Iowa set to honor Fry, Elliott with changes to helmet

The Hawkeyes will remove both Tigerhawks and add a decal in their matchup against USC in the Holiday Bowl on Friday.


Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

When Iowa takes on USC in the Holiday Bowl on Friday, the Hawkeyes’ helmets will look different.

Iowa announced Monday that it will honor legendary coach Hayden Fry and former Athletics Director Bump Elliott — who both died in December — with helmet alterations.

The Hawkeyes will strip the Tigerhawk logo from both sides of the helmet to honor Fry while wearing a decal that says “Bump” to honor Elliott.

Friday will mark the third time in Iowa history that the Tigerhawk has been removed from both sides of the helmet.

The first time came on Nov. 2, 1991, a day after six people died in a shooting on the campus of the University of Iowa. The second time was during the 1996 Alamo Bowl, honoring Hawkeye linebacker Mark Mitchell’s mother, Diane Mitchell, who died in a car crash on the way to San Antonio, Texas.

The Hawkeyes will also wear a patch for Fry next season.

“A precedent was set — he did that twice during his time, and it was well-received by his children,” Ferentz said. “That’s our plan right now. Next year we’ll do a commemorative patch. I think it’s really appropriate the governor requested the flags fly at half-staff this past week, as well. It is a big loss for everybody in the state of Iowa, and we’ll do all we can to respect that.”

Iowa’s Tigerhawk was created under Fry, who implemented the logo during his tenure as Iowa’s head coach from 1979-98.

Fry also created the “ANF” stickers on Iowa’s helmets, which is a tribute to the America Needs Farmers movement that recognizes the importance and strength of farmers across the state of Iowa.

“He was clearly a visionary,” Ferentz said. “That was one of his great strengths, I think. It just seemed fitting based on the tragedy back in the early 90s that he recognized and also prior to one of the bowl games, coincidentally. It just seemed like the right thing.”

Ferentz said this team’s roster never got the chance to interface with Fry, which became one of Ferentz’s biggest regrets.

“Coach Fry hasn’t been traveling an awful lot the last four or five years,” Ferentz said. “They really didn’t have an opportunity to [meet with Fry], and that’s my biggest regret for our present team. Every time he’s been in front of our team — one of the last times was the Alamo Bowl in ’07, I think. He’s done it on several occasions — the players get a sense of why he was so special just from any visitation.”

Elliott and Fry are both members of the College Football Hall of Fame, and Fry earned a spot in the Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame.

Iowa will face USC in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego’s SDCCU Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.