Former Register columnist Rick Brown honored on Kinnick media wall of fame

Hawk Central staff

Former Des Moines Register sportswriter Rick Brown is joining his late father, Bob Brown, on the Kinnick Stadium Media Wall of Fame.

Brown, a sportswriter and sports columnist for the Register from 1978 until December 2015, is one of four media members being added to the wall of fame at Iowa, the school announced Monday. Also being honored: Blean Calkins, who covered Iowa games for KWPC radio in Muscatine (1962-92); Hal Lagerstrom, a sportswriter and sports editor at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (1959-1991); and Ed Podolak, the current radio analyst for Iowa football games for Learfield Sports.

They will be inducted into the wall of fame on Sept. 16-17 and will be honored on the Kinnick Stadium field before the North Dakota State game on Sept. 17.

Rick Brown worked his last day at the Register on Thursday, ending a career here that started in 1978.

Brown: It's time to say goodbye. Thanks for the ride, Iowa

The wall of fame, located in the media section of the Paul Brechler Press Box, "recognizes individuals who have covered Hawkeye football with integrity, accuracy, and fairness over a long period of time," the university said.

A native of Fort Dodge and an Iowa graduate, Brown was named Iowa Sportswriter of the Year 11 times during his career at the Register, most recently in 2015. Brown was penning columns on Iowa athletics until his retirement from the Register.

Brown and his father, Bob Brown, the longtime sports editor of the Fort Dodge Messenger, are the only father-son duo on the Kinnick Stadium Media Wall of Fame.

Calkins, who died March 16, 2003, began his broadcasting career at KCOB radio in Newton (1957-62) prior to moving to KWPC, where he broadcast Iowa football and basketball games. He was named Iowa Sportscaster of the Year in 1969 and from 1974-1976. He also served as president of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association from 1979-81.

Lagerstrom began his newspaper career at the Courier News in his hometown of Elgin, Ill., before joining the staff at the Telegraph-Herald in 1959. He covered Iowa football in three Rose Bowl appearances. He earned the Outstanding Sportswriter Media Award from the Iowa Press Association in 1986. Lagerstrom, who died in 2004, retired from the newspaper in 1991.

A native of Atlantic, Podolak lettered for the Hawkeyes from 1966-68. He earned first team All-Big Ten honors as a senior. His single-game rushing record of 286 yards in a 68-34 win over Northwestern in 1968 was not broken until 1997 and remains as the second-best single-game total in school history. Podolak played quarterback and running back for the Hawkeyes.

Following his NFL playing career, Podolak moved to the announcing booth, joining WHO radio broadcasts of Iowa football games in 1982 after initially serving as an NFL color commentator for NBC, and college football commentator at ESPN. He worked for WHO radio until joining with Learfield Sports in 1997.

The first wall-of-fame class of 20 members was recognized in 2006, the first year the Paul Brechler Press Box was in use following the Kinnick Stadium renovation. Four additional members were added in 2011.