Legacy Series: Catching up with Warren Holloway

Story by Derek Pech

Hawkeye fans… What better way to ring in the football season than watching this over and over and over again!?

If you are a Hawkeye fan I’m willing to bet you still remember exactly where you were and how you reacted when Drew Tate completed that deep vertical TD pass to Warren Holloway in the final seconds of the Hawkeyes 2005 Capital One Bowl to seal the win. The play instantly became a college football classic, and a lifetime memory for Hawkeye fans everywhere.

I was a freshman in college who had just returned from the US Army’s Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training programs. My brother, co-owner of this site and huge Cyclone fan, was in college in Cedar Falls at the time. He lived in an apartment there with a few buddies. Of course the Capital One Bowl was the morning of New Years Day. Naturally the night before New Years Day is New Years Eve, and as most college students do, we celebrated until the early hours of the morning. A bunch of us crashed at Cody’s place, and we all set our alarms so we could be up and around in time to watch the 9-2 Hawks battle the 9-2 Tigers.

As the game was coming to a close we were all starting to stand up and gather our belongings in order to head for our own homes because we thought the game was over. The rest is history. Next thing we know “The Catch” happened and everyone went bonkers. We were all jumping up and down, Cyclone ANDHawkeye fans believe it or not, hugging and high-fiving each other. It was pure adrenaline and joy.

That moment was one of the best sports memories of my life. It always will be. The child like thrill that grown men experience when something like that happens involving their favorite sports team is somewhat hilarious in hindsight.

Needless to say, Warren Holloway is a household name for Hawkeye fans across the state of Iowa. We all know who he is, and the thought of him always brings up that fond memory. I had the chance to catch up with Warren this past week in order to ask him a few questions about what he’s up to, and to reflect on that memory and his time as a Hawkeye.

Special shout out to Warren for being willing to give us some of his time. Hope you all enjoy our interview below!

BCD: What are you up to now days?

WH: I am a second year physical therapy student at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, Illinois. 

BCD: What are your plans and goals now that you’re working in the healthcare industry, and what made you decide to do so?

WH: I actually went to Iowa to be a physical therapist, but I ended up in an economics major. My goals are still in the planning phase beyond graduation.

BCD: Are you a big Hawkeye football fan and do you still make sure you can watch all of their games?

WH: I keep up as best I can but I have been consumed with school these past few years, but I certainly root for the Hawks at all times.

BCD: Your story is one of the best I’ve heard in college football, and certainly in terms of Hawkeye football lore. Now that you’re officially an adult and you’ve had plenty of time to reflect on “The Catch” what did it mean to you?

WH: It is still the icing on the cake to a life long journey with sports. It was a moment of joy, humility and aww at the same time. I’m grateful to have played in that era of Hawkeye history on such great teams.

BCD: What did your time as a Hawkeye mean to you?

WH: I knew in 8th grade I wanted to play college football. It was dream come true honestly. The fact that the Hawkeyes were rebounding as a program was very important to me because I knew they wanted to win. It is easy to pick a team that is already on top but to be a part of a program on the rise made the experience unique and success extra rewarding which it was. Also Iowa City has wonderful fans and is a good college town. There is a work ethic that is the culture of being a Hawkeye as well as an Iowan that I love, and it represented how I wanted to approach the game.

BCD: How do you remember it, and what ultimately did you learn from your experiences?

WH: College in general was a very trying time, full of ups and downs. I learned that bring your “A” game everyday is a fact of life. I also learned that my confidence personally comes from preparation and not just attitude. I had the chance to experience being a professional which is something I try to take with me in whatever I do.

BCD: Do you ever get back to Iowa City?

WH: I usually come back to visit friends a couple times a year.

BCD: Has Coach Ferentz ever had you come talk with the team?

WH: I was honorary team captain a few years after graduation…real cool experience.

BCD: I’m sure you’ve heard all sorts of crazy stories about “The Catch” and how Hawkeye fans celebrated after the big play. What is the best story you have heard about the way someone celebrated?

WH: I have heard a lot of them, but it is a tie between a grandpa dancing on a bar table and a woman whose last memory of her father was them sharing that moment. I never get tired of hearing stories about what people were doing at that moment. It lets me know that it impacted them in a way that was so visceral they will never forget it. Those stories allow me to connect with that person in a way that would not happen otherwise. I’m grateful for every last one of them. Iowa fans are the best.

BCD: How did you and your teammates celebrate after that game?

WH: Honestly I’m not a big party person. I went to dinner with my family and spent the rest of the night walking around Orlando with a girl I was dating at the time just enjoying the moment with her as we randomly bumped into fans around town. It was a quiet relaxing night.

BCD: Our website is dedicated to both Iowa and Iowa State, and the CyHawk rivalry.
What are your thoughts on the rivalry, and when you were a Hawkeye did it mean a lot to you and obviously your teammates as well?

WH: Rivalries are fun. I enjoyed the Iowa vs. Iowa St. rivalry. Being from Chicago I had to take note from Iowan teammates on just how serious it was. It was especially tense in 2002 when they had Seneca Wallace. To this day I wonder if I would have a National Championship ring had we not lost to them which kept us out of the that particular bowl game. It definitely made an impact on my time as a Hawkeye.

BCD: Who was the best player that you ever played against?

WH: Hard to say, the Big Ten had some good players and some of which just on Iowa’s defense over the years. LSU’s secondary was very talented and as a unit the best I played against. Individually I would still have to say I’m glad I never had to play against Bob Sanders in a real game. I never had it as tough in a game as the other receivers playing against him on the other team. However I saw enough of him in practice so I did not feel sorry for them.

BCD: Do you have any great stories from practice or a game about any players or coaches that Hawk fans would love to hear about?

WH: We were coming back from Minnesota 2004 after a close win. The whole front of the defensive bus is red upon getting back to the complex. Apparently in the night they hit a deer. Coach Norm Parker gets off the bus and says “I tell you what, if nothing else those deer in Minnesota know the Iowa defense sure can hit” Coach Parker is classic.

BCD: Do you still get free drinks every time you walk into a bar in the state of Iowa?

WH: I never tested that theory but I did get a free meal at Applebee’s and Perkin’s.

BCD: Do Hawk fans still recognize you everywhere you go? Does that recognition ever get old?

WH: No, every now and then I get a prolonged look, but I would have to be at an Iowa function for people to place my face. It doesn’t get old. Typically they have a cool story to tell. Iowans are so laid back and down to earth it was never overwhelming for me.

BCD: Finally, if you could get one message out to Hawkeye fans what would it be?

WH: Don’t ever change!

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