Iowa was the training ground for some of the nation's most talented athletes and musicians, including jazz singer Al Jarreau and former Olympic basketball player Chuck Darling.
- Simon Estes—World-famous baritone, formerly of the New York Metropolitan Opera. BM, 1986.
- Al Jarreau—Jazz singer and 1982 Grammy Award winner for best male pop performance. MA, Education, 1964.
- Eugene Rousseau—A classical saxophonist who has performed around the world, Rousseau spent 25 years as chief consultant for Yamaha Corp.'s saxophone research and development department. PhD, Music, 1962.
- David Sanborn—This six-time Grammy Award-winning saxophone player studied at Iowa in the 1960s.
- B.J. Armstrong—Professional basketball player whose career spanned 11 seasons, including time with the Chicago Bulls' NBA championship teams in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Currently a sports agent with Wasserman Media Group. His clients include Derrick Rose, Draymond Green, and Jason Terry. BA, Communication Studies, 1989.
- Tom and Terry Brands—Wrestled at Iowa in the 1980s and 1990s and went on to the Olympics. Tom (BS, 1992) won a gold medal in the Freestyle category in 1996; Terry (BGS, 1992) won a bronze medal in the same category in 2000. Tom is the head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa, leading the Hawkeyes to national titles in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Terry is an assistant wrestling coach at Iowa.
- Marv Cook—Professional football player who was a linebacker and former captain of the New England Patriots. He also played for the Chicago Bears. He earned a BBA at Iowa in 1990.
- Chuck Darling—Hawkeye basketball player and member of the 1956 championship basketball team at the Olympic Games.BA, Geology, 1952.
- Tim Dwight—Professional football player who returned kicks and played wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Oakland Raiders. BS, Sport, Health, Leisure, and Physical Studies, 1999.
- Bobby Hansen—The former Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz basketball player played for the Hawkeyes from 1978 to 1981. BBA, Marketing, 1983.
- Amy Herrig—Professional basketball player and center for the WNBA Utah Starzz. BS, Sport, Health, Leisure, and Physical Studies, 1999; MBA, 2001.
- Nile C. Kinnick—Captain of the All-American football team and holder of the Heisman Trophy for 1939. He was voted US Male Athlete of the Year (over baseball's Joe DiMaggio). A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he also was in the top one percent of his law class. Kinnick died in World War II as his fighter plane crashed into the sea while on a training flight near Trinidad. Kinnick Stadium is named in his honor. BA, Economics, 1940. He died in 1943.
- Ed Podolak—A former Hawkeye football star, Podolak went on to enjoy a stellar NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1969 to 1977. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs in 1970. BBA, Finance, 1969.
- George Saling—Olympic hurdler who won the 110-meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympic Games in a time of 14.6 seconds. BSC, Commerce & Engineering, 1932. He died in 1933.