Children's hospital patients to pick 'Hawkeye Wave' songs at Iowa football games

The Wave tradition at University of Iowa (0:59)

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz discusses the tradition of waving to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital after the first quarter at home games and how it has impacted the entire community. (0:59)

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A heartwarming tradition launched at Iowa home football games five years ago is getting another feel-good layer.

The University of Iowa announced Wednesday that patients at UI Stead Family Children's Hospital will get to pick the songs that accompany the Hawkeye Wave, in which fans at Kinnick Stadium wave to patients at the adjacent hospital and the patients are often seen waving back.

The university had asked fans to vote for a new song to replace Pat Green's country song "Wave on Wave" that has accompanied the Hawkeye Wave since its inception in 2017. The fans, in turn, suggested letting the kids pick.

Now at every Iowa home game this year, the hospital's Kid Captain -- a Children's Hospital patient who is picked to be honored -- will help select a new song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave.

"The children are the true heroes, so the choice is theirs," said Peter Matthes, Iowa's vice president for external relations. "That is something we can all agree on, and I cannot thank our fans enough for their input, engagement and generosity."