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Sideline protection for Fry, Ferentz passing the torch

[ 0 ] August 31, 2014 |
The man who escorted Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz on jogs to and from the Iowa football locker room for the better part of three decades is passing the coach-watching torch. Ron Stewart, pictured at back left, a retired Polk County deputy sheriff, is ceding his duties to Iowa Campus Police Lt. Peter Berkson. (Press-Citizen file photo)

The man who escorted Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz on jogs to and from the Iowa football locker room for the better part of three decades is passing the coach-watching torch.
Ron Stewart, pictured at back left, a retired Polk County deputy sheriff, is ceding his duties to Iowa Campus Police Lt. Peter Berkson. (Press-Citizen file photo)

IOWA CITY, Ia. – The man who escorted Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz on jogs to and from the Iowa football locker room for the better part of three decades is passing the coach-watching torch.

Ron Stewart, a retired Polk County deputy sheriff, wore street clothes on the Hawkeye sideline Saturday – rather than his well-recognized uniform.

“It’s a transition year,” Stewart said.

In short: Stewart is teaching the ropes to University of Iowa Campus Police Lt. Peter Berkson, who shadowed Ferentz during the season-opener against Northern Iowa.

Ferentz said at a public function one time that security had just one brief lapse under Stewart, when the program’s director of security helped players douse the coach in Gatorade after winning the 2010 Orange Bowl.

Stewart, who declined additional comment, saw scores of wins, losses and moments – even losing his hat on the field once when a quick-footed fan swiped it.

“It used to be a joke around there that the only person who tried to get on TV more than Phil Haddy was Ron Stewart,” said Haddy, the retired sports information director who worked at Iowa for 42 years. “But seriously, he’s a good man and a loyal Hawkeye all those years for two of the greatest coaches in Iowa history.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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