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11
Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry

Hayden Fry  

John Hayden Fry is a former football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 1962 to 1972, North Texas State University (now known as the University of North Texas) from 1973 to 1978, and the University of Iowa from 1979 to 1998, compiling a career college football record of 232-178-10. Fry played college football at Baylor University. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2003. and the U of Iowa Hall of Fame in 2004.

Fry was hired as Iowa's 25th head football coach, and fourth in eight seasons, after the 1978 season. Fry had never been to Iowa, but he knew and liked Bump Elliott, by this time the university's athletic director. Iowa had had 17 straight non-winning seasons, but Fry was impressed at the fan support for a program that had struggled for so long. He hired a marketing group to create the Tigerhawk, a logo to represent the University of Iowa's athletic programs. Since both shared the colors of black and gold, Fry gained permission from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the dominant NFL program of the time, to overhaul Iowa's uniforms in the Steelers' image. Fry had the team "swarm" onto the field together as they left the locker room, holding hands in a show of solidarity. And Fry had the visitors' locker room painted pink. Fry, a psychology major at Baylor, knew that pink is occasionally used in jails and mental institutions to relax and pacify the residents, and Fry claimed that it might have the same effect on the visiting team.

On the field, Hayden assembled a terrific coaching staff, bringing his assistant coaches with him from North Texas, including Bill Brashier, his defensive coordinator and a childhood friend from Eastland, Texas, and Bill Snyder, his offensive coordinator. Fry retained some of the Iowa coaches from the previous staff, including Dan McCarney and Bernie Wyatt. Finally, Fry hired the head coach at Mason City High School, Barry Alvarez. Fry would later add Kirk Ferentz as his offensive line coach and hire his former players Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops, Chuck Long, and Bret Bielema as assistant coaches. Fry also gave former USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt one of his first breaks in college football, making him a graduate assistant coach at Iowa in 1989.

He was born 2/28/1929 and died on 12/17/2019 at the age of 90.


SEASONS


VIDEOS


LINKS

 


BOOKS and MOVIES

Beyond Xs and Os: What I Learned About Friendship and Success from a College Football Legend Beyond Xs and Os: What I Learned About Friendship and Success from a College Football Legend (9/1/2010)

Hayden Fry: A High Porch Picnic Hayden Fry: A High Porch Picnic (3/1/1999)

 


FAMOUS QUOTES from Hayden Fry

    Richard Bass He's a rolling ball of butcher knives
    - Link to source

    Our kicking game was atrocious. Most of our punts were terrible. The coverage wasn't all that good either. Hell, we try an onside kick, and we kick it 20 yards farther down the field than we should have. That was typical of our game.
    ...from Iowa vs. Illinois on 11/8/1986 - Link to source

    Ronnie Harmon Ronnie Harmon ran as hard as anyone on the field when he had the ball. He fumbled one time the whole year before tonight. Ronnie is a great person, and he is very hurt right now. It happens to all great athletes at one time and it's a shame it happened in the Rose Bowl.
    ...from Iowa vs. UCLA on 1/1/1986 - Discussing Ronnie Harmon's 4 fumbles in the game. - Link to source

    You're looking at the happiest man in the world. What a team victory. That tragedy back in Iowa City is so sad that I know it had a big part of us winning because I think our guys just gave that 20 percent extra effort. Just to try to bring a little ,happiness to the people back in Iowa, the people that are so down right now, that's why this victory has special meaning. Our guys played their hearts our for the university family. So that's why this victory is very, very special.
    ...from Iowa vs. Ohio State on 11/2/1991 - Link to source

    I've never changed my bottom line in coaching. I love people. I'm a tough guy, but I'm honest and ethical. My rules might be tough, but they are fair and even. And there's a little entertainer in me, because entertainment is part of the game.
    11/21/1998... - Link to source

    One thing is for sure. There are 105,000 fans cheering at the University of Michigan, but they don't make half as much noise at the 60,000 fans in Kinnick Stadium. It's just great to be back, and to see so many people. I've said it before. The Iowa fans are the greatest.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan on 10/17/1981 - Link to source

    I'm frustrated. It's been a disaster, It's hard on me and my coaches. Bill Snyder, my offensive coach, almost committed hari-kari after last week's loss. I don't know what he might do this week.
    ...from Iowa vs. Illinois on 10/11/1980 - Link to source

