Des Moines - Former Iowa All-American Chuck Long has a new book out, authored by Aaron Putze. It's titled Destined for Greatness – The Story of Chuck Long and Resurgence of Iowa Hawkeyes Football.
Monday at G-Migs in Valley Junction, Hawkeye fans of all ages lined up to buy a copy of the book and have Long himself sign it.
Channel 13's John Sears also asked Long for his thoughts on Iowa sophomore quarterback Nate Stanley. Long and Stanley are the only two Hawkeye QBs to throw for five or more touchdowns in a game twice.
Long had high praise for Stanley, and his potential to be even better.
You can play the video, and find more details on the book below.
Des Moines, Iowa: A quarterback who took snaps for a run-dominated high school football program and received scant attention among Division I college programs arrived in Iowa City in 1981. Five years later, Chuck Long held every Iowa Hawkeyes passing record, became the first Big Ten QB to throw for more than 10,000 yards, was a consensus first-team All-American and finished runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting to a kid named Bo.
Oh, and was the 12th overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft.
Sound too good to be true? Not if you’re “destined for greatness,” a bold proclamation made by Coach Hayden Fry before his recruit took a snap as a starter and the title of a just-released book chronicling Long’s inspiring story.
Authored by Aaron Putze, Destined for Greatness takes readers on a one-of-a-kind journey no one anticipated Chuck would one day travel as an energetic youth growing up in Wheaton, Illinois (including his family and closest friends!). From starring on the neighborhood playground affectionally called “The Tot Lot” to his current role as Executive Director of the Iowa Sports Foundation, the fast-paced narrative recounts the highs and lows of an Iowa football program learning to win again while Iowans endured the pain of the 1980s farm crisis.
It also retraces the path taken from starring in Kinnick to the challenges of competing in the NFL, including his first start under the lights on a Monday night versus the defending Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears.
“Everyone loved Chuck Long,” recalls Hayden Fry in an exclusive interview for the book. “He proved that during his playing and coaching careers and as a student at the University of Iowa. Chuck did all the right things, and he’s still doing them today as an announcer for the Big Ten Network and in his work with the Iowa Sports Foundation.
“I just can’t put into words how much I love Chuck Long and what he did not only for Iowa but for every team he’s been associated with,” Hayden adds. “He’s a real winner.”
Destined for Greatness includes personal accounts from Iowa Coaches Fry and Kirk Ferentz, Long’s teammates Hap Peterson, Jonathan Hayes and Mark Vlasic, U.S. Ambassador to China and Iowa’s longest-serving governor Terry Branstad and popular KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids) sports director John Campbell. Former Des Moines Register columnist Marc Hansen penned the forward.
Chuck Offenburger, an award-winning writer and sports enthusiast, says the book recalls a special time in the history of the Iowa football program. Chuck Long’s arrival in Iowa City, he says, occurred during a brutal farm crisis and toward the waning of the University of Iowa’s “football crisis” that had been raging for 19 years.
“Young Chuck, colorful Coach Fry and the rest of the Iowa Hawkeyes gave us victories, bowl games, No. 1 national rankings and most important of all, hope, right when the whole state needed it,” Offenburger says. “We’re way overdue in telling and celebrating that story. Thanks to Aaron Putze for doing it, and doing it so well.”
The book is available for $17.95 (soft cover) via Amazon.com, at Kindle Direct Publishing and select book stores and retailers. A hard cover version will be available in mid-November; n audio version is scheduled for release in December.
Long will make appearances at book signings in November and December in Cedar Rapids, Clear Lake, Clive, Coralville, Davenport, Iowa City, Waukee, West Bend, West Des Moines and Wheaton. Additional locations will be announced soon.
For more information about the book’s availability, dates, times and locations of signings and other special promotions including signed Chuck Long memorabilia, go to www.facebook.com/greatness16.
Editor’s Note: following are additional details about Chuck Long’s Iowa career and Destined for Greatness author Aaron Putze
- Holds Iowa school marks for
- Yards passing
- Touchdown passes and total offense (game, season and career)
- Pass attempts in a season, career
- He is still, more than three decades after his college career ended, the most accurate passer in Big Ten History (.649)
- Threw for more than 200 yards in 27 games during Hawkeyes career and for more than 100 yards in 42 of last 45 games
- Completed more than 50 percent of his attempts in 43 of last 47 contests
- Threw 1,203 times (1st in Iowa history), completed 782 passes (1st), hit for 74 touchdowns (1st) and amassed 10,461 yards (1st)
- First Big Ten QB and just second player in college football to throw for more than 10,000 yards in a career (Doug Flutie was the first)
- Holds Iowa single-season completion percentage mark (67.1 percent in 1984)
- Has league records for touchdown passes in a game, season and career
- Ranks No. 3 in NCAA history with career passing efficiency, sixth in passing yards
- Holds NCAA record with 22 straight completions at Indiana in 1984
- Three-time consensus first team all-Big Ten pick
- Consensus first-team All American (1985)
- Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award recipient
- Runner-up to Auburn’s Bo Jackson in 1985 Heisman Trophy voting (closest ballot at the time in Heisman vote history)
- Selected by Detroit Lions as 12th overall pick in 1986 NFL Draft
- One of just nine Hawkeyes football players to be recognized on Kinnick Stadium’s Wall of Honor
- Inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame (1997); Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame (1999)
About the Author
Aaron Putze combines his respect for farmers with faith and a love of family and country as Director of Communications & External Relations for the Iowa Soybean Association. He was raised on a crop and livestock farm near West Bend, Iowa and earned degrees in public relations, communications and journalism from the University of Northern Iowa. He’s an accredited public relations practitioner and enjoys sports, barbecue, yardwork and spending times outdoors. He resides in Waukee, Iowa, with his wife Crystal and children Garrett, Grant and Jaelyn.