Watch: Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops shares favorite memory of Hayden Fry

Fry, the former Iowa head coach and college football Hall of Famer, coached Stoops when he played defensive back for the Hawkeyes in the 1980s.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops chuckled as soon as he heard the question.

“The question” in this case was what Stoops’ favorite memory of former Iowa head coach Hayden Fry was. Stoops played defensive back in the 1980s at Iowa under the Hall of Fame head coach, and was later a graduate assistant on Fry’s staff. Stoops turned to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and said he could recall so many stories about Fry, who died in 2019.

The one Stoops picked out was not humorous, but rather a story Kentucky’s head coach thought represented Fry as a person.

“He meant so much to my family,” Stoops said Friday morning. “I think a memory that sticks out to me is the fact that coach Fry, along with a few of his assistants, traveled to my father’s funeral during the week when we were preparing to play Michigan … a big football game. He flew in, just to pay respects to my mother and our family; it says an awful lot about him. You know, he had a great impact on myself, my brothers, and so many other players. You see the characteristics that Hayden Fry started so many years ago still running with coach Ferentz. And the way they run their organization, they are first class in everything they do. So, you know, it’s a special place.”

Watch Stoops’ response above.