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Iowa History Daily: September 15 - Pop Warner Bets Big

Iowa History Daily: On September 15, 1895, legendary football coach Pop Warner put himself into a game while coaching Iowa State. Frustrated with the offensive line play in the first half, Warner subbed in at guard for the Cyclones to help protect a $150 bet on his own team against Butte Athletic Club.

The inventor of the single and double wing, the three-point stance, Warner gains credit for his influence in developing the modern game of football. Prior to his arrival in Ames, Warner worked a cattle ranch on the Great Plains and studied law at Cornell. Warner first played football at Cornell, and accepted a position as head coach at the Iowa Agricultural College (Iowa State) in Ames during spring of 1895.

During early September, Warner and his team headed northwest to take on the Butte Athletic Club in Montana. Betting his entire projected wages for the season ($150) on his soon-to-be Cyclones, when the team trailed 10-2 at halftime Warner decided to take over at guard for the second half. He helped shore up the line, but the boys from Ames still lost 12-10. Soon after, Warner departed to coach at Georgia for the remainder of the season with an agreement to help guide the Cyclones from a distance for a fee of $30.

The origination of the Cyclone nickname came later in the season of 1895 after Warner’s departure. When the team beat Northwestern by a score of 45-0, The Chicago Tribune’s headline boasted “Struck by a Cyclone: It Comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town. Northwestern might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone as with the Iowa team it met yesterday.” The team went on to further success across the 1890s, representing one of the most dominant runs in the program's 130+ year history. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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