Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Hayden Fry (born February 28, 1929) was a NCAA Division I-A college football coach from the 1960s through the 1990s. He compiled a record of 232 wins, 178 losses, and 10 ties during his 37-year career as a head coach.
Born in Eastland, Texas, Fry graduated from Baylor University with a degree in psychology in 1951. He later served in the U.S. Marine Corps before coaching high school football in Odessa, Texas, and serving as an assistant coach with Baylor and Arkansas.
Fry's first head coaching job came with Southern Methodist University in 1962. He coached there for 11 seasons, compiling a 49-66-1 record. During his tenure at SMU, on September 24, 1966, Fry integrated the Southwest Conference when he started wide receiver Jerry LeVias at a game against the University of Illinois. LeVias was the first black athlete to receive an athletic scholarship at a Southwest Conference school.
Fry then coached at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) from 1973 to 1978, where he went 40-23-3 over six seasons.
Fry was hired as coach at the University of Iowa in December 1978. His first two seasons saw the Hawkeyes compile 5-6 and 4-7 records, but in 1981 the team broke through with its first winning season in 19 years. The season opened with a 10-7 upset over #7-ranked Nebraska; two weeks later they beat #6-ranked UCLA 20-7 and later that season, they beat Michigan 9-7 for its first victory over the Wolverines in 23 years. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with an 8-3 record and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl, where they lost to Washington 28-0.
The 1981 season was the first of eight straight winning seasons for the Hawkeyes, all of which resulted in bowl game appearances. The 1985 team was ranked #1 in the country for five weeks that season, which featured a dramatic 12-10 victory over #2-ranked Michigan at Kinnick Stadium that was decided on kicker Rob Houghtlin's fourth field goal of the game in the last seconds of the fourth quarter. That team also featured quarterback Chuck Long, who finished a close second in the Heisman Trophy balloting to Auburn's Bo Jackson. They finished the season 10-2 after a 45-28 loss to UCLA in the Rose Bowl.
The Hawkeyes earned a third trip to the Rose Bowl in 1990. They finished tied atop the Big Ten Conference standings with Illinois, Michigan, and Michigan State, all of which compiled 6-2 records, but Iowa earned the trip since they beat all three teams during the regular season. They lost to Washington that year, 46-34. The following year, 1991, saw the Hawkeyes run up a 10-1 regular season record, but the one loss was to eventual Big Ten champion Michigan, costing them a second straight trip to Pasadena. They tied BYU 13-13 in the Holiday Bowl.
Fry retired as coach of the Hawkeyes following the 1998 season, which saw his team's record plunge to 3-8. His overall record at Iowa was 143-89-6 over 20 seasons.
Fry's successor as head coach at Iowa, Kirk Ferentz, was an offensive line coach under Fry from 1981-89. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops played for Fry as a defensive back from 1979-82 and was a graduate assistant for the team from 1983-87. Other former Iowa assistants under Fry who eventually became head coaches in Division I-A college football include Iowa State's Dan McCarney , Kansas State's Bill Snyder, and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez.
Hayden Fry's coaching record
Year School Record 1962 SMU 2-8 1963 SMU 4-7 1964 SMU 1-9 1965 SMU 4-5-1 1966 SMU 8-3 1967 SMU 3-7 1968 SMU 8-3 1969 SMU 3-7 1970 SMU 5-6 1971 SMU 4-7 1972 SMU 7-4 1973 North Texas State 5-5-1 1974 North Texas State 2-7-2 1975 North Texas State 7-4 1976 North Texas State 7-4 1977 North Texas State 10-1 1978 North Texas State 9-2 1979 Iowa 5-6 1980 Iowa 4-7 1981 Iowa 8-4 1982 Iowa 8-4 1983 Iowa 9-3 1984 Iowa 8-4-1 1985 Iowa 10-2 1986 Iowa 9-3 1987 Iowa 10-3 1988 Iowa 6-4-3 1989 Iowa 5-6 1990 Iowa 8-4 1991 Iowa 10-1-1 1992 Iowa 5-7 1993 Iowa 6-6 1994 Iowa 5-5-1 1995 Iowa 8-4 1996 Iowa 9-3 1997 Iowa 7-5 1998 Iowa 3-8 Career 232-178-10
Bowl games at Iowa
Year Bowl game Result 1981 Rose Lost to Washington, 28-0 1982 Peach Beat Tennessee, 28-22 1983 Gator Lost to Florida, 14-6 1984 Freedom Beat Texas, 55-17 1985 Rose Lost to UCLA, 45-28 1986 Holiday Beat San Diego State, 39-38 1987 Holiday Beat Wyoming, 20-17 1988 Peach Lost to North Carolina State, 28-23 1990 Rose Lost to Washington, 46-34 1991 Holiday Tied with BYU, 13-13 1993 Alamo Lost to California, 37-3 1995 Sun Beat Washington, 38-18 1996 Alamo Beat Texas Tech, 27-0 1997 Sun Lost to Arizona State, 17-7
- "Hayden Fry: End of an Era," special section, The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), November 24, 1998
- Brown, G., and Morrison, M. (eds.), 2002 ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac. New York: Hyperion Press, 2001.
- Fry, H., and G. Wine, Hayden Fry: A High Porch Picnic (ISBN 1582610339). Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publications, 1999.
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