‘Well, Earle, We’re the Varsity Band’

Cyclones Everywhere: Superstar Cyclone

Photo by Christopher Gannon

Randy Dop, Alumni Band


Randy Dop (’81 computer engineering) is not only part of the first class to complete hi degree program, but he was also part of the first ISU Alumni Band in 1981.

Including his time as an undergrad and alum, 2022 marks his 44th performance. The only year missing? 2020—the year the ISU Alumni Band did not perform due to COVID-19 precautions.

“The Alumni Band is definitely y biggest tie to Iowa State. At first it as the idea of getting to march after graduation, but then it became about the people and the friendships,” Dop says.

Dop settled in Bloomington, Minnesota, following graduation and spent his career in tech helping people navigate change — from hard disc drives the size of a small washing machine to the implementation of email.

His list of band stories is long, but his clear favorite is how the marching band came to be known as the Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band.

“We used to clean up the stadium after performances to help earn money, and it was dirty business,” Dop says. “One year our director gave us permission to use the locker rooms to get cleaned up, but the message didn’t make it to Head Coach Earle Bruce. It was late—like early morn­ing late—by the time we were done, and he came busting into the locker room in his boxers and sock garters demanding to know what we were doing in the varsity locker room. My best friend Tim Jensen (’85 political science, MPA ’86) replied, ‘Well, Earle, we’re the varsity band.’”

A legend was born.

Dop says the level of excellence of the Cyclone Football “Varsity” Marching Band continues to rise. He and his family are proud to invest in its future by supporting two students in the marching band each year via the Dop Family Scholarship.