Class of 2008 B.A., Graduate Student
When Matt Kroul was offered a scholarship—as a sophomore at Mt. Vernon High School in Mt. Vernon, Iowa—to play football for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, he didn’t think twice.
And he’s never looked back. “It was definitely the right decision,” Matt says. “The family atmosphere that I saw in the team and the Hawkeye tradition that I grew up with made me feel right at home.”
Matt’s worn the black and gold as a member of the Hawkeye family since 2005, starting on the defensive line his entire career. But many Hawkeye fans and area residents have known his real family in another way—they’ve stopped at local landmark Kroul Farm along Highway 1 south of Mt. Vernon to buy sweet corn, pumpkins, flowers, and firewood.
Kroul Farm fell victim to the devastating Flood of 2008 that wreaked havoc on the UI and so much of eastern Iowa, and Matt was there to help his family move animals out of harm’s way and then clean up the damage.
The experience taught him that you can’t take anything for granted in life, a lesson he applies to his UI education and Hawkeye football career as well.
Matt graduated in May 2008, with a degree in health promotion, and is now working toward a master’s degree in public health. His UI experiences in the classroom and on the field make him excited for his future. “The options are endless,” he says.
Matt knows that the generosity of loyal Hawkeye fans who give to the I-Club and establish scholarships has helped make it all possible. “I was given an amazing opportunity at Iowa,” he says. “I tell the younger guys, ‘You’ve got the rest of your life to use what you’ve been given these four years. Make the most of it."
That leadership has made Matt a favorite of Hawkeye fans, teammates, and coaches. And no matter where he goes from here, it will serve him well.