He quarterbacked Odessa High to the state championship in 1946, played at Baylor, where his position coach was Broyles, and returned as an assistant coach to his alma mater in 1951, when he helped a young oilman named George H.W. "Can you imagine what that thing would be worth today?". Fry's greatest season at Iowa was 1985, when the Hawkeyes were No. He had been living in the Dallas area with his wife, Shirley. Hayden Fry, the Texan who revived Iowa football and became a Hawkeye State institution over two decades as a Big Ten coach, has died. 2 Wolverines, Fry wanted to keep his team loose. All rights reserved. He won three Big Ten championships over a 10-year period (1981, '85, '90) and went 143-89-6 in 20 seasons at Iowa. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. "Hayden was always on the cutting edge and looking for the best people, regardless of race, creed, or color," said Merton Hanks, who played defensive back at Iowa from 1987 to 1990. During pregame work, he had his guards take turns trying -- and failing -- to long-snap to his punter. Fry also created an impressive coaching tree, with hires including the likes of Ferentz, Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Dan McCarney (Iowa State, North Texas), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mark Stoops (Kentucky) and others. In all, 13 assistants or former players for Fry became FBS head coaches. Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Bret Bielema (Wisconsin and Arkansas) and Ferentz were among the 13 Fry assistants and players who became college head coaches. It's difficult to measure the boost Fry gave the state of Iowa during the 1980s, an era when the failure of family farms became an epidemic. Iowa finished 10-2 as Big Ten champions and ranked 10th in the country. At Iowa, Fry not only produced winning teams, but also a long line of successful head coaches who worked and played for him. In 1985, before the No. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, Michigan State won a share of the 1965 national championship thanks to players such as defensive lineman Bubba Smith of Beaumont and wide receiver Gene Washington of La Porte. To get it to the point where you were able to attract young men from states away, like myself, who may not have known about the University of Iowa and everything Iowa has to offer, speaks very well of not only him, but the university itself and being a partner with him to make the University of Iowa brand that much bigger and better.". Fry long maintained he would hire as assistants only those who desired to become head coaches, which makes it all the more remarkable that, from 1981 through 1986, he didn't have a single assistant coach leave his Hawkeyes staff. Hayden Fry, who helped the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football program return to national prominence in his 20 seasons as head coach, died Tuesday after battling cancer, according to … It is likely no coincidence that the two assistants who enjoyed the greatest success, Alvarez and Snyder, executed turnarounds at Wisconsin and Kansas State, respectively, of programs as dire as was Iowa when Fry arrived in 1979. Defensive Dabo: Am I at right press conference? It was like in the Good Lord's plans for him to come to Iowa.”. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. All rights reserved. It also proved to be a smart football decision -- LeVias, an electrifying receiver and kick returner, entered the College Football Hall of Fame with Fry in 2003. Iacocca said they were throwing around four names. He said I could live another five years. Fry is one of seven to hold a head coaching job in the Big Ten for at least 20 seasons. "His legend will live forever with the people he touched and inspired, and the programs he led to greater heights. Schembechler, watching his opponents warm up, looking for any advantage, walked over and asked, "Fry, you're not going to have those guys snap for you in the game, are you? Hayden Fry, the Texan who revived Iowa football and became a Hawkeye State institution over two decades as a Big Ten coach, has died. The ESPN Daily delivers the biggest sports news and moments every weekday. Not long after his hire, success followed. The Hawkeyes had slogged through 17 consecutive years without a winning season when Fry arrived. Not every coach has that ability to make you feel confident and be positive even in the negative situations.". "After the game they came into the locker room, and told me, 'We've got this new sports car,'" Fry told me in 2003. “He had a special way of making you feel good all the time even in the tough games and in the tough moments,” Long said. “His Hall of Fame career is well known, but personally, he will always be the man who took a chance on me at the start of my coaching career," Ferentz said. He had the uniforms redesigned to make them look more like the black-and-gold ones worn by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL's dominant team at the time. But in those days, when Darrell Royal at Texas and Frank Broyles at Arkansas could hand out scholarships as if they were Halloween candy, life at an SMU proved difficult.