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For long time Hawk fans

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December 27, 2019
By Anne Michael , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

For some people, the passing of Hayden Fry might not carry much meaning.But for those who have been Hawk fans for decades, his memory brings back some wonderful moments.

To put things into perspective, the situation had been this. Iowa had a fantastically successful program under Forest Evashevksi, who coached Iowa to two Rose Bowls. After he retired, there were decades of losing seasons. During these years, it was probably not the case, but it seemed the first play of the first game in the season was a run up the middle. It also seemed, and this was probably not really the case, that this play produced no gain or a loss. Hawkeye fans, forever the hopeful and optimistic, always said "Just wait until next year." Then the next year came and in the opening game, the first call was a running play up the middle for no gain or a loss. Another losing season began. So the wait for a successful season was still on hold. Fans kept hoping for that wonderful time when Hawkeye football teams would win again.

And that time came in the person of a new coach, Hayden Fry. He was a student of psychology A lot of things changed. He began by putting away the old and starting the new. The Hawkeye symbol became the Tiger Hawk. The team entered the field in mass, holding hands, which was known as the "swarm." He even used psychology when he had the opponents' locker room painted pink, a color that could make them less competitive. He took Hawkeye football down a new path. Add this to the fact that he was one fantastic coach, and Hawkeye football was born again.

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And he was fun!! He had that down home way of expressing himself. For example, when he was asked what his overall strategy was in his game plans, he said, "Scratch where it itches." For many years, he did a lot of scratching, and the Hawks did a lot of winning. Fans did not have to wait until next year - instead they could hardly wait for the next year to start.

For some people, the passing of Hayden Fry does not carry much meaning, but for long time Hawk fans, he will always be a legend.

Anne Michael is a graduate of the University of Iowa and spent most of her teaching career at South Tama High School. She now assumes a seat on the Tama City Council serving Tama city government as her mother did as city clerk and later Mayor of Tama.

Editor's Note A Hayden Fry remembrance (as many likely have one)

Dave Smith, who had been The Toledo Chronicle editor, moved on to be the sports editor for The Charles City Press. The daily covered Iowa football but Dave had another assignment one Saturday and enlisted me to go to Iowa City in his place.

With a sidelines and pressbox pass I could roam. But the best part was at the Iowa bench. State Trooper Jerry Jones, Toledo, was assigned there. And coach Fry was so obliging, maybe recognizing this was an experience for me, it seemed like he almost posed for photos I was taking.



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