Nile Kinnick

Nile Kinnick

July 9, 1918 - June 2, 1943
  • UI honors student and class president
  • 1939 Heisman Trophy winner
  • Winner of Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Trophy (nation's most outstanding football player)
  • Consensus all-American in 1939
  • All-Big Ten and named to numerous All-American teams in 1939
  • Iowa's and Big Ten's Most Valuable Player in 1939
  • Played in the 1940 college all-star game sponsored by the Chicago Tribune
  • No. 1 Draft Pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1939
  • Member of the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame
  • Served as a United States Navy aviator in World War II. His life was cut tragically short when his Navy fighter plane crashed during a training mission
  • His No. 24 is one of two Iowa football numbers retired
  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951
  • University of Iowa renamed its football stadium Kinnick Stadium in his honor in 1972

Building Information

Street Address
825 Evashevski Drive
Year built

Designed to hold 45,000 fans, Kinnick Stadium was built in less than a year on a site excavated some thirty feet below the surrounding street level. It replaced the former stadium located on the east bank of the Iowa River and was renamed in 1972 in honor of halfback Nile Kinnick, the University of Iowa’s most celebrated player. The stadium renovations through the years have resulted in a seating capacity of nearly 70,000.

A colossal freestanding bronze statue of Nile Kinnick (scholar and athlete) in a pose inspired by Michelangelo’s David greets fans entering the stadium. A life-size, high-relief bronze narrative panel just inside the monumental three-arched south entry commemorates the triumphant moment in Kinnick’s career when, in the final minutes of the game, Kinnick carried the ball over the goal line to defeat mighty Notre Dame and secure the Heisman Trophy.

Though built with only the east and west grand- stands in the beginning, Kinnick Stadium has had additions through the years that have added bleachers on the north and south and a press box, initially constructed in 1958, onto the west. Kinnick’s 2006 renovation replaced the south bleachers and scoreboard. 

The new Brechler Press Box, complete with sky boxes and indoor/outdoor club seats, has replaced the original to meet contemporary standards. The new press box was named after former athletic director Dr. Paul W. Brechler, who oversaw construction of the first press box. The 2006 project also included the construction of a large landscaped approach, Krause Family Plaza, at the south end zone, providing a ceremonial entrance to the stadium and a point of welcome to the campus.