In the year 2000, the Iowa Hawkeyes finished their football season with a 3-9 record. It was an improvement over the previous year, but still a disappointment to fans and the team.
Since then, football in Iowa City has been steadily thriving.
With Kirk Ferentz at the helm of Hawkeye football over the last decade, the Hawkeyes have had plenty of standout players. Several are now playing in the NFL and have become household names.
As the decade draws to a close, it seems a good time to reflect upon the success of the Iowa football program over the last 10 years with a list of the Iowa Hawkeyes All-Decade Team.
WR: Ed Hinkel, Clinton Solomon
TE: Dallas Clark
OT: Robert Gallery, Marshal Yanda
OG: Eric Steinbach, Seth Olsen
C: Bruce Nelson
RB: Shonn Greene, Albert Young
QB: Drew Tate
Ed Hinkel had a long career at Iowa and made quite a name for himself along the way.
He red-shirted in 2001, but played consistently every year until he graduated in 2005. In 2004, Hinkel ranked first on the Hawkeyes among receivers with 63 receptions and seven touchdowns. His 63 receptions ties for the third highest single-season total in Iowa history.
He had a career and game-high 10 catches for 93 yards against LSU in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.
Hinkel tied an Iowa bowl record with two touchdown receptions in the 2006 Outback Bowl. He also tied a school record with four touchdown receptions against Minnesota in the 2005 regular season final, which was his last game at Kinnick Stadium.
Clinton Solomon was a junior college transfer that made an immediate impact on the Iowa offense.
In 2004, he was selected second team All-Big Ten. He followed that up with four receptions for 81 yards and one touchdown in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.
Solomon's 1,864 career receiving yards ranks seventh all-time in Iowa football, and his 14 receiving touchdowns ties as fourth best all-time. No. 88 surpassed 100 yards in a game six times during his career for the Hawkeyes.
Dallas Clark has made a large impression on the NFL ever since being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003. Before his illustrious NFL career, Clark was a walk-on turned John Mackey Award winner at Iowa.
In 2000, Clark played on special teams and on defense as a linebacker. In 2001, he switched over to tight end and began terrorizing the Big Ten for the next two years.
He was first team All-Big Ten, first team All-America by about every sporting agency known to man and the 27th receiver in Iowa history to surpass 1,000 career receiving yards.
Now, Clark wins Super Bowls with Peyton Manning.
We can somewhat thank Nick Gallery for the brilliant career his younger brother Robert had at Iowa.
Robert Gallery decided to play football at Iowa because his brother Nick was an All-Big Ten punter, and thankfully showed Robert what life as a Hawkeye was like.
After red-shirting in 1999, Gallery dabbled a little at tight end as a freshman before moving to the offensive tackle position, where he started six games. During his sophomore and junior years, he started every game at tackle.
In 2002, Gallery helped Iowa win its first Big Ten title in 12 years and was named first team All-Big Ten.
He was projected as a first round draft pick in 2003, but opted to come back for his senior season. He was rewarded with the 2003 Outland Trophy and was selected as the second overall draft pick in 2004.
Marshal Yanda is another junior college transfer that went on to do great things at Iowa.
In 2006, Yanda was named Iowa's Most Valuable Player on offense for his hard work at tackle and was selected second team All-Big Ten.
The Anamosa native was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Eric Steinback struggled with some injuries early in his Hawkeye career, but came on strong in his final two years.
In 2001 and 2002, Steinback was named first team All-Big Ten, and in 2002 even won Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year.
He started all 13 games that year at left guard. He was part of an offensive line that only allowed just 12 sacks in 13 games.
Steinbach was widely rated as the top guard in the 2003 NFL Draft and went in the second round to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Seth Olsen was a very reliable fixture on the offensive line at Iowa for three seasons. His dominant play at right guard is a big part of Shonn Greene's success.
He was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2008 and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft.
Bruce Nelson was a first team All-American and first team All-Big Ten in his senior season in 2002.
One of his lasting impressions was his 48 consecutive starts. Nelson was also voted academic Big Ten in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2003 NFL draft, but only played a few years before suffering a series of hip injuries.
Albert Young is just the third Iowa running back to surpass 3,000 career yards, with his career rushing totals including 660 attempts for 3,173 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Young surpassed 100 rushing yards in 12 games during his career, including seven straight in 2005. That helped him become one of 10 semi-finalists for the Doak Walker Award.
He signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2008.
The story of Shonn Greene is well known in Iowa. Greene missed the entire 2007 season while he worked at a furniture store in Cedar Rapids to pay for his tuition at a junior college.
In 2008, Greene rejoined the team...and won the 2008 Doak Walker Award.
He rushed for over 100 yards in every game of the 2008 season, and scored 20 touchdowns in the process. Greene finished second in the nation in rushing with 1,850 yards.
The New York Jets selected Greene in the third round of the 2009 NFL draft.
