100 years since his death, the legacy of Jack Trice remains

Ethan Humble | Oct. 8, 2023

Jack was awarded his animal husbandry degree posthumously, with George there to accept it

AMES, Iowa — Less than 24 hours after defeating TCU in the Jack Trice game, the Iowa State football team honored their stadium’s namesake in a different way — a ceremony.

Iowa State legend Jack Trice died after being injured in a football game in October 1923.

Sunday’s commemoration began with a reading of his last words — a letter he wrote to himself the night before what would be his last game.

“Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will,” Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen read aloud.

However, as his cousin George Trice said at the ceremony, Jack Trice was much more than just a football player.

He said the Jack Trice statue only further proves his point.

“There are books on a bench. He’s reading a letter that he wrote and his football cleats are behind him. They are not on him. They are not next to him. They are behind him because he is a student first. A student-athlete,” George Trice said.

Former members of Alpha Phi Alpha, the fraternity Jack joined while at ISU, also gave a tribute.

“Jack wasn’t just a member. He was a phenomenal stakeholder in regards to pushing the mission forward of our fraternity,” said Julian Neely, the former president of ΑΦΑ.

Lastly, Jack Trice was awarded his animal husbandry degree posthumously, with George Trice there to accept it.

The university said the yearlong commemoration was meant to inspire meaningful conversations about race, personal character and committing to doing one’s very best.