Nile Kinnick Honored as Big Ten Icon

The greatness of Nile Kinnick continues to shine.

Iowa’s Nile Kinnick was recently named the No. 7 Big Ten Icon of all time. The Big Ten Network program is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in conference history, based on their collegiate playing careers.

Big Ten Icons profiled the revered 1939 Heisman Trophy winner with an episode featuring none other than the author of NILE, Tom Lidd. The episode also includes one-on-one interviews with former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke, Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta, former Hawkeye athletic director Bump Elliott, Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and legendary broadcaster Gary Dolphin.

While at Iowa, Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy, was named a consensus All-American, won the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football, won the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Award.

In an essay for, former sports editor Dan McGrath wrote that Kinnick “rescued University of Iowa football during a magical 1939 season that still stirs the imagination 71 years after it took place.” To read the essay on Kinnick visit

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