Thousands of fans, either in person or via video, have been touched by Iowa football’s new in-game tradition. The Kinnick Stadium Wave — a heartwarming moment where fans turn and wave to patients in the top floor of Iowa’s children’s hospital — has been widely received as the best new tradition in sports.
It means even more to the Hawkeyes’ head basketball coach. Fran McCaffery’s son, Patrick, faced his own battle with thyroid cancer. Patrick, a talented 2019 recruit who committed to play for his dad’s program earlier this month, was diagnosed in March 2014 but beat the disease less than two months later.
When Fran McCaffery saw the Kinnick Wave earlier this year, he was reminded of his son’s fight.
“Margaret, Patrick and I could have been sitting there depending on when it happened,” McCaffery said. “It’s phenomenal.”
He added: “It’s incredibly moving when you see it. The people that reach out to me and see it for the first time and aren’t from here are blown away with it. It’s one of the coolest things we’ve seen.”
McCaffery, who was speaking with reporters at Iowa’s media day, is entering his eighth season as Iowa’s head coach. The Hawkeyes open the 2017-18 campaign on Nov. 10 against Chicago State.