The family group above is one of the reasons for Forest Evashevski's reputation as the iconoclast of college football. His wife Ruth, daughter of former U.S. Senator Prentiss Brown of Michigan, has blessed their union not only with six children (reading clockwise: young William, age 4 months; Tom Harmon, 4; Marion, 10; James, 13; John, 7; and Forest Jr., 15 years old) but also with a degree of independent wealth to which Evashevski frankly admits. Where others might worry about the consequences of outspokenness, Evashevski does not; says he: "I got a rich father-in-law."
He is unusual in other respects, too. Although a kick in the head put him out of high school football for good in his first year, he made All-America at Michigan as the famous blocking quarterback of the Evashevski-Tom Harmon combination; and in his final year, 1940, he was captain of the Wolverines. When he went into coaching at Hamilton College in 1941, he won five of seven games in his first season. The University of Pittsburgh then claimed him as a backfield coach, only to have the U.S. Navy claim him as a lieutenant. After three years' service, he got his discharge and returned to football with Clarence (Biggie) Munn, first for a year at Syracuse, then for three years at Michigan State. Washington State gave him a head coach's job in 1950, and in three seasons he reciprocated by bringing the Cougars up from last place in the Pacific Coast Conference to a respectable fifth. But it was Iowa which reaped the full benefit of his by now considerable powers. In 1952 he became head coach there, and by last year had brought the Hawkeyes their first Big Ten title in 34 years and their first Rose Bowl game—and victory, 35-19, over Oregon State—ever. His remarkable 1956 season won him an award as "Coach of the Year" from four of the nation's largest booster organizations and marked him as one of the most dangerous and versatile strategists in the college game today. Which is the rest of the reason why Forest Evashevski has no hesitation about speaking his mind on football, even if it means shattering a number of football concepts which have long been considered sacred.