‘It’s a neat tradition’: South Dakota State, John Stiegelmeier honored to take part in Hawkeye Wave

·2 min read

One of the best traditions in college football is the Hawkeye Wave. When the Kinnick Stadium clock hits zero at the end of the first quarter, 70,000-plus fans in attendance divert their attention from the football field to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. In unison, fans wave to the pediatric patients and their families to symbolize that their fight—and life itself—is bigger than football.

South Dakota State head football coach John Stiegelmeier is well versed in the Iowa Hawkeyes’ tradition and said his team will embrace it.

“Well, it’s a neat tradition, and so it’s again an honor and it’ll be I think very meaningful to be part of it. You know, we do things like that. When we have our barefoot game, our guys take their shoes off at the end of the game and their socks off and we try to raise funds for Samaritan’s Feet and things like that. So, we don’t do that tradition, but we have things like that in our program that we’re more than just student-athletes, so it’ll be good. We practiced it. We practice everything, so we practiced that already and so nothing will surprise us,” Stiegelmeier said this week as his team prepares to visit Iowa City.

Indeed, Stiegelmeier and South Dakota State have helped raise money for Samaritan’s Feet in the past. For those unfamiliar, Samaritan’s Feet is a humanitarian relief organization that puts shoes on the feet of children all around the world. Their mission is to serve and inspire hope in children by providing shoes as the foundation to a spiritual and healthy life resulting in the advancement of education and economic opportunities.

At Iowa, over the course of this offseason, fans decided that the song played during the Hawkeye Wave should be left up to the kids to decide. Now, the Kid Captain at every home game will choose the song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave.

Even as a pair of long-tenured, highly successful college football head coaches in Stiegelmeier and Kirk Ferentz get set to try and capture a season-opening victory, it’s great to see a pair of head coaches for both programs embrace causes that are larger than football.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire