John Hayden Fry (born February 18, 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. 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 Brigham Young University, 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 underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer after retiring. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

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.

Table of contents
1 Hayden Fry's coaching record:
2 Bowl games at Iowa:
3 Sources:

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.