WACO, TEX. - Former SMU, North Texas and Iowa Head Coach Hayden Fry has been selected as the 2005 recipient of the American Football Coaches Association's Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. The award, which honors those "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football," will be presented to Fry at the ADT Awards Luncheon on January 11 during the 2005 AFCA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
"As a young guy growing up Amos Alonzo Stagg was my hero. You saw the old film clips of him, Pop Warner, Knute Rockne and you wanted to emulate them," Fry said. "All that flashes through your mind when you find out you'll receive an award in his name. To me it's the highest honor a coach can receive. It's a tribute to outstanding coaches and players I worked with. A real tribute to those people. They were the ones who had to execute the plan."
Fry is the first coach with ties to SMU, North Texas or Iowa to receive the AFCA's most prestigious award.
Fry retired from coaching in 1998 after 39 seasons in college football, including 37 seasons as a head coach. He finished his career with a record of 232-178-10.
At the time of his retirement, he ranked fourth among Division I active head coaches in career wins and 10th all-time in Division I victories. He is one of 16 Division I coaches to total over 200 career victories. Fry had coached more games (420) than any active Division I coach and he was fourth all-time in games coached when retired. Fry also ranks fourth all-time in Big Ten wins. He is one of only six coaches in Big 10 history to coach 20 seasons in the league, joining award namesake Amos Alonzo Stagg (Chicago), Illinois' Bob Zuppke, Ohio State's Woody Hayes, Minnesota's Henry Williams and Michigan's Bo Schembechler in that select group.
A 2003 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Fry earned conference Coach of the Year honors in three different leagues - Big Ten (three times), Southwest (four) and the Missouri Valley (one). Fry made his biggest impact on college football off the field when he broke the color barrier in the Southwest Conference by recruiting receiver Jerry Levias to SMU in 1965. Levias joined Fry in the 2003 College Football Hall of Fame induction class.
Fry gained his greatest national notoriety for his work in building the Iowa football program into one of the best in the Big 10. When he arrived at Iowa in 1979, the Hawkeyes had suffered through 18 consecutive non-winning seasons. Over the next 20 years, he guided the Hawkeyes to 14 first division finishes, three Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances, and was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year three times (1981, 1990, 1991). Fry took Iowa to 14 bowl games in his last 18 seasons at the school.
The accomplishments of Fry and his Iowa teams didn't go unnoticed. Along with being named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times, he was named AFCA Regional Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1990.
Fry served as a member of the AFCA's Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1993, serving as the Association's president in his final year on the Board. During his 20 years at Iowa, Fry earned a reputation as a teacher of future head coaches. Seven former Fry assistants or players are currently heading Division I-A programs: Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez, Iowa State's Dan McCarney, Kansas State's Bill Snyder, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, Arizona's Mike Stoops and South Florida's Jim Leavitt. Other former Fry assistants include Western Illinois' Don Patterson, Appalachian State's Jerry Moore and longtime NFL coach Bum Phillips.
At SMU Fry coached 11 years (1962-72), winning the Southwest Conference championship in 1966. He was athletic director his last nine years with the Mustangs.
Fry was the head coach and AD for six years (1973-78) at North Texas, taking an ailing program and making it a big winner (33-11) his final four years. His record at North Texas was 40-23-3. A native of Odessa, Texas, Fry was an all-state quarterback there and led his team to the 1946 Texas high school championship. He played quarterback at Baylor (1947-50) and earned a psychology degree in 1951.
Fry was a player-coach with the Quantico Marines (reaching the rank of captain). He was head coach in his hometown of Odessa from 1956-59, and an assistant at Baylor (1960) and Arkansas (1961) before moving to SMU as head coach.
Fry and his wife, Shirley, now live in Mesquite, Nevada.
The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is given to the "individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." Its purpose is "to perpetuate the example and influence of Amos Alonzo Stagg." The award is named in honor of a man who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s. He is considered one of the great innovators and motivating forces in the early development of the game of football. The plaque given to each recipient is a replica of the one given to Stagg at the 1939 AFCA Convention in tribute to his 50 years of service to football.
