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True Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texas

Famous People from Ector County Texas
Hayden Fry
Haydon Fry - Legendary Coach
John Hayden Fry was born February 28, 1929 in Eastland Texas. He played safety and quarterback for Odessa High School in the 1940s and returned to coach there from 1956 to 1958.

When Fry played safety and quarterback for Odessa High School in the 1940s, the stands routinely had sellout crowds. In Fry's senior year, Odessa won 14 straight games, scoring almost 400 points and allowing about 50. Odessa did not commit a single turnover all season. The Texas state playoffs placed every school into a single bracket. At the end of the year, Hayden Fry quarterbacked Odessa to the Texas state high school championship in 1946. Fry then played at Baylor University from 1947 to 1950. He graduated from Baylor with a degree in psychology in 1951.

Fry was an American history teacher and assistant football coach at Odessa High School for a year in 1951 before joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952. During his time in Odessa, Fry met and befriended a young George H. W. Bush, who would become the 41st President of the United States.

He served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1955 and played with th Quantico Marines football team in 1953.

In 1955, Hayden returned to Odessa as a teacher and assistant football coach. The following season, Odessa head coach Cooper Robbins was promoted to athletic director, and Hayden Fry took his first head coaching job. At 26 years old, he was coaching the high school he had led to the state title less than 10 years earlier.

After the 1958 season, the new head football coach at Baylor hired Hayden Fry as an assistant coach. Fry spent two years at Baylor coaching the defensive backs. Fry left Baylor to become an assistant coach at Arkansas. He was was the offensive backfield coach at Arkansas in 1961 and won the Southwest Conference co-championship with an 82 record. After one year at Arkansas, Southern Methodist University tabbed Fry as their next head football coach for the 1962 season. He won the conference coach of the year award in his first season. After the 1963 season, Fry was appointed as SMU's athletic director. Hayden Fry compiled a 49661 record in 11 seasons at SMU, including the school's only three winning seasons since the late 1940s. In 1979, he was hired as Iowa's 25th head football coach.

Fry coached two decades at Iowa, more than twice as long as any coach before him. Fry had a 143896 record at Iowa, giving him the most wins in school history until he was passed by Kirk Ferentz on September 1, 2018. The win came in Ferentz's 20th season, as he also tied Fry's tenure. He led the Hawkeyes to 14 bowl games; before his arrival they had been to two bowl games in 90 years. He also led the Hawkeyes to three Big Ten titles and three Rose Bowl appearances.

Haydon Fry died of cancer in Dallas Texas December 17, 2019 at the age of 90

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Famous People from Ector County TexasFamous People from Ector County (B)
Life in Ector County Texas 1850 1950

Life in Ector County Texas 1850-1950Pictorial History of Ector County

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