baseball team, his ability to throw a fastball 94 mph led Winterset to the 2022 state tournament in Iowa City.

His postseason was ended in the 3A State Quarterfinal by eventual champion Western Dubuque by a 3-4 margin.

Feel free to add more Iowa connections below!