Hayden Fry Joins College Football Hall of Fame

Aug. 14, 2004

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Praising his players and assistant coaches from throughout his coaching career, former Iowa Football Coach Hayden Fry was one of 13 former players and coaches inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame here Saturday evening. Fry is the 14th person from the University of Iowa named to the prestigious Hall of Fame. Fry served as Iowa’s head coach from 1979-98, posting a 143-89-6 record. His career record over 37 years is 232-178-10. Prior to taking the position at Iowa, Fry served as the head coach at Southern Methodist (1962-72) and North Texas State (1973-78). “This is the greatest honor, the top of the mountain in college football,” said Fry. “I’m extremely flattered. This is a tribute to of all my players and coaches, who truly are the people who made this possible. I had 1,000 percent support from the people at three great universities. When I came to Iowa, Athletic Director Bump Elliott knew what I needed and provided all the support we could have ever asked to receive. I was fortunate to work with great people throughout my entire career at Iowa.” Fry ranks 11th all-time in total victories among Division I coaches, his 420 total games coached ranks sixth all-time and his 37 seasons are the fifth most ever. He led his teams to 17 bowl games. Twenty-six of his assistant coaches went on to become head coaches as the high school, college and professional levels. Fry led Iowa to three Big Ten Conference titles and Rose Bowl appearances while being named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year on three occasions. Overall, he led Iowa to 14 bowl appearances and 11 seasons of eight or more victories. He guided his 1981 Hawkeye team to the Rose Bowl in just his third season. Joining Fry in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame were Doug Dickey, former coach at Tennessee and Florida, and former players Ricky Bell (RB, Southern Cal), Murry Bowden (DB, Dartmouth), Tom Brown (G, Minnesota), Jimbo Covert (T, Pittsburgh), Jerry LeVias (WR, Southern Methodist), Billy Neighbors (T, Alabama), Ron Pritchard (LB, Arizona State), John Rauch (QB, Georgia), Barry Sanders (RB, Oklahoma State), Joe Theismann (QB, Notre Dame) and Roger Wehrli (DB, Missouri). LeVias played for Fry at Southern Methodist, becoming the first African-American to play football in the Southwest Conference. “I attended Southern Methodist strictly because of Coach Fry,” said LeVias. “Coach Fry has been a mentor and role model throughout my life. We’ve stayed in touch through all these years. There hasn’t been a month that we haven’t spoken. He is just a fantastic person. The accomplishments of his coaches and players speak for what he has meant to college football. For us to be enshrined in the same year, is especially rewarding.” Former Coach Frank Broyles, the long-time athletic director at Arkansas, was among the many Fry associates, family members, former assistant coaches and former players who were on hand for the induction ceremonies. “It is a great honor to have Hayden Fry as my friend for 57 years,” said Broyles, speaking to an I-Club gathering prior to the induction ceremonies. Along with the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame honor, Fry is a member of the 2004 class of the University of Iowa Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame, which will be recognized on the Iowa campus Saturday, Sept. 4 when Iowa opens the season by hosting Kent State. Fry is the fifth former Iowa football coach to be recognized, joining Howard Jones, Dr. Eddie Anderson, Edward “Slip” Madigan and Forest Evashevski. Former Hawkeye players to be recognized include Nile Kinnick, Gordon Locke, Fred “Duke” Slater, Calvin Jones, Earl Banks, Aubrey Devine, Randy Duncan, Alex Karras and Chuck Long.