Trice was born in Hiram, Ohio in 1902. As a child, he was
active in sports and demonstrated outstanding athletic skills.
In 1918, Trice's mother sent him to Cleveland, Ohio to live with his
uncle. He attended East Technical High School where he
played football. In 1922, Trice followed five of his teammates and his former
high school coach, Sam Willaman who took a coaching position at Iowa State
College (University), to Ames, Iowa. Trice became the first
African-American athlete at Iowa State, participating in track and football.
He majored in animal husbandry, with the desire to go to the South and
use his knowledge to help black farmers. In the summer after his freshman year,
Trice married Cora Mae Starland. They both found jobs in order to support
themselves through school.
On October 6,1923, Jack Trice played in his first “real” college
football game against the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. During the
second play of the game, he broke his collarbone. He
insisted he was all right and returned to the game. In the third quarter,
University of Minnesota players forced Trice to the ground and crushed him.
Although he claimed to be fine, Trice was removed from the game and sent
to a Minneapolis Hospital. The doctors declared him fit to
travel and he returned to Ames with his teammates. On
October 8, He died from internal bleeding due to injuries received during the
In 1973, Jack Trice's legacy was renewed and a promotion began to name Iowa
State's new stadium after him. In 1974, the Iowa State
University Government of Student Body unanimously voted to endorse this effort.
In addition, the Jack Trice Stadium Committee compiled more than 3,000
signatures of supporters. An Iowa State University ad hoc
committee voted to advise President Robert Parks to name the stadium “Cyclone
Stadium.” In 1984, the stadium was named “Cyclone Stadium”
and the playing field was named “Jack Trice Field.” The
Government of Student Body, wanting to do more to honor Trice, raised money to
erect a statue of Trice in 1987. Due to the persistence of
the students, alumni, faculty and staff, and other supporters, the stadium was
finally named Jack Trice Stadium in 1997.