Jack Trice was the first African American to play intercollegiate sports at Iowa State University. A student of animal husbandry, Trice suffered severe injuries in his second collegiate football game against the University of Minnesota and died two days later on October 8, 1923. He was 21 years old.
In 1984, the turf at Iowa State University’s Cyclone Stadium was named Jack Trice Field. In 1997, the facility was renamed Jack Trice Stadium. It is the only major college football stadium in the United States that is named for an African American.
Now, Iowa State is planning a year-long celebration h0noring Jack Trice on the one-hundredth anniversary of his death. A new sculpture will be erected at Jack Trice Stadium. A street just north of the stadium will bear his name. A lecture series will be established and an exhibition will debut at the university’s museum. A Cyclone football game in 2023 will feature Jack Trice-era throwback uniforms.
“Jack Trice’s legacy of courage, commitment and character is a source of tremendous pride and inspiration for all Iowa Staters,” said Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen. “This year-long centennial commemoration is an important way to uplift and share the full breadth of Jack’s story with a broad audience across Iowa and the nation. It’s also an opportunity to recognize our students and student-athletes who exemplify Jack’s ‘I Will’ spirit every day in the classroom, in competition and all across our campus.”
“It is our responsibility, in partnership with the campus community, to keep Jack’s courageous story alive for future generations of Cyclones,” added Jamie Pollard, Iowa State’s director of athletics. “The centennial anniversary of this tragedy affords all of us the opportunity to encourage meaningful dialogue about personal character and commitment to always doing one’s best, by sharing Jack’s story well beyond the Iowa State community.”