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Nile Kinnick (1939)
Posted: Friday November 05, 1999 07:24 PM
In the days when 60-minute men were common in college football, Nile Kinnick took the label to new heights. In his Heisman season of 1939, Kinnick was involved in 107 of Iowa's 130 points as a runner, passer and kicker.
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In a nationwide poll, Kinnick was named the top male athlete of the year ahead of athletes like Joe DiMaggio, Joe Louis and Byron Nelson.
He turned down pro football for law school but joined the war effort in 1941 as part of the Naval Air Corps Reserve. In 1943, his plane crashed during a training flight, and his body was never recovered.
But the memory of the fifth Heisman winner lives on each fall. The Hawkeyes play their home games at Kinnick Stadium.
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