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4/9/2012 4:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Fleets Move College Football Gear for Pride’s Sake, Executives Say

“It’s almost a military operation at that point,” Riggan said. “That’s something that Hayden [a former marine] brought with him.”

Riggan also said, “At each home game, we park our truck outside the stadium and have a tailgate out of it. A lot of the old players stop by and say, ‘Hi.’ ”

Although the vehicle usually isn’t completely filled for away games, “for bowl games, we have a full load,” he said.

Iowa, which finished the regular season with a 7-5 record, lost to Oklahoma, 31-14, at the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

The hand-painted Hawk Hauler has been updated several times.

“We’re on our fourth trailer and our fifth tractor,” Riggan said. “The truck is all Hawk. It has close to 300 chicken lights — that’s an industry term. It really glows: I’m guessing a satellite could see it from space. It does look good.”

Riggan said the truck is used for carrying only football gear — with three charitable exceptions.

“We use the truck to support Freezing for Food and Toy Time,” he said, adding that the vehicle is parked at a Hy-Vee Food Stores facility to collect donated food for the Salvation Army pantry and at a Krieger Automotive center for Toy Time, another Salvation army charity. “They make sure that families in need get the food baskets and toys,” Riggan said.

The truck is also used to support a football camp for children from 7 years old through high school, he said, adding that 2011 was the program’s inaugural year.

The idea for the Davenport, Iowa, camp came from Matt Hughes, a linebacker for Iowa back in the 1990s. Riggan said that about 60 former Iowa players tutored the kids in football skills.

He also said that the Iowa alumni solicited donations from area businesses for the camp. And although there is a fee for the kids, those who couldn’t afford it were allowed to attend for free.

Riggan said the donations and fees go to football-related programs in the area — and in one special case, to help pay for a kidney transplant needed by a former Iowa player.

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