Iowa State football won a total of 4 games in 2 years before hiring the legendary Johnny Majors at age 33 in 1968. He spent three years “rebuilding” in Ames and in 1971, took them to the program’s first-ever bowl game at the Sun Bowl with an 8-3 record. They won their second bowl game the next year, the Liberty Bowl, following which he announced his resignation to move on to the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt).
Cyclone country loved Johnny Majors and so did the fans, players and families of the many subsequent teams he coached. Reports say the legend has died at age 85.
After making his mark with Iowa State, leaving the program in considerably better shape than he found it, he went on to do similar things at Pitt where he helmed a national title team in 1976. Then it was onto Tennessee for 16 years.
ISU officials released a lengthy statement that you can read at KCCI-TV, lauding him for his coaching career but also his loyalty to Iowa State even after he left, having made annual reunion trips back for several years.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player and to the Iowa State Football Hall Of Fame in 1999.
Current coach Matt Campbell said the following:
“Johnny Majors is one of college football’s all-time greatest coaches. Johnny came back every year and it was a pleasure for our players to get to know him and understand his legacy at Iowa State. He was one of the most important figures in Iowa State football history.”
College football fans in Iowa and everywhere are thankful for the contributions of the late Johnny Majors.