Sad to share news that coaching icon Hayden Fry, well known for his two-decade tenure as the head coach at Iowa, has passed on. He was 90.
Best known for his time in Iowa City, Fry got his head coaching start first at SMU later at North Texas State (now known as simply North Texas). At SMU from 1962-72, Fry went 49-66-1 and a 7-4 final season with the team helped him land the North Texas job. With the Mean Green, Fry went 40-23-3, winning 19 of those games in his final two seasons.
Fry quickly built the Hawkeyes into a Big Ten force upon his arrival in 1979. After two sub-.500 seasons, the Hawkeyes put together an 8-4 season, a tie atop the Big Ten, and earned a trip to Pasedena to play in the Rose Bowl. That season kicked off a streak of seven straight years where the Hawkeyes won at least 8 games per season. At the end of his 20-year run with the program, Fry compiled an impressive record of 143-89-6 and laid a really solid foundation that the program has been able to build on under Kirk Ferentz.
In 2003, Fry was inducted into the college football Hall of Fame and in 2016 Iowa put a statue in his honor outside the stadium in his honor.
While his success at Iowa is well known, what might be most impressive about Fry's coaching tenure is the coaching tree sprouted.
At least 13 guys that have played or coached under Fry have gone on to become FBS head coaches and that includes guys that have legendary coaching careers like Bob Stoops, Barry Alvarez, and Bill Snyder, as well as guys like Bret Bielema, Jim Leavitt, Jay Norvell, Kirk Ferentz, Bo Pelini and Mark and Mike Stoops.
In his first season with the Hawkeyes, Bob Stoops was playing defensive back, Bill Snyder was the Hawkeyes offensive coordinator, Dan McCarney was coaching the defensive line, and Barry Alvarez was coaching the linebackers.
The passing of a coaching icon like coach Fry is without a doubt a sad event, but the lives he was able to impact during his time as a coach means that his legacy will continue to live on through all the lives that he touched.
Please continue to keep coach Fry and his family in your prayers during this difficult time.