Iowa football team to honor legendary coach Hayden Fry with patch on jersey

Fry, the Hall of Fame former Hawkeye head football coach, died Dec. 17 at the age of 90.


Robert Read, Pregame Editor

After legendary former Iowa head football coach Hayden Fry died in December at the age of 90, the Hawkeyes honored the hall of famer by stripping the Tigerhawk logo — which Fry created — from both sides of their helmets in the Holiday Bowl.

For the 2020 season, Iowa will honor Fry in a different way.

In a Twitter post on Thursday, the Hawkeyes unveiled a patch — with the initials JHF for John Hayden Fry — that will be worn on their jerseys throughout the 2020 football season.

Fry took over at Iowa in 1979 and is credited with turning the Hawkeye football program around and making it relevant on a national level. In 20 years as Iowa’s head coach, Fry finished with a 143-89-6 record, including a 6-7-1 mark in bowl games.

The Hawkeyes went to the Rose Bowl after an 8-4 season in 1981. It marked Iowa’s first bowl game since Forest Evashevski led the Hawkeyes to a Rose Bowl victory in 1958.

The 1981 Rose Bowl started a stretch of eight seasons in which Iowa would play in a bowl game, and Fry reached two more Rose Bowls during the 1985 season and the 1990 season. He also picked up three Big Ten titles in his tenure with the Hawkeyes, with championships coming in 1981, 1985, and 1990.

Fry’s coaching tree will go down as one of the best in college football history, as 13 of his former assistants — including Kirk Ferentz, Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema, Bob Stoops, and Bill Snyder — would take over head-coaching roles.

“Coach Fry is just a really impressive person,” Ferentz said following Fry’s death. “Truly unique. Truly charismatic. A guy that did an unbelievable job here, but more importantly the way he impacted so many people. Certainly, in the football family, that’s evident, but it’s hard to go anywhere and not run into people that somehow, someway have a coach Fry story. His reach was really unbelievable.”