top of page

Iowa History Daily: February 28 - Hayden Fry

Iowa History Daily: On February 28, 1929, legendary Iowa head football coach Hayden Fry was born. Serving as the head of the Hawkeyes from 1979 to 1998, Fry compiled a career record of 232-178-10, while leading Iowa to three Big Ten Championships.

Born in Texas, and a standout football player at Baylor from 1947-1950, Fry’s post-college life found him teaching social studies and coaching football at Odessa High School in Texas. In 1952, Fry joined the United States Marine Corps and served until 1955. While in the service Fry quarterbacked the Quantico Marines football team and won the Marine Corps Championship at the Poinsettia Bowl.

Fry headed back to Odessa after his stint in the Marine Corps before climbing the college coaching ranks at Baylor, Arkansas, SMU, and North Texas State before arriving at Iowa in 1979. Iowa’s 25th football coach, and fourth in eight years, Fry arrived in Iowa with an innovative and winning attitude. Establishing many iconic Iowa traditions including players going onto the field in ‘the swarm,’ hiring marketers to design the iconic Iowa tigerhawk logo, honoring farmers with the ANF helmet sticker, and even having the visitors locker room painted pink, Fry left an indelible mark on Hawkeye athletics.

By 1981, Fry’s Hawks flew high and captured the Big Ten Championship while the head coach garnered Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year Honors. Two more Big Ten Championships followed in 1985 and 1990, including many memorable wins and countless players inspired. In 2003 the College Football Hall of Fame enshrined Fry, and the American Football Coaches Association presented him with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 2005. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page