Former football assistant Piro passes away

BY SETH ROBERTS | APRIL 20, 2011 7:20 AM

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Former Iowa assistant football coach H.W. "Whitey" Piro passed away Monday in Iowa City. He was 93.

Piro, a native of Nordholz, Germany, was a Hawkeye assistant from 1952 to 1965 under Forest Evashevski and Jerry Burns. He helped the team win two Rose Bowl games and three Big Ten championships.

Piro's family immigrated to the United States when he was 3 years old. He grew up in Long Island, N.Y., and captained his high school's football, basketball, baseball, and track teams. He graduated from Syracuse in 1941, having been a three-year starter for coach Ossie Solem's football teams.

Upon graduation, Piro played one season for the Philadelphia Eagles. He appeared in 10 games and pulled in 10 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown.

He spent 1942 as an assistant coach at Syracuse before serving in the Air Force during World War II. He then coached at the Citadel and Utah before arriving in Iowa City.

Piro worked with the UI Personnel Department for almost 20 years and spent time as a president of the Iowa City School Board and Iowa City Booster Club. He served on the Johnson County Handicapped Committee and was an elder and deacon of the First Presbyterian Church.

Piro is survived by his wife, four sons, and two grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Lensing Funeral Home, 605 Kirkwood Ave. A service of remembrance will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at the First Presbyterian Church.

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