Sept. 2, 2006
Earlier this year, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the naming of the new press box at historic Kinnick Stadium, the Paul W. Brechler Press Box, in honor of the University of Iowa's former director of intercollegiate athletics and business manager.
The public announcement of the Brechler Press Box is just one of the activities scheduled for Saturday at Kinnick Stadium when the nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes entertain Montana in their 2006 season opener. It's also Varsity Club Day at Kinnick and the 2006 class of inductees into the National Varsity Club Hall of Fame will be introduced. So, too, will be a handful of other special award-winners.
A native of Curlew, Iowa, and a graduate of Emmetsburg High School, Drake University and the University of Iowa, Brechler was served as the business manager for the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1946-47. In 1947, he was named director of athletics. In fact, at age 36, he was the youngest director of athletics in the history of the Big Ten Conference.
Brechler administered one of the many golden eras in intercollegiate athletics at the UI. He was the individual responsible for the hiring of some of the greatest names in the history of the Hawkeyes including Forest Evashevski, Bucky O'Connor, F.X. Cretzmeyer, Dave McCuskey and Don Klotz
During his tenure, University of Iowa teams won three Big Ten football championships and two Rose Bowl games, made two appearances in the Final Four in men's basketball, and won Big Ten championships in four additional sports. Numerous student-athletes earned all-Big Ten and all-America honors and many advanced to participation in the Olympics.
Brechler also was responsible for expansion of the UI's athletics facilities. He directed construction of the Athletics Office Building adjacent to the UI Fieldhouse and the UI's award-winning Finkbine Golf Course and clubhouse, and expanded seating capacity and constructed a new press box at what was then known as Iowa Stadium.
Brechler's career in intercollegiate athletics included stints as the commissioner of the Skyline, West Athletic and Rocky Mountain conferences, and director of athletics at the University of California.
He is a member of the Des Moines Register Sports Hall of Fame, the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, and the University of Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
"This is a very special day for me and my family and one that I know would have been very significant to my late husband," Wanda Brechler said last night at a special event inside the new structure.
"I want to extend my deepest and most sincere appreciate to the many friends and colleagues and peers, both past and present. I also want to thank my very good friends Bob Bowlsby, Mark Jennings and Jana Michael. We are truly, truly honored."