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John Hayden Fry

1929 - 2019
John Hayden Fry Obituary
John Hayden Fry CARROLLTON--After losing his 20-year battle with cancer, John Hayden Fry, 90, danced his last Hokey Pokey on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, and went to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ. MEMORIAL SERVICE: Pending until after football season. MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, the family requests you make a donation to in Hayden Fry's memory. Hayden was born to Cora Hodge and John Hayden Fry Sr. in Eastland, Texas, on Feb. 28, 1929. Hayden grew up loving the game of football. In his senior year at Odessa High School, the class president quarterbacked the 14-0 Bronchos to the 1946 Texas state title. Hayden's football savvy, leadership and success would continue throughout his coaching career at Odessa High School, the United States Marine Corps, Baylor University, the University of Arkansas, Southern Methodist University, North Texas State University and the University of Iowa. Hayden received a scholarship to play quarterback at Baylor and earned his degree in psychology. After graduation in 1951, he went back to Odessa High School to serve as counselor, history teacher and assistant football coach. He joined the Marine Corps in 1952 and earned the rank of captain. As a player/coach on the Quantico Marines football team, he led his teammates to three consecutive championships. In 1955, he returned to teach and coach at Odessa High and soon became the school's head football coach for three years until he accepted a position to coach the defensive backs at his college alma mater in Waco. During his second year in 1960, Baylor led the nation in pass defense. Hayden then became the offensive backfield coach under Frank Broyles at the University of Arkansas for the 1961 season when the Razorbacks tied for the Southwest Conference championship. After the 1961 season, Hayden was only 32 years old when he was hired as the new head football coach at Southern Methodist University and soon took on the additional role as athletic director for the Mustangs. One of his biggest accomplishments was recruiting and signing the first black athlete, Jerry LeVias, to a football scholarship in the SWC. A year later, Hayden led SMU to the 1966 SWC championship, and the Mustangs earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. In December 1972, Hayden accepted the job of head football coach and athletic director at North Texas State University where his six-year term included a Missouri Valley Conference championship in his first year, four consecutive winning seasons, and a 1977 nationally ranked team. Three of his sons played for him at North Texas. Beginning in 1979, Hayden enjoyed his biggest success at the University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes hadn't produced a winning season in 17 years prior to Hayden's arrival, but in just three years Iowa was the 1981 Big Ten Conference champion. His 1985 Big Ten championship team was ranked No. 1 for five weeks led by Heisman Trophy runner-up, Chuck Long. He also directed Iowa to one more conference championship and 14 bowl games during his 20-year tenure as the Hawks head coach. Many of his former players went on to play in the National Football League, and numerous assistant coaches and players became successful head coaches at the high school, college and NFL levels. With 233 wins under his helm and ranked 16th all-time in victories among Football Bowl Subdivision coaches, Hayden retired from Iowa after the 1998 season. Hayden was blessed with many awards; but most notably was his induction in the 2003 National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. Other prestigious awards include the 2010 Rose Bowl Hall Fame, the 2011 United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and the 2012 American Heart Association Paul Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award. Hayden was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Margaret Fry Roberts. SURVIVORS: Hayden is survived by his wife of 40 years, Shirley; his sons, Randy, Zach, Kelly, Adrian Fry; daughter, Robin Fry; grandchildren, Jordan, Lauren and Haley Fry, Kelli Roan; great-granddaughter, Malaya Fry; along with Shirley's children, Jayme and Bryan Griffin. His extended family includes the hundreds of young men he had the pleasure to coach and of course the incredible members of his coaching staff. ROLLING OAKS FUNERAL HOME Coppell, 972-745-1638 View and sign guestbook at www. star-telegram.com/obituaries
Published in Star-Telegram on Dec. 22, 2019
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