John Hayden Fry was an NCAA Division I-A college football coach from 1962-1998 at SMU, North Texas, and the University of Iowa. He compiled a record of 232 wins, 178 losses, and 10 ties during his 37 year career as a head coach and has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Hayden Fry smiles during panel discussion
Name: John Hayden Fry
High School: Odessa High
Hometown: Odessa, Texas
College: Baylor (1951)
Head Coaching Career: SMU (1962-72), North Texas (‘73-78), Iowa (‘79-98)
Record: 232-178-10 (10th most wins all-time Division I), College Football Hall of Fame (’03).


  • Ranks 10th all-time on the Division I coaching victory list
  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003
  • Iowa’s all-time leader in coaching wins with 140
  • Led the Hawkeyes to 14 bowl games in 20 years as head coach
  • Quarterbacked Odessa High to the Texas state championship in 1946
  • Groomed some of college football’s top coaches when they worked for him as assistants, such as Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Dan McCarney (Iowa State and North Texas), Mike Stoops (Arizona), Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) and Bill Snyder (Kansas State)
  • Integrated the Southwest Conference when as coach at SMU he started wide receiver Jerry Levias at a game against the University of Illinois. Levias was the first black athlete to receive an athletic scholarship at a Southwest Conference school
  • Served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War
  • Named coach of the year in three different conferences – The Big Ten, Southwest and Missouri Valley
  • 2015 Inaugural Legends Award winner, presented by the SMU Letterman’s Association and athletic department