    I told my players, the first thing they have to understand is I'm not a mystic, I'm not a Jesus Christ, I'm not a magician. I tried to show them as realistically as possible that we didn't play well enough to win.
    ...from Iowa vs. Arizona on 10/4/1980 - Link to source

    The fans are disappointed. Iowa fans have more experience at booing than anybody in the country. But I have no animosity towards the fans. I can accept that. I don't want to encourage it, but I'll accept it.
    ...from Iowa vs. Arizona on 10/4/1980 - Link to source

    Tim Dwight He's like Superman. He's all heart and he's the greatest competitor I've had in 45 years of coaching. The greatest run was probably the punt return he didn't score on. It was unbelievable - jerking loose, side-stepping people, stiff-arming and jumping over people.
    ...from Iowa vs. Ohio State on 10/26/1996 - Link to source

    Do you think those guys [voters] were drunk over the weekend? Super - that's great. It's been a long time, hasn't it? There's no accurate way to rank teams, but I guess if it's a prestigious thing, I'm grateful to be in the top 20. They [Iowa players] probably appreciate the ranking like I do - zip.
    ...from Iowa vs. Northwestern on 10/3/1981 - Jokingly said after hearing about Iowa being ranked in the Top 20 for the first time in about 20 years. - Link to source

    It was a perfect first half except for a couple of plays. Then we folded our tent. We didn't play defense and we just didn't execute. We did an about-face after performing so well in the first half. I thought the offense and defense were outstanding in the first half. I guess you felt like you saw two completely different ballgames. It was like a nightmare.
    ...from Iowa vs. Indiana on 9/8/1979 - Link to source

    Every time he scored a touchdown, all my good friends thought he became whiter and whiter
    10/28/1985... - When discussing when he coached at SMU and signed Jerry LeVias, the Southwest Conference’s first black scholarship athlete, and how SMU fans reacted to him. - Link to source

    Mark Vlasic He proves it every day in practice by overthrowing receivers.
    9/15/1986... - Explaining that Mark has a stronger arm than the last QB Chuck Long - Link to source

    Jeff Kramer He's got that extra heartbeat. He's redheaded and he's got the temper to go with it. He worked hard from the time he came here. He is a very emotional, tough and aggressive football player.
    - Link to source

    Derek Rose Derek [Rose] has a great combination of intelligence and real poise. He's a quality athlete, with good foot speed and quickness. We always try to put the guy who really understands the game at center. Derek plays a vital role in every play of our offense.
    8/1/1998... - Link to source

    It's not the fact that you (the media) think I'm wrong on the call, you're entitled to that. It's when you insinuate that I'm lying to you. Hell, we were trying to win the game. And to write big articles, insinuating that I wasn't, that just destroys me. If you think I'm lying to you, then why come down here for all the copy? Do you think I'm coaching to lose? We were trying to win. I'm not going to stand for somebody in the news media to write garbage that's not correct. We just got a few writers that just got that poison pen that just got to take shots at us. We're not deserving of that crap. I'm not threatening you, but I'll start doing my interviews on an individual basis over the phone, and I'll return the calls to the guys that I think are going to cover it fair and square. The rest of you can go to you know where.
    ...from Iowa vs. Ohio State on 11/12/1988 - In the Tuesday press conference after the OSU tie game - Link to source

    They paid their sixteen bucks, and they can react any way they want to. We took a chance with the on-side kick to win the game. There wasn't any question in my mind what to do. We were still trying to win the game. We were just trying to do it different than the people who don't know much about football realize. A damn tie is better than a loss. Tell that to your friends. It wasn't a damn loss, it was a tie.
    ...from Iowa vs. Ohio State on 11/12/1988 - Link to source

    I lied to you people. I said I wasn't going to go to my bag of tricks, It was an extremely well-executed play and that gave us a lot of momentum.
    ...from Iowa vs. Indiana on 10/31/1987 - Quoted after the game in the Daily Iowan, discussing the fleaflicker TD in the first drive of the game.

    It was just the mystique of 28 years since we've won over there. I thought, well gee, whatever it is that's been the jinx or the bug or whatever, here we go again. But our defense wouldn't have any part of it. They kept rising up.
    ...from Iowa vs. Purdue on 10/13/1984 - Quoted in the Daily Iowan, when asked about giving up two fumbles deep in their own territory.

