Outgoing University of Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby recently announced the new press box at Kinnick Stadium will feature a Wall of Fame to recognize members of the news media and university public relations staff that have covered the Hawkeyes.
The first members of the Wall of Fame include former newspaper writers Bert McGrane, Maury White, John O’Donnell. Bob Brooks broadcast the games on the radio for decades and will cover his 63rd Hawkeye football season this fall. Brooks says it’s an honor to be part of the Wall of Fame. He says a lot of people honored were his mentors starting out as he says the newspaper writers taught him a lot as he says the “ocean between writers and broadcasters weren’t as great as they are now.”
Brooks says things were also much different back in the days before Iowa went to one exclusive radio broadcast network. Brooks says at one Iowa-Ohio State game there were 18 different radio stations doing the game. Brooks says when he first started broadcasting games, they has two wooden press boxes, one on each side of the stadium. He says one was on the west side where the current press box is now.
Brooks says he started out on the east side where there were sealed in windows and he says it was tough to see the game late in the afternoon when the sun was setting. Brooks says the sealed windows also led him more than once to threaten to kick in a window to try and gain some relief from the heat in the press box. Brooks says the new press box is something to behold. Brooks says it will be a view from a much higher area, and he says you can see the whole thing from Interstate 80.
Brooks says it will be interesting to see how the press box operates, but he says even as high as it is, it won’t be as high as you get when you broadcast an Ohio State game. The Wall of Fame’s first class includes 19 others along with Brooks who will be recognized at Iowa’s football game October 28 with Northern Illinois.
Those being honored along with Brooks are: Bob Brown, Ft. Dodge Messenger; Gene Claussen, KXIC Iowa City; Tait Cummins, Cedar Rapids Gazette; Al Grady, Iowa City Press-Citizen/Voice of the Hawkeyes;Ron Gonder, KRNT Des Moines/ WMT Cedar Rapids; Jerry Jurgens, Quad City Times; Ron Maly, Des Moines Register; Bert McGrane, Des Moines Register; Frosty Mitchell, KGRN Grinnell/WMT Cedar Rapids; John O’Donnell, Quad City Times; Gus Schrader, Iowa City Press Citizen/ Cedar Rapids Gazette; L.E. “Ike” Skelley, Associated Press; Russ Smith, Waterloo Courier; Bud Suter, UI Athletic Relations Director; Buck Turnbull, Des Moines Register; Maury White, Des Moines Register; Eric Wilson, UI Sports Information Director; George Wine, UI Sports Information Director; Jim Zabel, WHO Des Moines. Together, they have a total of 780 seasons covering Hawkeye football.