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Ken Ploen
Ken Ploen
Ken Ploen - Image courtesy of
Ken Ploen
Ken Ploen
Ken Ploen

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Ken Ploen      Iowa Wikipedia 

Pronunciation: pl-own
Position(s): QB, DB

HIGH SCHOOL: Ken Ploen attended Clinton High School and lived in or near Clinton, Iowa. He won the 120-yard high hurdles at the Iowa boys state high school track meet and Drake Relays in 1953. He went on to earn all-state honors in football and basketball as a senior.

COLLEGE: He wanted to continue to play football and basketball and run track for the Hawkeyes, but his academics suffered in his first season, and decided to focus on football. He started at quarterback his senior season in 1956, and led the Hawks to its first Big Ten Conference title in 35 years and a berth in the Rose Bowl. He scored on a 49-yard run in the first quarter and completed 9-of-10 passes for 83 yards in the Hawkeyes' 35-19 win over Oregon State, and was chosen as the Rose Bowl's Most Valuable Player. He led the team in rushing, passing, scoring and interceptions (as he also played defensive back). He was named the most valuable football player in the Big Ten, and named first team All-American.

PROFESSIONAL: Instead of playing in the NFL, he signed with Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, and went on to win the Grey Cup four times (1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962), including scoring the winning touchdown in the 1961 title game, the first title game in CFL history that went into overtime. He was named to the CFL All-Star team three times (1957, 1959, 1965) in his 11-year career.

OTHER: He is a member of the CFL’s Hall of Fame, inducted in 1975. He is also a member of the National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame, the Quad City Hall of Fame and Clinton High School Hall of Fame.

Born 6/3/1935 and died on 2/13/2024 at the age of 88.

All Conference: 1st Team (1956) Player of the Year: Big Ten (1956) All American: 1st Team (1956) U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame Drafted Round 19 by Cleveland Browns in 1957 



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Ken Ploen (Kenny Ploen) | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games