Iowa is quite a historic college football program.
The Hawkeyes’ football program began in 1889, and 130 years later, has unveiled a relief at Kinnick Stadium, honoring the team’s first black All-American, Duke Slater.
Slater played at Iowa from 1918-21 at both offensive and defensive line. The College Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural class came in 1951 and Slater was elected in then.
The engraving reportedly will be a six-and-a-half foot by 14 foot bronze engraving facing a public walkway on the outside of Kinnick Stadium’s newly-renovated north end zone.
“Slater drives the opposition back in calm determination,” an excerpt from a plaque accompanying the relief reads. “His life in football and beyond was defined by triumph and relentless breaking of boundaries.”
In Slater’s final season in 1921, he helped Iowa accomplish a 7-0 season. He was the team’s first black All-American in 1919 and was a First Team selection in 1921.
Slater went on to play 10 years of professional football and was regarded as the premier lineman for the first decade of the NFL, which was founded in 1920.
Slater died of stomach cancer at age 67 in 1966.
Iowa’s 2019 campaign begins at Kinnick Stadium on Aug. 31 against Miami (Ohio).