Late Alumnus Left a Lasting Gift to Rivalry

Iowa football players celebrate with the Heartland Trophy, created by UI alum Frank Strub, after beating Wisconsin 10-6 last season in Madison. Photo:

When Iowa and Wisconsin meet tomorrow at Kinnick Stadium, the winner will hoist the Heartland Trophy.

It will be the first game between the Big Ten rivals since the passing of UI alumnus Frank Strub, who created the bronzed traveling trophy in 2004.

Frank A. Strub, 57BA

The Iowa City native played football for the Hawkeyes as a freshmen and graduated from UI in 1957. He died last month in Johnston, Iowa, at age 83.

Strub worked in the insurance business in central Iowa and later in life began a second career as an artist and sculptor, according to his obituary. The Heartland Trophy, which he donated to the two teams, is his best-known work. A bronzed bull on a base of walnut, the trophy is 30 inches tall, 36 inches long and 18 inches deep.

“My wife (Pat) and I wanted to give something back in appreciation of our college days” Strub said in 2004. “I think the Wisconsin-Iowa football series is something that typifies all that is good in college life. Pat and I are eternally grateful for all that we experienced as a result of our college days.”

Said former Iowa Athletics Director Bob Bowlsby that year: “The bull on the top of the trophy symbolizes the kind of games that have been typical when the schools meet. It’s a trophy that will be treasured by the winning team each year.”

Read more about the Heartland Trophy and its creation in a piece published this week at

And read Strub’s full obituary here.

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