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Dwight returns to lead youth football camp

[ 1 ] June 17, 2011 |

Former Iowa football star Tim Dwight doesn’t have to be reminded that he’s getting older because enough things are happening in his life to do it for him.

“You get up every day, and it reminds you to get your butt going because time is ticking,” Dwight said Friday during a break on the final day of running his annual youth football camp in Iowa City.

Dwight, who turns 36 in July, is old enough now that the things he accomplished as an athlete, which includes being a consensus all-America return specialist as a senior at Iowa in 1997, are being immortalized.

The former two-sport star in football and track and field found out recently that he is among five former University of Iowa student-athletes and one former UI coach who will be inducted into the National Iowa Varsity Club Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sept. 3, which is the same day the Iowa football team hosts Tennessee Tech in the 2011 season opener.

This honor comes on the heels of Dwight also being inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Iowa Association of Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.

“It was very humbling because you think of all the players that are in there, and all the players that have gone through the halls of Iowa,” said Dwight, who graduated from City High in 1994. “A lot of players have come through those halls and put a lot of work in.”

“The other nice thing is it just shows the kind of teammates I played with. I had an opportunity to go to Iowa and play for one of the best coaches of all time.”

Dwight played at Iowa from 1994-97 under former coach Hayden Fry. In addition to being an All-America return specialist, Dwight also was a standout receiver during his final three seasons as a Hawkeye and a star sprinter for the Iowa track team.

He then went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL and now works in the solar energy business and splits time between living in Iowa City and San Diego.

Iowa played in three bowl games during Dwight’s four seasons in the program, winning both the 1995 Sun Bowl and the 1996 Alamo Bowl.

Dwight also returned five punts for touchdowns at Iowa. He is believed to be one of the few, if not the only player in history to return punts for touchdowns against Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State.

He said Iowa’s 21-20 victory at Penn State in 1996 probably was the high point to his college career. Dwight returned a punt for a touchdown in that game, and he also made a key reception that led to more points.

“The Penn State game kind of stands out because I liked playing against Penn State a lot,” Dwight said. “They were Linebacker U, man.”

Dwight said he knew for more than a month about his induction, but he kept it a secret, even from his parents.

“I didn’t call anybody, because I know my dad talks,” Dwight said.

Dwight’s father, Tim Dwight Sr., didn’t learn about his son being inducted into the UI’s Hall of Fame until he arrived in Iowa City on Monday to help with the football camp, which was held at the younger Dwight’s alma mater, South East Junior High.

“I’m very proud of him, and I think it’s very deserving,” Tim Dwight Sr. said.

Tim Sr., who taught at City High but now is retired and living out of state, said he misses watching his son play for the Little Hawks and for the Hawkeyes.

Tim Jr. was a two-sport star at City in football and track. He led the Little Hawks to a state title in football as a senior running back/defensive back and to three state titles as a sprinter and long jumper in track.

“I don’t miss the professional games because it was so brutal,” Dwight’s father said. “But we really miss the college stuff.

“The high school years and the college years were great, just wonderful.”

As for his youth footbal camp, this year marked its 10th anniversary. Dwight Jr. said most of the campers are too young to remember him as a Hawkeye, but they still hold him in high regard.

“It’s wild, even with these 8- and 10-year-olds, they say, ‘You’re still one of the best Hawkeyes ever and blah, blah, blah,” Dwight Jr. said. “And I’m like, ‘You didn’t even see me play.’

“Today we threw on some old film of mine that the kids probably had never seen before. And I think they were kind of in shock that that was me out there doing all that stuff because they never had seen it happen.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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