Skip to Main Content

Tristan Wirfs: Mount Vernon Mustang to University of Iowa Hawkeyes

As told by Drew Adams, Nick Leopold, Casey Noska, Max Siders, and Garrett Welch
Mount Vernon, Iowa

Story Narrative:

Tristan Wirfs (Mount Vernon High School Class of 2017) transitioned from an extremely successful athlete in high school to become an offensive lineman at the University of Iowa. His overwhelming success in multiple sports is discussed by friends and family but above-all, Tristan is known for being a kind and generous person. Video by Drew Adams, Nick Leopold, Casey Noska, Max Siders, and Garrett Welch, Mount Vernon High School. 


Lance Pederson: It's easy to build a football program around, when your best players are your hardest workers. And he was that guy.

Matt Thede: [0:15] First thing I think about when I think of Tristan-

Sue Diebner: [0:17] When I think of Tristan-

Matt Thede: [0:18]I think of immediate like, very large human, beast. This guy is an animal.

Lance Pederson: [0:23] He's a guy that everybody looks up to.

Matt Thede: [0:26] This guy is incredibly flexible and a dunker basketball, winner state championship in wrestling, throw the shot put 68 feet, throw the discus a mile-

Lance Pederson: [0:34] He's a guy that is just friendly as can be.

Sue Diebner: [0:36] He's strong, he's determined. He is everything it takes to be really good at what he does, but also to be a good person. He's got a big heart.

Matt Thede: [0:48] So I think what's really cool about Tristan is that, he had so much success in high school but that translated over to college as well, where he's now starting tackle for the University of Iowa and having lots of success as a true freshman on that offensive line.

Tristan Wirfs: [1:04] When I started playing football, when you first could start playing flag football. And then I started playing tackle football in fourth grade. Every kid has those names of like playing in the NFL, or like, being a superstar and stuff like that. And so, I mean, I always wanted to play football or baseball. And then I guess my sophomore year when I started, like when stuff started coming in. I guess that's kind of what I knew.

Lance Pederson: [1:25] You know he had a huge impact on our football program, he helped get the same turnaround with a lot of other great players. But I think he gave us, everybody looked up to Tristan or look to Tristan. And the quality of person he was showed the kind of quality of program that we have. And so I think that was huge for us. We all knew he was a great player. But yet he was even a better person.

Drew Adams: [1:46] Out on the field with him, during his career, and just to be able to say that I played with him is pretty cool. And, so it's just awesome to see him, all the success that he's gotten over the years and I think it's gonna continue. But he's a guy who definitely works hard. I mean, anytime you're gonna go play Division I football at a place like Iowa, you usually are a pretty good worker and he definitely does. I mean, he's always in the weight room, always looking to get better out in the field and wherever he's at.

Tristan Wirfs: [2:16] I started getting recruited this summer after my sophomore year, so going into my junior year I went to the Iowa Camp and they offered me there. I only had two offers. So I mean, I probably would have ended up going there anyway, like no matter what I would have walked on or something. But they're really good, like the offensive line success they're known for that kind of. It's close to home. Like family, who's a big part in that and it's just a pretty good school. So it was kind of a no brainer almost. When you really get time to just sit down and really go over a lot of stuff. I just, I was thrown into it. I kinda just roll with it. Cause everything's a lot faster pace, like it's a lot more intense. And the guys were a lot bigger too that I gotta go against. So, but it hasn't been a bad transition. I feel like I have been holding my own. Playing in Army was really fun and we got a lot of cool gear, my favorite part. Practices were kind of fun. Just getting to play with those like big name recruits and stuff. So it was good time.

Tristan Wirfs: [3:14] Football means a lot to me. It kinda gave me an outlet and then it definitely gave me like a path to get somewhere you know. Like, I don't know if I would have gone to college if it wasn't, if it wouldn't have been for a sport. So yeah, it's done a lot. I don't know. I don't know if I've really set out to accomplish anything. Maybe make a name for myself. I think that'd be it really.

Lance Pederson: [3:37] You know, you gotta give him a lot of credit. You gotta also give his mom a lot of credit. She's done an amazing job. Mom and sister, a lot of credit. He's a guy that wants to help others. He's a guy that doesn't look down upon people. He's here for everybody and that's what makes him extra special. I've worked with some extremely talented football players in my coaching career, but I don't know if I've ever worked with someone who is as talented as he is, but yet as good a person as his as well.

Matt Thede: [4:00] He is just an outstanding human. He plays with my kids. He stops by and says hi. He's very courteous, respectful, he's humble. He knows where he came from, and just a tremendous, tremendous human being on top of all of the athletic prowess that he has.

Asset ID: 2018.04
Themes: Crossroads, small towns, football, sports, dedication
Date recorded: 2018
Length of recording: 4:25 m
Related traveling exhibition: Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), Mount Vernon, Iowa
More information

Media Files:

  • A screenshot showing Tristan in his football uniform and the words, Gazette Male Athlete of the Year
  • Get video captions.