    I would get myself in deep, deep trouble if I commented at all, because I am just furious. I can't comment. You ask our athletic director or our President
    ...from Iowa vs. Indiana on 10/9/1993 - When asked about why John Hartlieb was ruled ineligible to play in the game (due to incident over the weekend)

    I know I can say with validity, they dislike us more than any other team in the Big Ten and have through the years. They used to even copy our weight lifting program and everything else because they got beaten up more physically when they played Iowa than anyone else. When (lowa offensive line) Coach (Frank) Verducci was on the staff at Northwestern, they had one banner in the locker room - 'Beat Iowa.' Not 'Beat Ohio State' or 'Beat Michigan' everything was concentrated on beating Iowa.
    ...from Iowa vs. Northwestern on 11/12/1994 - Quoted in Daily Iowan prior to the game

    Tim Dwight Did Tim Dwight play in the game? He was all over the field today.
    ...from Iowa vs. Central Michigan on 9/3/1994 - Said ironically during the press conference

    We've been blown out before, but we've always come back and won. If you stay in this game long enough, the worm will turn. The worm turned today.
    ...from Iowa vs. Nebraska on 9/12/1981

    Let’s not talk about the mustache. We’ve just whipped somebody’s ass. We’ve worked our tails off and whipped a heck of a team.
    ...from Iowa vs. Nebraska on 9/12/1981 - When asked about growing a new mustache for this season

    Sedrick Shaw No. 42 kind of motivated our backs to run a little harder. I haven't seen Sedrick Shaw run that hard all year. Ryan Terry ran very hard.
    ...from Iowa vs. Northern Illinois on 11/6/1993 - Referring to Northern Illinois' RB LeShon Johnson (#42), who rushed for over 300 yards

    I think that's all over America; even Tiger Woods. Show me someone who's really consistent. Do you want to talk about Nebraska? About the only thing I saw consistent today was the officials throwing their flags at us. That was pretty damn consistent.
    ...from Iowa vs. Illinois on 11/2/1996 - When asked about his team's inconsistency, which he didn't care about as much as the victories.

    If the good Lord permits a second-team quarterback for the second consecutive week to whip us, I may have to have an early retirement
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan on 10/3/1992 - Stated in the TV pregame interview. Michigan's Todd Collins was the backup QB at Michigan (but started the last 2 weeks and was expected to start again), and Colorado's QB Koy Detmer had came in as a backup to lead them to victory against Iowa the week prior. - Link to source

    I had a great athletic director. When Bump Elliott hired me he said ‘Coach Fry, if you need me, call me.’ He didn’t tell me what to do. He believed in me, and I believed in him.
    6/29/2015... - Link to source

    I’d always wanted to coach at someplace that was the University of. I would’ve gone to the University of Iowa-Jima.
    10/28/1985... - Interview in LA Times - Link to source

    I think I was real grateful that I was up on somebody's shoulders rather than getting a bucket of Gatorade all over me. That's what I was thinking about, 'Boy, I escaped the Gatorade.'

    That has to be one of the most happy moments of my life, to see that clock finally run out with the Hawks on top.
    ...from Iowa vs. Minnesota on 11/20/1993 - After winning his 200th career victory.

    Mike Devlin I was afraid it punctured his belly. He didn't attempt to catch it. He just let it hit his big, fat belly and bounce off.
    ...from Iowa vs. Iowa State on 9/12/1992 - Jim Hartlieb threw to ineligible offensive lineman Mike Devlin during the game.

    I have to apologize to all you people. I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. But I’m a very emotional person, and it’s very meaningful to me. I’m sorry...Selfishly, it’s not the right time for me. I’d rather gone out with a real good season and all that good stuff that coaches talk about...It seems appropriate that it’s the week of Thanksgiving to give thanks, and I do. I spent 20 years as a member of the Hawkeye family. I can never repay them...I truly love the University of Iowa. I truly love the state of Iowa, and I’ll always be a Hawkeye...Adios.
    11/23/1998... - Press conference when he retired as Iowa's coach.

    That is the greatest thing I did in 47 years of coaching, from high school to the Marine Corps to college, is to give the first black player a scholarship in that part of the world because it opened up the door for all the other fine black players to at least have a choice of where they wanted to go to school. Because at that time they had to go to the Big Ten or the Pac-10 or whatever.
    - About being the first coach to integrate the Southwest Conference by handing a scholarship to Jerry LeVias.

    It’s extremely important to try to take the crowd out of the game there, more so than any other place in the world. It’s the worst place to play football.
    - Discussing playing at Camp Randall Stadium against Wisconsin.

    Once we start winning here, I want to develop an environment where the fans expect us to win. I want them to get mad if we don’t win. That’s the American way of life.
    9/22/1979...

