Bob Brooks all set for sixth Hawkeye Rose Bowl

Andrew Logue
Bob Brooks is no stranger to Iowa playing in the Rose Bowl.

Good things come to those who wait. And Bob Brooks has endured a pair of decades-long Rose Bowl droughts.

Brooks, who will turn 89 on Saturday, is still a fixture at Iowa football press conferences and will make his sixth trip to Pasadena, Calif., with the Hawkeyes.

“I think Iowa will acquit themselves very well out there,” Brooks said after bowl pairings were unveiled Sunday. “What I’m really happiest about is, of all of his wins and all the things Kirk Ferentz has gone through … now he gets to go. That’s a great thing to put on his coaching career.”

Brooks, a 1948 graduate of Iowa, began his radio broadcasting career at 17 and is best known for his years at KCRG and KHAK in Cedar Rapids.

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He was joined at his first Rose Bowl by Jim Zabel, who was also covering coach Forest Evashevski’s 1956 Hawkeyes.

“That was a thrill,” Brooks recalled. “We were standing out in the courtyard waiting for our luggage and I turned to Jim and said, ‘Did you ever think in our lifetime we’d be out here?’”

Brooks and Zabel were back at the Rose Bowl after the 1958 season, but didn’t return again until 1981.

This year’s team ended a 25-year hiatus.

Zabel died in 2013, but another of his former colleagues will make sure he is represented.

Jon Miller, founder of, plans to bring a trinket bearing Zabel’s likeness and plant it somewhere in or around the Rose Bowl turf.

It’s Miller’s way of paying tribute to an Iowa icon.

“I intend to pull that off,” Miller said. “Even if it means being escorted from the stadium.

“I don’t think it’ll come to that.”

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Zabel’s tales from the Rose Bowl, such as meeting Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, became part of Hawkeye lore.

“I think Jim loved the Rose Bowl as much as any part of Iowa history,” Miller said. “I think it was because it came at a time (the 1950s) when Jim came of age as the voice of the Hawkeyes.

“The Rose Bowl was almost like an open invitation for Jim Zabel to tell the entire story of his life.”

STRONG TAKE released a list of the 25 most powerful people in college sports. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is No. 1, with the Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby, a former Iowa and Northern Iowa athletic director, at No. 5. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who once held that post at Iowa State, is ninth. According to Forbes, Delany’s launching of the Big Ten Network is a primary reason for his status.



Kurt Warner was sidelined Sunday and unavailable for his usual analyst duties on NFL Network. The former Northern Iowa and Iowa Barnstormers quarterback, who retired as a player in 2009, took an elbow to the face and suffered a broken jaw. Warner revealed the news via Twitter, but did not give details about how the injury occurred.


Mediacom MC22 will air the Drake men’s basketball game against DePaul live from the Knapp Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It will be replayed Thursday (11 a.m.), Friday (8 a.m.) and Sunday (10 p.m.).


Andrew Logue has been with the Register for 20 years. Follow him @AndrewMLogue.