Amos Alonzo Stagg
Amos Alonzo Stagg began his coaching career at the School of Christian Workers, now Springfield (Mass.) College, after graduating from Yale University in 1888. Stagg also served as head coach at Chicago (1892-1932) and College of the Pacific (1933-1946). His 41 seasons at Chicago is one of the longest head coaching tenures in the history of the college game.
Among the innovations credited to Stagg are the tackling dummy, the huddle, the reverse play, man in motion, knit pants, numbering plays and players, and the awarding of letters. A long-time AFCA member, Stagg was the Association's 1943 Coach of the Year.
According to NCAA records, Stagg's 57-year record as a college head coach is 314-199-35. He was 84 years old when he ended his coaching career at Pacific in 1946. He died in 1965 at the age of 103.
Past Amos Alonzo Stagg Award Winners
1940 Donald Herring, Jr., (Princeton player) and family
1941 William H. Cowell (posthumously), New Hampshire
1946 Grantland Rice, sportswriter
1947 William A. Alexander, Georgia Tech
1948 Gilmour Dobie, North Dakota State, Washington, Navy, Cornell, Boston College Glenn S. "Pop" Warner, Georgia, Cornell, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Temple Robert C. Zuppke, Illinois
1949 Richard C. Harlow, Penn State, Colgate, Western Maryland, Harvard
1950 No award given
1951 DeOrmond "Tuss" McLaughry, Westminster, Amherst, Brown, Dartmouth
1952 A.N. "Bo" McMillin, Indiana
1953 Lou Little, Georgetown, Columbia
1954 Dana X. Bible, Mississippi College, LSU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Texas
1955 Joseph J. Tomlin, founder, Pop Warner Football
1956 No award given
1957 Gen. Robert R. Neyland, Tennessee
1958 Bernie Bierman, Mississippi A&M, Tulane, Minnesota
1959 Dr. John W. Wilce, Ohio State
1960 Harvey J. Harman, Haverford, University of the South, Pennsylvania, Rutgers
1961 Ray Eliot, Illinois
1962 E.E. "Tad" Wieman, Michigan, Princeton, Maine
1963 Andrew Kerr, Stanford, Washington & Jefferson, Colgate, Lebanon Valley
1964 Don Faurot, Missouri
1965 Harry Stuhldreher, Wisconsin
1966 Bernie H. Moore, LSU
1967 Jess Neely, Southwestern, Clemson, Rice
1968 Abe Martin, TCU
1969 Charles A. "Rip" Engle, Brown, Penn State
1970 Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf, Syracuse, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Oklahoma A&M, Kansas State, Northwestern, California
1971 Bill Murray, Delaware, Duke
1972 Jack Curtice, Stanford
1973 Lloyd Jordan, Amherst, Harvard
1974 Alonzo S. "Jake" Gaither, Florida A&M
1975 Gerald B. Zornow, business executive
1976 No award given
1977 Floyd "Ben" Schwartzwalder, Muhlenberg, Syracuse
1978 Tom Hamilton, Navy, Pittsburgh
1979 H.O. "Fritz" Crisler, Minnesota, Princeton, Michigan
1980 No award given
1981 Fred Russell, sportswriter
1982 Eddie Robinson, Grambling
1983 Paul W. "Bear" Bryant, Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Alabama
1984 Charles B. "Bud" Wilkinson, Oklahoma
1985 Duffy Daugherty, Michigan State
1986 Woody Hayes, Denison, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State
1987 Field Scovell, Cotton Bowl
1988 G. Herbert McCracken, Allegheny, Lafayette
1989 David Nelson, Delaware
1990 Len Casanova, Oregon
1991 Bob Blackman, Denver, Dartmouth, Illinois, Cornell
1992 Charles McClendon, LSU
1993 Keith Jackson, ABC-TV
1994 Bob Devaney, Nebraska, Wyoming
1995 John Merritt, Jackson State, Tennessee State
1996 Chuck Neinas, College Football Association
1997 Ara Parseghian, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Notre Dame
1998 Bob Reade, Augustana (Ill.)
1999 Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio), Michigan
2000 Tom Osborne, Nebraska
2001 Vince Dooley, Georgia
2002 Joe Paterno, Penn State
2003 LaVell Edwards, Brigham Young
2004 Ron Schipper, Central (Iowa)