Rose Bowl Hall Member Fry Passes

 Cooper Kupp (#18) is ranked 19th in the NFL in receiving. (Courtesy Photo)
Cooper Kupp (#18) is ranked 19th in the NFL in receiving. (Courtesy Photo)

By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

Recently the state of Iowa and the college football world lost one of it’s best ambassadors in former Head Coach Hayden Fry. He was colorful and full of energy. When he arrived to the school in1979 he made major changes to the program including changing team uniforms so they would look like the Pittsburg Steelers.

Fry who was 90 took his team to three Rose Bowls. The Hawkeye head coach fell short in 1982, 1986 and 1991 on his trips to Pasadena. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2011 along with Brad Budde (USC) and the great Leroy Keys (Purdue). A case could be made for game preparation. At the time, the Hawkeye’s had no indoor facility.
“We had to practice in the ice and snow,” said Fry to me during his induction. “Then we met three great teams. We played Washington twice, one year when they were National champs and the other year they were ranked 5th in the country.”
Fry also ran into a red hot UCLA team coached by Terry Donahue. “We
had a great experience coming here.” Despite the losses, there was a
lifetime change for one of Fry’s players. Starting QB Gordie
Bohannon fell in love with the Rose Bowl Queen and they got
married and had a great family.

Before coming to Iowa he recruited Walter Camp All-American Jerry Levias who was the first African American to play in the old Southwest Conference.

Levias once told the story how Fry made a promise to his  grand mother, “If you let him come to SMU I will make sure he calls you before each game.” That was fine until one game Jerry had trouble getting through. And he remembers making the call during a kick-off.