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Bump Elliott: Iowa Time Machine June 11, 1970

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On June 11, 1970, the University of Iowa hired Bump Elliott as athletic director. Under Elliott, the Hawkeyes won 11 NCAA titles, 34 Big Ten championships, played in three Rose Bowls, and made the Final Four in men’s basketball.

Born Chalmers William Elliott in Detroit, Michigan, no one remembers how “Bump” got his nickname as an infant. Raised in Bloomington, Illinois, Elliott enrolled at Purdue while enlisting in the Marine Corps and participated in the university’s V-12 Navy College Training Program. A standout in football, basketball, and baseball while at Purdue, Elliott interrupted his career for active duty service during the waning moments of World War II. After the war, Elliott headed to play for the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Helping the Michigan “Mad Magicians” to an unbeaten season, Elliott captured All-American and Big 10 MVP honors.

Elliott went into coaching with assistant jobs at Oregon, Iowa, and Michigan before gaining the head job for the Wolverines in 1959. He led Michigan to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl win before heading to Iowa City to serve as athletic director in 1970. Elliott ushered in an era of greatness for the Hawkeyes, highlighted by hiring Dan Gable (wrestling), Hayden Fry (football), Lute Olson (men’s basketball), Dr. Tom Davis (men’s basketball) and C. Vivian Stringer (women’s basketball).

Elliott also oversaw the construction of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, an indoor workout center for football, and a 10,000-seat addition to Kinnick Stadium. Bump left a legacy as “a coach’s AD.” In 1999, Dan Gable wrote: "Right after I came to coach at the University of Iowa, I had a meeting with Bump Elliott, who was the Athletic Director. I'll never forget what Bump said to me: 'Don't ask for the moon. Strive to get there, sure, but do it wisely through continuing to build upon what you already have. As you build, come see me, and we'll see how I can help you out.' I now call that bit of wisdom the Bump Elliott Rule, and it serves a good reminder to keep things in perspective. Gradual, solid growth is better than any quick fix." #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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