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Nile Kinnick

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Nile Kinnick      Nebraska Wikipedia 

Nile Kinnick attended Benson High School and lived in Omaha, Nebraska. He grew up and attended Adel High School in Iowa prior to moving to Nebraska late in high school. He chose Iowa over powerhouse Minnesota.

In 1937, he led the nation in punting and was named first team All-Big Ten and a third team All-American. He also played basketball, and was Iowa's second leading scorer and the 15th leading scorer in the Big Ten his sophomore year.

The 1938 season, Kinnick was hampered by injuries, and was not able to perform at his fullest, and was limited by treatments based on his faith. He was still named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten.

In the memorable 1939 season, Kinnick won nearly every award possible. He threw for 638 yards and 11 touchdowns on only 31 passes and ran for 374 yards. He was involved in 16 of the 19 touchdowns (11 passing, 5 rushing) that Iowa scored and was involved in 107 of the 130 points that Iowa scored that year. He played 402 of a possible 420 minutes that season. All told, Kinnick set 14 school records, six of which still stand over 65 years later.

Instead of pursuing baseball and football professionally, he enrolled in Law School. During that year (1940), he also served as an assistant football coach for the Hawkeyes, aiding the freshman team and scouting upcoming opponents.

He died during a training flight while serving as a United States Navy aviator in World War II in 1943.

Kinnick was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, and the University of Iowa renamed its football stadium Kinnick Stadium in his honor in 1972.

His number #24 has been retired, one of only two Iowa football numbers so recognized (along with Cal Jones). He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in the Hall's inaugural year in 1951, one of only two Hawkeye players so honored (Duke Slater was the other).

When the United States occupied Japan, it renamed the site intended for the 1940 Summer Olympics "Nile Kinnick Stadium." A high school in Yokosuka, Japan, for dependents of military personnel is named Nile C. Kinnick High School. The coin flipped at the start of every Big Ten football game bears his image, and each captain of a Big Ten team receives one such coin at the end of the year.

He was born 7/9/1918 and died on 6/2/1943 at the age of 24.

All Conference: First Team (1937, 1939), Honorable Mention (1938) Player of the Year: Heisman Trophy (1939), Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Memorial Trophy, AP Male Athlete of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year  (1939) All American: First Team (1939), 3rd Team (1937) U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame College Football Hall of Fame 


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Nile Kinnick - Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games