Nile Kinnick unveiled as Big Ten Icon 7

Big Ten Icons, a program on the Big Ten Network, is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in conference history based solely on their collegiate careers. The network unveiled Big Ten Icon 7 as Iowa’s Nile Kinnick. Presented by Discover and hosted by Keith Jackson, Big Ten Icons airs IMMEDIATELY following the Iowa-Indiana men’s basketball game, at approximately 5 p.m. ET this Sunday with a profile of the revered 1939 Heisman Trophy winner and namesake of the Hawkeyes’ football stadium. The episode, which will air again at 9 p.m. ET, includes one-on-one interviews with former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, former Hawkeye athletic director Bump Elliott, Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz, broadcasters Bob Brooks, Gary Dolphin, and Ron Gonder, and many others.

Kinnick’s jersey number 24 is one of only two numbers retired by the Hawkeyes. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. Kinnick not only won the Heisman Trophy, but was also a consensus first-team All-American and the winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football (as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player), the Walter Camp Award, the Maxwell Award, and the Associated Press’s Male Athlete of the Year, trumping New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio and boxing champion Joe Louis.

In an essay for, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath wrote that Kinnick and fellow Ironmen, “pretty much rescued University of Iowa football during a magical 1939 season that still stirs the imagination 71 years after it took place.” To read the essay on Kinnick and learn more about his accomplishments, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at

The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed in March 2011 in conjunction with the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Karissa Wikert
Assistant Director of Marketing

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