Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (ESV) (Deuteronomy 31: 7,8)



The much loved and former Iowa football coach, Hayden Fry, died December 18, 2019 at age 90. Hayden coached the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1979-1998, winning 143 games in 20 seasons. Hayden was more than a Hawkeye--he "crossed team lines" to be loved by all Iowans. You remember this great man and you know his story. It has been tv and newspaper headlines this week. I just want to add my special tribute to this Iowa icon.

These photos were from the Herky on Parade Statue Exhibit at Iowa City in 2014. Left: Hayden with his legendary white pants and sunglasses. Right: Hayden Fry, a Texas native, was a strong supporter of agriculture. He posted this symble ANF--America Needs Farmers--on Hawkeye football helmets. Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa football team still proudly display this famous helmet emblem.

Left: My sports heroes bulletin board in my exercise room hasn't changed much for many years. Once they make my good-guy list, I usually leave them there. An Olympic wrestler is still there, but today I "pinned him over" with a newspaper photo of Hayden Fry (red-dashed lines). Right: Now my turn! I am an SUI graduate and  a farmer so I thought as a personal tribute to Hayden, I should close this session standing in front of my Iowa Hawkeye Football poster wearing my ANF (America Needs Farmers) gear.


Our son Trent and daughter-in-law Kris live in Flower Mound, Texas. Kris was on the Lewisville School Board and a friend of Robin Fry, (Hayden's daughter.) Hayden donated this football to a local non-profit healthcare organization as a fund raiser for a silent auction gala. Kris and Trent were the successful bidders and won the football. Hayden autographed the ball for our grandson, Grant. How neat is that?

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all flags lowered to half mast until sunset Friday, December 20th in honor of late Iowa football coach Hayden Fry. I chose to show you this "Texas size" flag on Hickman Road because Hayden had such a huge impact on so many lives. You notice I have made this a human interest story--not a biography. If you are from Iowa--and even if you aren't--you already know the bio of this good man. You know he was a great coach and an even greater human being. Of course, you know about his football achievements, the pink locker room, his introduction of the tigerhawk logo and you certainly know about the"Fry-isms." Thank you Hayden--it was a "HIGH PORCH PICNIC!"

Addendum: After yesterday's Holiday Bowl, I had to add this footnote to complete my Hayden Fry story. The Iowa Hawks just completed 40 years (1979-2019) of football under the watch of two great coaches, Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz. Hayden retired in 1998 and his former offensive line coach (1981-1989), Kirk Ferentz, succeeded him. Like Hayden--Kirk has been a highly respected and successful coach. As a tribute to Hayden, Coach Ferentz had the tigerhawk decals removed from team helmets. The Iowa Hawks played their hearts out and came through with a great win (Iowa 49-USC 24). After the game, Kirk and the boys did the Hokey Pokey in the locker room in memory of Hayden Fry. That's what Hayden's teams did after a big win. Hayden said it made them all feel like kids eating ice cream at a birthday party. I wish I could have been there--I would have danced, too! Thank you, Coach Fry and Coach Ferentz (and others, such as the highly esteemed former athletic director, Bump Elliott, who died recently.)  It has been 40 good Iowa Hawkeye football years. Now next year, Hayden's tigerhawk decals will go back on, coach Ferentz will be back on the job and the good times will continue to roll. A "high porch picnic" is a Texas expression to describe an exceptionally good time. Yes--it has been--and will continue to be a HIGH PORCH PICNIC.