On January 1, 2005, in front of a large Capital One Bowl crowd, Drew Tate became an Iowa Hawkeye legend. As time on the game clock ticked away in the final seconds of the game, Tate launched a 56-yard pass to wide receiver Warren Holloway for a touchdown to win the game over the LSU Tigers, 30-25.
Tate was one of only four players ever to start at quarterback for three seasons. He recorded over 8,240 passing yards and ranks third in career wins among Iowa's all-time quarterbacks.
Tate's 61 career touchdown passes also ties him for eighth-best in Big Ten Conference history.
These days, Tate is playing football up in Canada playing as a backup quarterback for the Calgary Stampers.
P: Ryan Donahue
PK: Nate Kaeding
PR: Andy Brodell
KR: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos
Ryan Donahue has had a great three-year run as Iowa's punter and is slowly climbing towards the top all time.
Last year, he was one of 10 finalist for the 2008 Ray Guy Award. This year he was named as an All-Big Ten honorable mention and awarded the team's Reggie Roby Special Teams Player of the Year title.
He has gotten the Hawkeyes out of a few jams with his kicking. Thankfully, they have him for one more year.
Nate Kaeding is the best kicker in Iowa history, and Iowa's all-time leading scorer by nearly 100 points.
He won the Lou Groza Award in 2002.
Kaeding was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft and has dominated the NFL kicking game ever since.
In 2008, he played the final two games of the regular season and three playoff games with a fractured fibula in his left leg. That could be why he is one of the NFL's highest paid kickers ever.
Aside from his career as a wide receiver for the Hawkeyes, Andy Brodell was also a very good punt returner.
From 2006 to 2008, Brodell lead the team in punting return yards per game. His 81-yard punt return for touchdown against Iowa State ranks as 10th longest punt return in school history.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos can do it all. In addition to being one of the most gifted wide receivers in recent Iowa football history, he is also one of the better kickoff returners the Hawkeyes have had in awhile.
He is averaging 32.18 yards per kickoff return this year. The 99-yard kickoff for touchdown against Ohio State probably helped his cause a little.
In 2007, he led the lead in kickoff return average as a freshman.
DE: Matt Roth, Aaron Kampman
DT: Mitch King, Jonathan Babineaux
LB: Chad Greenway, Abdul Hodge, Pat Angerer
CB: Jovon Johnson, Bradley Fletcher
S: Bob Sanders, Sean Considine
Matt Roth began his career at Iowa as a linebacker. Like many players, he switched positions and found a much more suitable home.
Roth was a very intense and enthusiastic player that fans loved to watch.
He was a two-time first team All-Big Ten during his tenure on the Hawkeye defensive line and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Prior to his junior season, Aaron Kampman switched positions from linebacker to defensive end. He started the next 24 games at defensive end.
In 2001, he lead the team in quarterback sacks, with nine. He was named first team All-Big Ten.
He was selected in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.
Mitch King was an animal that declared war on offensive lineman.
He was named the 2008 Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and selected first team All-Big Ten.
King was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2009.
Jonathan Babineaux could do it all.
He finished his career at Iowa with 131 tackles, 19 sacks, 24 quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles, and an interception.
Babineaux was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Chad Greenway was a Playboy Magazine All-American. What more do you need to know?
Ok, he also ranks fifth all-time in Iowa football with 416 career tackles. His 156 tackles in 2005 ranks as the third-highest single season total.
Greenway was the 17th pick in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Abdul Hodge dominated the Big Ten for three years.
He led the Big Ten in tackles his senior season and ranked third in the nation in solo tackles. Hodge ranks third at Iowa in career tackles with 453. His 158 total tackles in 2005 ranks second best ever at Iowa.
He was drafted in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Pat Angerer had some big shoes to fill after Greenway and Hodge headed to the NFL. And he did a pretty good job of it.
Angerer sits at seventh in the country in total tackles this year and second in the Big Ten. He was named an AP All-American, selected first team All-Big Ten, and was a finalist for the Nagurski Award this year.
And his best friend is his brother's dog.
Jovon Johnson ranks third all-time in career interceptions at Iowa with 17. He was a ninja at breaking up passes, too.
He was selected first team All-Big Ten in 2005.
After playing backup cornerback for two years, Bradley Fletcher got his chance to shine. And shine he did.
Fletcher had 10 pass break-ups during his senior season in 2008, to go along with three interceptions.
He was selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Tyler Sash is only a sophomore, but already has 11 interceptions in his career at Iowa. His 203 interception return yards ranks first in the nation.
Sash's 86-yard interception for touchdown against Indiana made highlight reels across the country.
His three interceptions, one forced fumble, and 10 tackles against Iowa State won him defensive player of the week.
The Hitman was the easiest player to put on this list and is arguably the player of the decade for Iowa Hawkeye footnall.
His 25 tackles against Indiana in 2001 is the fourth-best single game total tackle mark ever at Iowa. He recorded 348 tackles in his career.
Sanders was drafted by the Colts as the 44th pick overall in the the 2004 NFL Draft.