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8/31/2024 Football vs  Illinois State

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Jerry Hilgenberg - Image courtesy of
Jerry Hilgenberg
Jerry Hilgenberg
Jerry Hilgenberg

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Jerry Hilgenberg      Iowa Wikipedia 

Pronunciation: Hill-ginn-burg
Position(s): C, DL, LB, QB

HIGH SCHOOL: Jerry Hilgenberg attended Wilton Junction High School and lived in or near Wilton, Iowa. His school did not have a football program until his senior year, so he only played one season as a running back.

COLLEGE: He walked on to the Iowa team in 1950 as a QB, but was quickly converted to the center and linebacker positions. He started at Iowa for three seasons from 1951-1953 as center and backup defensive lineman. In his senior season, he was named a first team All-American after the season (first time at Iowa in 13 years), and All-Big Ten honoree. He played in the East-West game and the Senior Bowl. He was also the co-captain of the baseball team as a senior, and lettered in 1952 and 1953. He also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-District and All-Big Ten accolades as a senior.

PROFESSIONAL: He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 4th Round, but he was also drafted by the Air Force, which ended his pro career. When he returned from service, he was hired as an Iowa assistant football coach from 1956-1963. He was the last surviving assistant coach from Iowa’s historic 1958 Big Ten, Rose Bowl and national championship team.

OTHER: He coached his younger brother, Wally Hilgenberg. He was inducted into the Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1995. He was also voted on various all-time Hawkeye teams, including Iowa’s All-Century Team in 1989. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Football Players Hall of Fame.

Born 4/9/1931 and died on 1/16/2024 at the age of 92.

Children: Jay Hilgenberg, Joel Hilgenberg
Joined as walk-on (non-scholarship)  All Conference: All-Big Ten (1953) All American: 1st Team (1953) U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame Drafted Round 4 by Cleveland Browns in 1954 



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FAMOUS QUOTES from Jerry Hilgenberg

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FAMOUS QUOTES about Jerry Hilgenberg

Jerry Hilgenberg Mike Cilek  on 1/16/2024 - Link to source
I had the pleasure to have Jerry as a mentor, partner and good friend for 50 years. As a partner in the real estate business, he was wonderful to work with and he taught you to do business the right way. Jerry taught us all what he and I learned from athletics that can be carried on for an entire lifetime. He made our work together fun by working hard but enjoying every day.

Kirk Ferentz Kirk Ferentz  on 1/16/2024 - Link to source
Jerry Hilgenberg was a first-class individual. I got to know him during the 1980’s as a successful businessman and father to four incredible children, including two that I was lucky enough to coach. He was a friend and supporter of our program for decades. Mary and I send our condolences to the whole Hilgenberg family. He will be greatly missed.


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Jerry Hilgenberg - Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games