Jack Trice - Iowa State University Alumni Association

Jack Trice

Jack Trice

Jack Trice

Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first black athlete, was also the first athlete to die for Iowa State. On the night of his first football game, October 5, 1923, Jack wrote in a letter on some hotel stationery, “My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life: The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break thru the opponents' line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of mass interference. Fight low, with your eyes open and toward the play. Watch out for crossbucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good.”

During the first half of the game he had so anticipated, Trice suffered a broken collarbone. He continued to play during the third quarter, until he was thrown on his back and trampled by three Minnesota players. He died three days later. Four thousand students and faculty members attended his funeral service on central campus.

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