Tributes To Hayden Fry Pour In From Players, Fans, Writers

By RossWB on December 18, 2019 at 2:50 pm
go hayden go

Tributes have been pouring in for Hayden Fry in the wake of his passing yesterday; we've rounded up some of the best below. 

Chuck Long: 

Bob Stoops: 

Mark Stoops: 

Mike Stoops: 

Bret Bielema: 

Andre Tippett: 

LeVar Woods: 

Danan Hughes: 

Quinn Early: 

Jay Norvell: 

Anthony Herron: 

Eppy Epenesa: 

Rob Houghtlin: 

Paul Burmeister: 

And Voice of the Hawkeyes Gary Dolphin: 

And several more players and former coaches: 

Even players who didn't play for Fry were moved by his impact on the game: 

We remember Hayden for his impact at Iowa, but Iowa was only the final stop on his incredible journey in football and his other teams paid tribute to him as well: 

Famous Iowans chimed in too, like Tom Arnold: 

And Zach Johnson: 

Current Iowa basketball player Jordan Bohannon penned a beautiful tribute to Fry, too, noting that he might not even exist if not for Hayden luring Gordy Bohannon to Iowa City: 

There were great photo tributes: 

And great video tributes as well: 

There have been a lot of excellent tributes written about Hayden Fry over the last 24 hours; one of my absolute favorites was penned by Scott Dochterman at The Athletic ($): 

Don Doxsie wrote a good one for The Quad City Times as well: 

Remember back in high school when you had to write an essay about the most unforgettable person you’d ever met?

Some of us probably had trouble deciding who to write about back then but now, after the better part of a half century kicking around sports journalism, it’s an easy choice.

Hayden Fry was easily the most unforgettable person I’ve come across through all those decades.

Mike Hlas nailed what was so special about Hayden for The Gazette

His legend was built on winning, of course.

Without the three Big Ten championships and three Rose Bowl trips, without the consistent and colorful winning for most of his 20 years as the head football coach, the Hayden Fry story is just another footnote in University of Iowa sports history.

Instead, it was one of Iowa’s best all-time stories.

The whole thing almost seemed out of the movies. A down-in-the-dumps football program gets a coach no one in Iowa knew, and he enters like a west Texas whirlwind with a language and style totally alien to the locals.

In his third season, Pasadena. And away the Hawkeyes went, with their football image forever changed.

Hawk Central's Mark Emmert wrote a beautiful obituary for Fry at Hawk Central that's chock full of great quotes and anecdotes from his amazing life: 

Fry was introduced as the Iowa football coach on Dec. 9, 1978, flashing a self-assured smile and making fans believe the swagger would return to a Hawkeye program starved for success.

Iowa endured 17 consecutive non-winning seasons before Fry’s arrival. He brought the Hawkeyes to three Rose Bowls. He also brought pizzazz to a Big Ten Conference known for stodgy offenses and stingy defenses.

“I looked at film when I first took the job, and what I saw was a bunch of teams that liked to run the ball,” Fry said. “Being an old quarterback, I knew that it’d take a while for Big Ten defenses to catch up to us.”

Hawk Central also re-upped an old story that explained origins of several of Hayden's favorite sayings, which is certainly worth revisiting today: 

“High porch picnic.” A West Texas expression for having some fun.

“Covered the waterfall.” Preparation for the next game is now complete.

“Only thing I’ve got going for me are my day dreams.” Injuries are piling up, fans are grumpy and the media is second-guessing.

Chad Leistikow also wrote a great piece for Hawk Central about Fry and his incredible influence: 

Fry's mind games translated into how Iowa moved the football, too.

Under Fry (who called the plays) and offensive coordinator Bill Snyder, Iowa brought an aggressive, pass-happy style to the black-and-blue Big Ten.

Three decades before RPOs took over college football, Fry’s Hawkeyes were cutting-edge innovators.

“It was a bomb here or a draw on third-and-15,” said Hartlieb, whose 3,738 passing yards in 1988 are far-and-away a school record. “He just knew you had to take chances sometimes and keep your opponent off kilter. Again, it’s that psychology of don’t stay between the rails, don’t be vanilla. That stuff rubbed off on us.

“Every single time we took the field, we felt we were going to win.”

And I know there are many many more Tweets and stories out there; if you see any, feel free to drop them in the comments. 

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