    The main thing is, be sure you put me high enough on the foundation that the dogs can’t urinate on my shoes
    - After the city of Coralville commissioned a statue of his likeness along the Hayden Fry Way.

    Those people deserve a winner and we’re going to do everything we can to give them a winner. I think it is wonderful that an average of 50,000 people come out to watch Iowa play. But that is not fair to those fans and there is no reason to think they will continue to come if the team does not win.
    - After being named Iowa coach

    I shake hands with this guy, and I’ve always got to check if I’ve still got my watch on.
    ...from Iowa vs. Minnesota on 11/23/1991 - After receiving congratulations from Iowa President Hunter Rawlings on his 100th Iowa win.

    I hope we didn’t hurt any of your boys
    ...from Iowa vs. Northwestern on 11/14/1992 - This quote became a motivator for the Northwestern program, which would lead to 3 straight victories over Iowa from 1995-1997.

    Chuck Long That might have been the greatest fake of all time in college football. I believe I could have scored on that one, and I'm really slow.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan State on 10/5/1985 - Discussing Chuck Long's naked bootleg game-winning touchdown run

    This is definitely the biggest win of my career. Being from Texas, you don't get the chance to beat the U of T very often. I have never had a victory more meaningful to me.
    ...from Iowa vs. Texas on 12/26/1984

    Shoot, except for the money, I'd go out to Pasadena tomorrow if they'd let me, but I guess our team will probably go out Dec 22 or 23.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan State on 11/21/1981

    Man, that was one great football game. I thought I fouled up a jillion times by playing it too close to the vest. But we put a lot of faith in our defense. Nobody expected us to win this football game except those guys over there in the next room. Nobody's heard of Iowa football for 20 years.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan on 10/17/1981

    I'm happy as hell, but keep in mind this is just one game. We've got to make sure and keep our heads screwed on tight. We can't be high school Harrys and start rejoicing. We can't be too high, but we're damn sure not going to be low.
    ...from Iowa vs. Nebraska on 9/12/1981

    I'd chop off anything else if I knew it would help us.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan State on 10/22/1994 - After shaving off his mustache and wearing black pants during the game, which ended a 5-game losing streak

    I didn't know who he was, they were all running by me so fast.
    ...from Iowa vs. UCLA on 1/1/1986 - When asked about UCLA backup RB Eric Ball, who ran for 228 yards in the Rose Bowl

    We should qualify for a lifetime membership in the Salvation Army because we give away things so easily
    ...from Iowa vs. Illinois on 10/16/1993

    The football game was one of the most weird games I believe I have ever been associated with
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan State on 10/3/1987

    Facilitates and good, honest, people recruit players. You can't have a winning program without players, but you can't recruit the players without facilities and good, honest people. We've built a quality program with those two primary ingredients - first-class facilities and good, honest, hard-working people.

    I call both my offense and defense 'scratch where it itches.' We'll take whatever is given us. Teams may stop our passing game. If they do we'll run.

    I've always been motivated by the desire to turn a non-winner into a winner. I once coached a pee-wee team that had never before won a game, and we won a title. That still ranks as one of my favorite achievements. Building is one of my bigger thrills.

    I've never changed my bottom line in coaching. I love people. I'm a tough guy, but I'm honest and ethical. My rules might be tough, but they are fair and even. And there's a little entertainer in me, because entertainment is part of the game.

    When I came here, I knew I didn't have to sell these people on supporting Iowa...these are the most loyal folks in the world. What I had to convince them of was that my staff and I cared and we were committed to building a winning program at Iowa.

    We needed to win bad, and we looked good doing it. Anytime you get a goose egg in modern-day football it's really outstanding. It's just a wonderful feeling for our seniors to play their last game at Kinnick Stadium and do so well.
    ...from Iowa vs. Wisconsin on 11/16/1996

    I felt it coming all week. The most important thing was the players felt it too. They were confident we could pull it off. This is what makes coaching worthwhile.
    ...from Iowa vs. Penn State on 10/19/1996

    This was a great learning experience for the players about how hard you have to play and how well you have to execute in every game. Tulsa played a great football game.
    ...from Iowa vs. Tulsa on 9/21/1996

    Boys, the hay is in the barn, it's time to go hunting
    ...from Iowa vs. Illinois on 11/3/1990 - As stated by TV announcer at start of the game

    I just told my football team (after the game) that's what's wrong with our ball club. We get our asses kicked and we get complimented. I know we played better than the odds. And I know that Oklahoma has fantastic athletes and tradition. Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of my football team. But, dammlt, a loss is still a loss.
    ...from Iowa vs. Oklahoma on 9/15/1979 - Link to source

    When I came to Iowa, we had to change everything that was associated with a long-held losing mentality. We had to change the total environment-from the players' conduct downtown, from their record of class attendance, from their way of dealing with people. We had to work with the total individual athlete and reconstruct his values and image.

