Former Iowa offensive lineman Kyle Calloway was struck by a train and killed Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona. He was 29 years old. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Calloway was running off and on train tracks when he was hit from behind by the train. Calloway's father explained what happened to Scott Dochterman:
"The longer version is at our old house, the train on the right side of the tracks went east, and the train on the left tracks went west. Our presumption is this train was on the opposite side that he was used to so he got on to the side so the train would have been coming at him from the front. We think that he got confused because the train somehow had been slopped over and was going in a different direction that he was used to. We don't know, we're just assuming that's what happened."
Calloway was a mainstay of Iowa's offensive line for three seasons. He was Iowa's left tackle during the 2007 rebuilding season, and moved to right tackle once Bryan Bulaga emerged in 2008 and 2009. The Big Ten media named him a second-team all-conference lineman during those last two seasons, where the technical expertise of Bulaga contrasted Calloway's road-grader size and tenacity on the right. There might not have been a player who better personified the growth of those teams over three years; his first game as a starter was a messy win over Northern Illinois. His last was the Orange Bowl. And Calloway's development, from overmatched pass blocker to NFL talent, was as significant as any on that squad. By the time he left, Calloway was a rock.
Sad to hear about Kyle. He kicked ass on the field, he kicked my ass many times in practice and he made me better. Rest easy Hawk— Pat Angerer (@PAngererUSA) July 5, 2016
Calloway was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but was waived before the 2010 season began. He later signed with the Baltimore Ravens and played for the Hartford Colonials of the UFL, but his pro career was remarkably brief. He had not played professional football in five years. According to Dochterman, he had moved to Arizona after being released by the Bills, and has lived there since.
Ten months ago, we lost Tyler Sash, a death that was shocking and inexplicable. He was eulogized profoundly and movingly across the state of Iowa and throughout the Iowa fan base, and deservedly so. Sash had been an integral part of one of the most beloved teams that the Hawkeyes have ever produced. But Kyle Calloway was one of those Hawkeyes, too. We don't have the Youtube clips or the ongoing story, because Calloway was an offensive lineman and a quiet guy, an important cog in a machine that acted the part. His only run-in with the law of note was a rather hilarious arrest on a moped that led to his only missed start in three seasons. He wasn't a mainstay on social media. He didn't make many appearances at Kinnick. He moved to Arizona, and like so many Iowa football players who have left the pros, we didn't hear from him again. But Kyle Calloway deserves every one of those words written for Tyler Sash. His death is no less tragic. His place in Iowa football is no less important.
Rest easy, Kyle Calloway.