June 14, 2006
AMES, Iowa - Cris Love, who lettered at quarterback for Iowa State in 2003 and 2004, died Wednesday at the North Austin Medical Center in Austin after a short battle with cancer. The native of Round Rock, Texas, was 24 years old. Funeral arrangements are pending.
"This is devastating for the Iowa State family," Iowa State head football coach Dan McCarney said. "It is hard to believe that someone of Cris' personal stature could be taken from us way before his time. Cris leaves an army of friends and family who take with them great memories of this special man that will last the rest of their lives. More than anyone, Cris was an example of selflessness and the epitome of a team player. I have often told our players that 'if you forget yourself, you won't be forgotten.' No one in my 30 years of coaching personifies that philosophy more than Cris Love."
Love earned a bachelor's degree in health and human performance from Iowa State in 2005. He had just started a career in Texas as a small business sales associate at Dell, Inc.
"He loved the game of football," Iowa State passing game and quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch said. "He knew his role on the team and helped us so many ways on the field and off the field. It was Cris, as a fifth-year senior in 2004, who helped both Austin Flynn and Bret Meyer as they coped with sharing playing time at quarterback that fall. He was the perfect person to do that even though he himself was not seeing action."
Love played in 17 games from 2001-2004 and started the Texas game in the 2003 season. A member of three bowl teams, he hit on 50-of-104 passes for 667 yards and five touchdowns in his career. Love came off the bench when Seneca Wallace was injured in the first half of the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl, completing 2-of-4 passes for 23 yards in the first half.
"Cris was a Texan to the 'T', former ISU wide receiver Jack Whitver said. "From his hat to his belt buckle to his boots. He was never going to take it easy. We were just with him at the Houston Bowl and had a great time down there."
Former ISU co-captain Luke Vander Sanden was also at the Houston Bowl with Love. "He had a great sense of humor which made him fun to be around," Vander Sanden said. "He was like no other person I have met. I was lucky to be his teammate."
"I never heard him complain about anything," said former teammate Kyle Knock. "He would do anything to make the team better and was an upbeat guy. He was a great guy to others, including my wife Sarah. He got to know my whole family."
He is survived by his father, Cris Love Sr., his mother Melynda and a sister Chelsea. Iowa State will have additional comment and information as details are made available.
The Iowa State football program will host a 4 person best shot "Birdies for Love" golf tournament on July 10 at the Bos Landen Golf Resort in Pella, Iowa. The proceeds will help pay Cris Love's medical expenses. The entry fee is $100 per golfer for 18 holes of golf with a cart, lunch and a T-shirt. An after golf dinner is $20 and not included with the fee for golf. Iowa State passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch, a cancer survivor, will be the dinner speaker.
Donations are being accepted from those not able to attend the July 10 events. Donations and/or cards can be mailed to the Cyclone football office c/o Birdies for Love, Jacobson Athletic Building, 1800 S. Fourth St., Ames, IA 50011. For more information call Kyle Knock at 319-431-5319 or the Cyclone football office at 515-294-6720.
Love lettered for the Cyclones in 2003 and 2004