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Iowa History Daily: September 27 - Randy Duncan

Iowa History Daily: On September 27, 2016, legendary Des Moines Roosevelt and University of Iowa Quarterback Randy Duncan passed away. Duncan helped the Hawkeyes to the Rose Bowl twice, leading to a selection as the #1 selection in the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers in 1959.

Born in Mitchell County’s Osage, Duncan spent part of his childhood in Mason City before ultimately spending his high school days at Des Moines Roosevelt. Duncan helped guide Roosevelt’s basketball team to the state finals twice. Duncan quarterbacked the Roughriders to memorable seasons featuring only two losses over three years, including an undefeated state title campaign in 1954.

Duncan arrived at Iowa and struggled to see the field until an injury to the starting quarterback opened the door. Leading a come-from-behind victory against Oregon State helped show Duncan could effectively help lead the Hawkeyes. Later in the season, Duncan again found himself thrust into the action when the starter went down during the second quarter of the 1956 Rose Bowl. He came in and helped the Hawks capture a 35-19 win. Named the starter at the start of the 1957 campaign, Duncan rose to the role to gain status as a Hawkeye football legend. In Duncan’s first season at the helm full-time, Iowa went 7-1-1.

In 1958, a truly special season unfolded as Iowa’s nation-leading offense featured Duncan as the country’s top quarterback in passing yards and completion percentage. Iowa finished the season 8-1-1, including a Rose Bowl victory. After finishing second in Heisman voting, Duncan decided to head to play for the British Columbia Lions in the CFL instead of taking his talents to Green Bay as the #1 NFL Draft Pick. The College Football Hall of Fame inducted Duncan in 1997. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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