    Chuck Long I instructed Chuck to call a time out with six second to go. Chuck called it with two seconds left. I nearly had a heart attack.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan on 10/19/1985

    They didn't give it to us. The official said it was out of bounds. Brent Musburger had the replay. He was in bounds by a good yard.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan on 10/19/1985

    We'll take what the other teams give us. We'll scratch where it itches.

    We changed our image. At least when we ran out of the field or broke the huddle, we would look like winners.
    - Referring to the new uniforms in 1979 that were modeled after the Pittsburgh Steelers

    Welcome to the Salvation Army. I've never been associated with an offense so nice about giving the ball away

    You just witnessed an old-fashioned rump kicking

    I wanted the players to feel like they were part of a family, to be conscious of that controlled togetherness as they made that slow entrance onto the field. It had a great psychological effect on the opposing team, too. They'd never seen anything like it.
    - Referring to "The Swarm" entrance onto the field

    When I talked to a coach before a game and he mentions the pink walls, I know I've got him. I can't recall a coach who has stirred up a fuss about the color and then beat us.
    - About the visitor's locker rooms at Kinnick Stadium that were painted pink

    The most encouraging aspect of the program is the number of walk-ons we've had who have gone on to earn a scholarship and be extremely successful as a student and as an athlete. It's really fairly simple. A walk-on knows that if he considers coming to the University of Iowa, he has a very good chance to earn a scholarship. We owe an awful lot to walk-ons with regard to their helping the University of Iowa become one of the nation's top programs. We've been extremely successful. In fact, many walk-ons have earned a scholarship and at least 17 have become starters, four have been team captains and one was even our MVP.
    1/1/1996...

    I never lost faith. Our guys kept the faith last year, they kept the faith this year. Fortunately, thousands of our fans kept the faith too.
    ...from Iowa vs. Minnesota on 11/25/1995

    I would have to classify this as one of my top five victories of all time. Had we lost, we would have been out of the bowl picture.
    ...from Iowa vs. Wisconsin on 11/18/1995

    They did what they've been doing all year, they found a way to win. Like I've always said, the longer you beat people, the more the odds are in their favor.
    ...from Iowa vs. Northwestern on 11/11/1995

    They just blew us off the field in the first half. Thank gosh our players did regroup at halftime. Our guys played with a lot of emotion the second half.
    ...from Iowa vs. Ohio State on 10/28/1995

    We had a very interesting and entertaining game there until the last part of the fourth quarter. We gave up a couple of long passes, but we had the guys there in position.
    ...from Iowa vs. Penn State on 10/21/1995

    We gave up seven points. In Big Ten football that to me is tremendous defense. One reason we gave up only seven points is because of our ground game.
    ...from Iowa vs. Michigan State on 10/7/1995

    That was a fine effort by a group of fine young men. Our guys whipped a very, very fine football team in every phase of the game.
    ...from Iowa vs. Washington on 12/29/1995


FAMOUS QUOTES about Hayden Fry

For the last year and a half, I felt I could win for this team. I thought I was a Big Ten quarterback. All I wanted was a chance, and that's all I asked for from Coach (Hayden) Fry, and he eventually gave it to me. - Link to source
Chuck Hartlieb ...from Iowa vs. Indiana on 10/31/1987

My blessing was coming up under Coach Fry and all those great assistants: Kirk Ferentz, Dan McCarney, Barry Alvarez, Bill Brashier, Bill Snyder. I came up under the best coaches in the country with those assistant coaches and coach Fry together. Going with coach Snyder and developing Kansas State from the ground up was a huge learning experience. It topped off being around Steve Spurrier (at Florida), who is an incredible coach. I have been around great people. - Link to source
Bob Stoops on 8/30/2019... - Discussing the success behind his coaching career

He had swagger. He projected confidence. That's what we needed at the time at Iowa. We're like, 'You know what, we can beat anyone.' Hayden gave us that swagger and that attitude, and I've always remembered it.
Bob Stoops

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Hayden Fry - Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games