Cyclone Super Bowl Memories

AMES, Iowa – It’s Super Bowl weekend and time for fans across the nation to revel in what has become one of the greatest spectacles in sports.

Iowa State has had its share of players and coaches who have been a part of Super Bowl memories. Listed below are five fun facts of Cyclone Super Bowl history.

Keith Krepfle- The First Touchdown

Iowa State Hall-of-Famer Keith Krepfle made history in Super Bowl XV (January 25, 1981) when he scored the only touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Oakland Raiders. It marked the first time a player from a college in Iowa scored a touchdown in a Super Bowl. Krepfle, who is one of the greatest tight ends in Iowa State history, caught 94 passes for 1,378 yards and 15 touchdowns in his Cyclone career (1971-73). His NFL career was just as impressive, recording 152 receptions for 2,425 yards in 97 career starts. Another former Cyclone tight end, Dan Johnson, became the second collegian from Iowa to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl. Johnson was a member of the Miami Dolphin Super Bowl XIX (January 20, 1985) team. His first quarter two-yard touchdown catch from Dan Marino gave the Dolphins a 10-7 lead. It was the Dolphins’ only touchdown in a 38-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.


Players from a College in Iowa to score a TD in a Super Bowl
Keith Krepfle (Iowa State)            Super Bowl XV (Philadelphia Eagles, 1981)
Dan Johnson (Iowa State)             Super Bowl XIX (Miami Dolphins, 1985)
Tim Dwight (Iowa)                           Super Bowl XXXIII (Atlanta Falcons, 1999)
Kurt Warner (UNI)                           Super Bowl XXXVI (St. Louis Rams, 2002)

Otto Stowe- The Perfect Season

Otto Stowe was a member of one of the most famous teams in NFL history, and he has a Super Bowl ring to prove it. Stowe was a wide receiver on the 1972 Miami Dolphins undefeated (17-0) squad. The Dolphins beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII (Jan 14, 1973), 14-7, to cap off the NFL’s last perfect season. Stowe caught 13 passes during the 1972 campaign and he proudly displayed his Super Bowl ring when he was enshrined into the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. He was the first Cyclone to be on a Super Bowl-winning team, earning rings with the Dolphins in Super Bowl VII and VIII. Stowe led the Big Eight in receptions (59), receiving yards (822) and touchdown catches (6) as a senior in 1970.


Iowa State Hall-of-Famer Otto Stowe was a member of two Super Bowl champion teams with the Miami Dolphins (Super Bowl VII and VIII).

Cyclone Coaching Tree

When the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos met in Super Bowl XLVIII (Feb. 2, 2014), the Iowa State football program gained some national notoriety. The reason being that both head coaches – Pete Carroll (Seattle) and John Fox (Denver) – spent time early in their careers as assistant coaches at Iowa State. Carroll was on Earle Bruce’s final staff in 1978 and Fox was the defensive coordinator on Jim Criner’s 1984 Cyclone staff.


Former Cyclone Player Directs Defense In Super Bowl

Rod Rust is a Webster City, Iowa native who lettered for the Cyclones in 1947-48, starting at center in 1948. Rust went on to an outstanding coaching career, including stints with eight NFL teams. He was the first former Cyclone player to coach in a Super Bowl as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX (January 26, 1986) vs. the Chicago Bears. Rust later became the head coach of the Patriots during the 1990 season.


Rod Rust was Iowa State’s starting center in 1948. He was the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

Rookie Wins It All

Iowa State All-American Kelechi Osemele became the third Cyclone to play on a Super Bowl-winning team as the starting left guard for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII (Feb. 3, 2013). The Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31. Osemele joined Stowe (Super Bowl VI, VII; Miami Dolphins) and Karl Nelson (Super Bowl XXI; New York Giants) in the elite club as Super Bowl winners. Osemele was one of two rookies to start for the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.


Iowa State All-American Karl Nelson won a Super Bowl as a starting offensive lineman for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI.


About Mike Green

I'm in my 24th year working in the Athletics Communications office at Iowa State and in my sixth year as Assistant Athletics Director for Communications. My passion has always been ISU Athletics and the seed was planted by my father, Ken, who was an All-Big Eight pitcher for Iowa State in 1960. I graduated from UNI in 1993, where I was a two-year letterwinner on the golf team, and received my master's at ISU in 1997. I've covered volleyball, wrestling, baseball, golf, football and men's basketball at ISU, including 13 seasons as the men's hoops contact. It's an honor to be the football contact for Coach Campbell and the Cyclones. I've got stories to tell, and I love telling them.
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3 Responses to Cyclone Super Bowl Memories

  1. Christopher Copper says:

    In Super Bowl XLII, Hobbs again intercepted a Manning pass that deflected off the hands of New York Giants rookie wide receiver, Steve Smith. Near the conclusion of the game, wide receiver Plaxico Burress beat Hobbs on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds left to give the Giants the winning score.


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  3. Pingback: Cyclones in NFL World Championship Games #FlashbackFriday | Cardinal Tales

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