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Ossie Solem

Ossie Solem  

Oscar Martin "Ossie" Solem (December 13, 1891 - October 26, 1970) served as the head football coach at the University of Iowa from 1932-1936.

In 1932, Solem signed a three-year contract to succeed Burt Ingwersen as the 13th head football coach at the University of Iowa. He took over an Iowa football program that had recently been suspended from athletic competition in the Big Ten Conference for a month. More importantly, the Hawkeye program was suffering from the effects of the Great Depression. Since Iowa was a predominantly agricultural state, the Depression hit the Hawkeye athletic program particularly hard. The school could not even afford to pay Solem his full salary when he was first hired.

After winning the opening game of the 1932 season, Iowa lost their final seven games of the year. In the off-season, Solem loudly complained that athletes were being discriminated against in Iowa City and were not being hired for normal student jobs, probably as a result of Iowa's recent conference suspension. An independent investigator substantiated Solem's claims.

Hopes were not high in 1933, but Iowa responded with a 5-3 final record and Hawkeyes quarterback Joe Laws was named the Big Ten MVP. Solem's contract was extended two years, and with the departure of Iowa's athletic director, Solem was appointed to that position as well.

After two season opening wins, Iowa failed to win any of its final six games in 1934, and a season that started optimistically ended with a 2-5-1 record. Iowa managed to bounce back the following year with a respectable 4-2-2 record in 1935 behind the play of captain Dick Crayne and the sensational Ozzie Simmons. Many of the athletes Solem successfully recruited to Iowa would become the foundation for the 1939 Hawkeye team, nicknamed the "Ironmen", which included Nile Kinnick and Erwin Prasse.

Before the final game of the 1936 season, reports were heard that Solem was leaving at the end of the year. Iowa defeated a heavily favored, nationally ranked Temple team, coached by Pop Warner, 25-0, to end Solem's coaching career at Iowa. After the 1936 season, Solem announced he was leaving Iowa for Syracuse University.






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Ossie Solem - Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games